On Wednesday many Indianapolis Colts The writers left with the impression that the team they cover was a step or two ahead of the Detroit Lions. Many said quarterback Matt Ryan had the best day of camp ever, an unfavorable sign of some of the concerns Detroit Lions fans have had about his defense.
But Thursday was a different story. And while much of the Colts’ loss was watching the Lions offense compete against the Colts defense, there were plenty of observations coming from both camps that paint a much more equal picture of the two teams during second practice.
Here’s a look at everything Colts writers are saying about the final day of joint Lions-Colts practice.
Before we get into the nitty-gritty, here are links to worthwhile full articles:
Lions Offensive vs. Colts Defense
Many outlets covered what was a big, tricky play the Lions pulled off to connect with Trinity Benson and make a big gain for the first-team offense. That’s how Atkins described it:
On Thursday, it meant Jared Goff did a fake jet sweep and uncorked a deep pass down the left sideline that had Nick Cross and EJ Speed biting and allowed third-row wide receiver Trinity Benson to run for a touchdown.
The Lions, trying to hide some of the deception, shared a video of the pass and catch, but none of the setup:
While we know the Lions defense didn’t allow touchdowns during the 11-on-11 red zone period, the Colts’ defense wasn’t so lucky against Jared Goff and the Lions’ offense. According to the Detroit newsGoff was hot during the 7 against 7:
Quarterback Jared Goff started the quarter 6-for-8 with four touchdowns from inside the 20-yard line, including two to Josh Reynolds, one to D’Andre Swift (15 yards) and one to TJ Hockenson (10 yards).
Again, the Lions gave us a look at the D’Andre Swift touchdown video:
Another silver lining that came from several different outlets was a run by Jamaal Williams that went through several defenders to score a touchdown. The two running backs of the Lions they were a problem for the Colts defense, but this play sounded like the funniest. Again, from Atkins:
“hard knocksStar Jamaal Williams scored a physical touchdown where he knocked down the second and third lines of defense.
However, Colts writers believe the defense has bounced back quite a bit, especially on the defensive front. This video of Frank Ragnow being tackled by Grover Stewart went viral:
More from Atkins:
Representatives came and went on Wednesday, with DeForest Buckner winning easily as always but others reaching many draws. ben banogu he got away with speed against second-team takedowns, which remains consistent from his 1-on-1 against the Colts.
The Colts’ pace didn’t mention much in the two-minute drill that ended practice, but the Lions’ good pace has us covered there. The Detroit News noted that both the first-team and second-team offenses were able to move him downfield for potential “winning” field goal attempts; however, both kickers missed attempts from 49 yards out.
Colts offense vs. Lions Defense
Naturally, the Colts’ loss painted a much more even picture of Thursday’s practice than the Lions’ loss when it came to this matchup. While the Colts writers certainly admitted that Day 2 was much closer than Day 1, they believed that Matt Ryan dominated the first part of practice, which seems like a stretch based on what I saw. From Bremer:
The Indianapolis Colts offense still had its share of success Thursday in the second and final joint practice against the Detroit Lions.
Quarterback Matt Ryan again split the Lions’ secondary, and the running game produced several big gains, including a 30-plus-yard run by Johnathan Taylor.
According to multiple Colts writers, Ryan was 9-for-12 on the day, with multiple writers correctly noting that third-round rookie tight end Jelani Woods had a big day. Admittedly, there were also one or two good runs early in practice.
Many also praised Michael Pittman, noting that the Lions couldn’t stop him over the two days of practice. Here’s Erikson:
The Lions were barely able to cover the Colts’ No. 1 wide receiver in the two joint practices. A day after making three catches against Detroit, Pittman Jr. racked up five of Ryan’s nine completions (the Colts starter completed 9 of 12 passes on the day), including a pair of explosive plays up the middle that would have cost 20 or more. yards
To their credit, several Colts writers admitted that the Lions held their own during the full-team practice portions.
“One day after the Colts offense crushed the Lions in the red zone, Detroit was much harder to beat.” Erikson wrote.
There were two interesting notes where I found the Colts’ pace differed slightly from the Lions’ pace. For one thing, Colts writers suggested that part of the Lions’ success in these red-zone drills was due to Indianapolis having slightly more runs, an argument that at least carries some weight.
Still, it’s always good to hear stuff like this (via Bowens):
But in a live goal-line situation, the Lions dominated the line of scrimmage with both their starters and their backups.
…especially when you consider the Lions were one of the worst red zone defenses last year.
The other inconsistent note I found when comparing Lions and Colts coverage is that every pass breakup I noticed from the Lions defense on Thursday was referred to as a “down” by Colts writers. Those aren’t exactly the same things, but it’s a good reminder of how focus and perspective can change one’s observations.