Bye-Week Thoughts on the Indianapolis Colts and Must-Reads from the AFC South

Nate Dunlevy@NateDunlevyGuest ColumnistSeptember 28, 2012

Someone other than Mathis needs to get a sack for Indy.
Someone other than Mathis needs to get a sack for Indy.Thomas J. Russo-US PRESSWIRE

I'm going to cheat today.

Instead of posting an article of the day, allow me to share a few thoughts on the Indianapolis Colts, who are in their bye week.

As they rest up and prepare for a suddenly mortal Green Bay Packers squad, the Colts need to work on the following areas in order to improve over their final 13 games.

They need better route running. Currently, all their receivers but T.Y. Hilton have negative DVOA, even Reggie Wayne. Avery and Wayne have had respectable volume totals, but that's only because Indy passes the ball so much.  Guys aren't getting open, and that makes it hard to run an offense.

Indianapolis needs a pass rush from anyone other than Robert Mathis. Perhaps with Dwight Freeney coming back from an ankle sprain, that will improve.

The Colts have to get better play from the secondary. Jerraud Powers has been respectable, but virtually every other player has had issues. Newcomers Tom Zbikowski and Vontae Davis have been worse than mediocre.

Indy isn't likely to win more than three or four more games in 2012, because they lack the talent to do these there things better. But if they do have any hope of excelling in the second leg of their season, this is the road map to do it.


General Interest

Ryan Riddle of Bleacher Report shares on the dark side of the NFL.


Tennessee Titans

Chuck Klosterman of Grantland asks if Chris Johnson is a real person to us or a commodity.

Gordon McGuinness of Pro Football Focus says Alerraun Verner was a secret superstar.

Tom Gower of Total Titans profiles Titans up for the Hall of Fame.

John Glennon of The Tennessean wonders if the Titans don't miss Cortland Finnegan.


Jacksonville Jaguars

Vito Stellino of The Florida Times-Union says the Jaguars are going to black as their primary "dark" color.

Paul Kuharsky of wonders why the Jaguars are switching to black jerseys.

Ryan O'Halloran of The Florida Times-Union says Justin Blackmon is still trying to catch on.


Houston Texans

Kuharsky writes that J.J. Watt is a new kind of 3-4 end.

Stephanie Stradley of The Houston Chronicle interviews Tom Gower.

Tania Ganguli of The Houston Chronicle says Johnathan Joseph is sitting again in practice.

Dale Robertson of The Houston Chronicle says the Texans can't sleep on early leads.


Indianapolis Colts

Phil Richards of The Indianapolis Star profiles Jerrell Freeman.