Indiananapolis Colts Preseason Week 1 Review: Everything Except Andrew Luck
Brian Spurlock-US PRESSWIRE
The Indianapolis Offensive Line Was Terrible
As good as Luck was, the Colts' offensive line didn't make it easy on him. He was under constant pressure. The offensive line has been an issue in Indianapolis going back as far as 2008, and general manager Ryan Grigson worked hard to rebuild it.
The early returns have been rough. Luck saw a lot of pressure from the right side, but did a fine job rolling away from defenders.
When they opened holes for the Indianapolis runners, the backs looked strong, but too often they swarmed at or behind the line.
Both left tackle Anthony Castonzo and right tackle Winston Justice missed blocks that led to pressure on Luck. Castonzo also seemed to miss a pair of assignments, once allowing a blitzer to come come at Luck unchecked.
While there will be a certain number of plays each game when a man gets beat, the mental mistakes can't happen if Indianapolis wants a viable offense.
Young Wideouts Look Solid
Fans got their first looks at T.Y. Hilton and LaVon Brazill, both rookies selected in the middle rounds by the Colts. With Donnie Avery sitting out with an injury, the two youngsters made their case for why they should each be higher up on the depth chart than the veteran.
They had three catches each, and Hilton tossed in a nine-yard run. Brazill, in particular, had a nice snag and run on a third-down play that set up an eventual touchdown.
It's not fair to expect too much from them this year, but as they develop, the Colts may find they have a pair of athletic weapons in the passing game.
The Defense Has Holes
The Indy defense had a great day on the scoreboard, but there was reason for concern. The Rams had a couple of drives implode thanks to penalties and botched hand-offs, which the Colts weren't responsible for causing.
It was obvious the Colts have decided to continue giving a lot of cushion to opposing wideouts. Justin King made several tackles, but that's because he was playing 10 yards off his man. Against a better offense, I don't think Indianapolis would have fared so well.
Jerry Hughes made a dramatic impact with a pair of sacks. While it's possible he was just miscast as an end in his first two years in the league, it will take more than a couple of preseason plays for me to be convinced he's turned the corner.
The Colts are Well Coached
While there were some miscues here and there, one of the most important numbers for Indianapolis was three.
That's the number of penalties they incurred. There was a hold and a pass interference call, but those will happen in the course of a game. There was only one "mental mistake" all day. In the fourth quarter, the Colts got hit with their first and only false start of the game.
Anytime a team comes out in Week 1 of the preseason and commits just two physical and one mental mistake penalties, it's a sign the players have been paying attention to detail in camp. Indianapolis has always been one of the least penalized teams in football, and it looks like that will continue.
That's a credit to the coaching staff.
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