INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Frank Reich learned the value

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of an up-tempo offense playing in Buffalo.He figured out how to deploy it more effectively as an assistant coach.So with the Indianapolis Colts in an offensive funk Sunday https://www.coltsfanshop.com/Marshall-Faulk-Jersey , the first-year coach changed gears. He cranked up the tempo, wore down Houston’s defense and watched the Colts rebound from a 5½-quarter scoring drought to earn a critical road victory.“We know it’s a weapon, we know it’s an effective weapon, especially with the quarterback we have,” Reich said, referring to Andrew Luck.“To know that we can pull that tool out, that weapon out and use it in the proper way when we need it. I just think it’s really the right way to do it.”Indy (7-6) desperately needed a switch against the Texans — after their playoff chances took a major hit the previous week when Luck endured the first shutout of his career.It looked as if the Texans (9-4), winners of nine straight, might do it again when they held the Colts scoreless on their first four possessions. But then Reich threw a change-up that got Luck and his teammates back in sync.They scored three times in the final 7½ minutes of the first half, matched the Texans’ early second-half score and never trailed again.The victory allowed Indy to move into a four-way tie with Baltimore, Miami and division rival Tennessee for the AFC’s sixth and final playoff spot and gave them some needed momentum heading into back-to-back home games against Dallas and the New York Giants.The Colts close out the regular season at Tennessee.And with Luck rolling, the possibility of ending a three-year postseason absence is a real possibility. Indy already has beaten the Titans and Dolphins, potential tiebreakers, even though nobody around the Colts’ complex dare discuss anything other than this weekend’s showdown against the NFC East-leading Cowboys.“Looking forward to keeping that same mindset and attitude coming back home to Lucas Oil (Stadium) against another hot team in the Dallas Cowboys Eric Ebron Jersey ,” Reich said Monday. “So it will be a good test for us.”What exactly the Cowboys will see is anybody’s guess.Luck threw two more touchdown passes in Houston, giving him 34 — second in the league to Kansas City’s Patrick Mahomes (43). T.Y. Hilton caught nine passes for 199 yards, giving the Colts the deep threat they lacked in Jacksonville. Eric Ebron caught another TD pass, his 12th of the season and one more than Dallas Clark’s franchise single-season record for a tight end.But the lingering question is whether Reich intends to continue relying on the no-huddle offense that kept the Texans’ defense on its heels?“Believe me, I love the no-huddle, I have done the no-huddle for years as a player and as a coach. Even when I was here before with Peyton (Manning), we did it as well as anyone could do it,” Reich said.“We did a lot of really good things, but ultimately we just think that the best formula is to be multiple, to use all your personnel and to create some schematic advantages that you can do by huddling.”The Colts certainly have shown they can exploit mismatches.Luck has had more success than anyone in the league connecting with tight ends. Ebron is one of five guys to play the position for Indy this season and has produced a career-best season by finally living up to the billing of his first-round pedigree.Marlon Mack has, at times, given the Colts a solid ground game and Hilton remains a reliable threat in whatever he is asked to do.While the combination seems perfectly suited to cranking up the tempo as Sunday’s game demonstrated, Reich believes the Colts will be better off employing it at their discretion.“When you go no-huddle, T.Y. ends up at the same position all the time Matt Slauson Color Rush Jersey ,” Reich said. “By not being exclusively no-huddle we can move guys around in positions. We can put T.Y. where we want to, we can switch personnel groups, we can put offensive linemen in at tight end to throw deep play-action shots that we put in, to have an extra offensive lineman in to do some stuff in the running game.” Every week, I will present a summary of some basic and advanced stats for the Colts performance relative to the league. Thanks to Pro Football Reference, NFL.com and the nflSCrapR project for being awesome sources of weekly data.I believe that it doesn’t really matter when a team scores as long as they do. However, the Colt’s put my belief to the test as they came out looking like the greatest team to ever take the field and then forgot how to play football for about half a game.Those first 2 drives were a thing of beauty. Two 90+ yard, balanced, methodical drives totaling 12 first downs, 14 points and 17 minutes is football perfection.That is why it is so frustrating that it took another 9 drives to mimic those numbers.I shouldn’t care, because 33 points, 24 first downs and a 75% Drive Success Rate are all good things.I just wish, that for my emotional health, it had been a little more even. TEAM TOTALSThose are all good stats https://www.coltsfanshop.com/Anthony-Walker-Jersey , but the one that jumps off the page for me is explosive plays. Indy’s big play numbers are usually around league average, but this week, the Colts were right up there with the big boys at 8 plays for 181 yards. It would take a real pessimist to see something bad in those numbers. I guess Third Down Conversions of 39%, while still good, is below the Colts league leading season average of 49%.There’s a half empty glass of water for ya. PASSINGOther than the riddle, wrapped in a mystery, inside an enigma that was the mind-boggling, head-scratching, mystifying decision on the pick-6, Andrew Luck had a great day.Seriously, that was just a really bad decision.A 69% completion rate is good but with an 8.1 yard average Depth of Target, it is even better.Add to that some decent Yards After the Catch from the receivers and you end up with 8.1 Yards per Attempt, which is a happy stat. 5 explosive pass plays for 139 yards is one of the better marks for the week but even more impressive is that it came from 4 different receivers (T.Y. Hilton, Mo Alie-Cox https://www.coltsfanshop.com , Eric Ebron and Dontrelle Inman twice).RUSHINGMarlon Mack was almost all of the rushing game and he had an excellent day. Mack put up 119 yards on 25 carries (4.8 YPC) with 2 explosive rushes, 7 first downs and a TD, which culminated in a 47% weighted Rushing Success Rate.That wRSR is the 6th best of week 17 for running backs with at least 10 carries. CONCLUSIONS & NEXT MATCH-UPAlthough it didn’t feel like it to me at the time, the Colts offense was very good against the Titans.Outside of the consecutive drives of a pick-6, a three-and-out and a fumble, Indy was efficient and put points on the board and that is all you can ask an offense to do. Well, I guess you could ask them not to fumble or throw a pick-6.Colts-Texans round 3 is coming up and if Frank Reich and company can win that one, then not only will they advance, but it will also mean that not settling for the tie will officially have had no impact on the Colts post-season.Based on my ranking of passing (ANY/A) and rush (wRSR), here is what the Colts will face.Match-upsRankInd OffHou DefRankInd OffHou DefSo the bad news is that Houston run defense is depressingly awesome, having limited the Colts to just 91 yards in the last 2 meetings . . . not each game, 91 yards for both games combined.And that includes 27 yards from Luck scrambles.Yikes. The good news is that Houston’s pass defense isn’t very good, and Luck has managed to eke out 863 yards and 6 TDs against them so far. TRAILING 5 WEEK TOTALS (per game)SEASON TOTALS (per game)

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