Indianapolis Colts: Whose Stock Is Up, Down After Week 3 Loss
After a loss that resembled getting punched in the stomach, the Colts enter an extra-early bye week knowing they should be 2-1 instead of 1-2.
The time off will aid in the healing of some of the physical wounds, but the mental and emotional wounds from their Week 3 home loss to a bad Jags team will linger.
After three games we've seen some exciting progression of some key Colts, and some disappointing regression in others.
Here's a look at whose stock is up and whose is down.
Andrew Luck: Stock Up
OK, so his Week 3 performance fell short of expectations, but overall, he's been as good as advertised.
His stat line doesn't really jump out at you, but he's shown the leadership, character and ability you need in a franchise quarterback. I don't think I'm going out on a limb when I say Andrew Luck's stock will be rising for the rest of the season. He's going to get better each week.
Pagano/Arians Second-Half Play-Calling: Stock Down
For two weeks in a row the Colts began the third quarter with an 11-point lead. For two weeks in a row, the offensive play-calling in the second half seemed to be ultra-conservative. And, for two weeks in a row, the opponent got back in the game in the second half.
Isn't part of "building the monster" learning how to put teams away? Step on their throat. Keep your foot on the gas. Hopefully the coaches have noticed what's happened the past two weeks and will not be so conservative with a lead.
Jerrell Freeman: Stock Up
Has this guy been a find, or what?
When Pat Angerer went down in preseason, Colts fans were rightly concerned. Now, with the way Freeman is playing (14th in the NFL in tackles with one sack, one forced fumble and an interception returned for a TD), Angerer may not get his job back when he's healthy.
To be honest, Angerer probably shouldn't get his job back. Freeman, a Ryan Grigson pickup from the CFL, has been an absolute stud whom no one saw coming.
Offensive Line (With the Exception of Anthony Castonzo): Stock Down
I mentioned the bad play of the Colts' offensive line last week.
With the exception of Anthony Castonzo, it was been a rough three games for the unit. They didn't give up any sacks against the Jags in Week 3, but Andrew Luck felt pressure most of the day.
The running game is still nonexistent. But don't blame the running backs. It's hard to get positive yardage when you are getting hit in the backfield. Take away Luck's 50 yards of pressure-induced scrambling, and the Colts averaged under three yards per carry Sunday, which is right at their season average.
Reggie Wayne: Stock Up
I thought he was supposed to be too old?
Fifth in the league in receiving yards and fourth in receptions, Reggie Wayne is more than an experienced security blanket for Andrew Luck. He's showing that he's still a playmaker in the NFL. He may have lost a step, but he still runs great routes, has the ability to get open and catches just about anything thrown his way.
Adam Vinatieri: Stock Down
From an old dog still performing to an old dog that's underperforming.
I feel bad even saying that about the most clutch kicker in NFL history, but it's true. Vinatieri's missed two of his six field goal attempts on the year, both of them between 30 and 39 yards. Against the Jags, he missed one late-game kick—the type of situation Vinatieri's made his name on—before making the would-be game-winner. But even that kick just barely squeezed inside the left upright.
It seems ludicrous to question Adam Vinatieri, but that's where we're at right now. Sad but true.
Follow Brian on Twitter @coldy4goldy.
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