The Indianapolis Colts’ first game of the season last Sunday wasn’t what we had hoped for. In fact, with the exception of injury, it couldn’t have gone worse. Andrew Luck threw 3 interceptions, fumbled once, was sacked 3 times and was running for his life the rest of the time. The defense was monumentally bad against both the run and the pass. I would like to say again that Chicago was a good offensive team, but after watching Green Bay embarrass them Thursday night I’m not so sure.
What that game showed us was that if you pressure Jay Cutler he will make mistakes, a lot of them. The Colts showed that in the first couple of series against the Bears. Then they just disappeared. Poof! They were gone. Then Cutler looked All-Pro. If you pressure the quarterback your secondary won’t have to cover so long. Pressure equals sacks, bad throws and interceptions, just ask Luck. You can have a second rate defensive backfield if your front seven is putting the hammer down on the quarterback consistently.
That’s where the Colts fail. There were times when they got to the qb, but way more times than not Cutler had all day to pick apart the secondary. The Colts front seven have to do a much, much better job.
It’s been said that Sundays game against Minnesota is one of the most winnable games of the season for Indianapolis. That sounds like a must win to me. They beat Jacksonville in overtime last week, Jacksonville’s not good. But the Vikings have Adrian Peterson and the Colts have not shown that they can stop the run. The obvious key here for Indianapolis is to limit AP and pressure Christian Ponder. They need to get off the field on third downs and give Luck and the offense multiple possessions.
Offensively the Colts O-line has to do a whole lot more protecting than they did against Chicago. Give Luck some time and keep him off his back. They have to open up some running lanes for Donald Brown and Vick Ballard. Sounds easy. But the Colts have shown that the O-line is by far one of the worst in the NFL. Two new additions this week says that GM Ryan Grigson and head coach Chuck Pagano know this. Sooner or later they’re going to have to settle on a permanent starting line. There is no way changing the line up every week is going to promote any kind of continuity, which is paramount to a successful offense.
I’m not sure what to expect this weekend. Did they learn any thing last week? Did they make the necessary adjustments? Was last week just first game jitters or is this the way it’s going to be all season long? We knew it was going to be a process to get to where they want to be and I’m willing to be patient. But you want to see improvement from week to week. They say that the biggest improvements are made between week 1 and week 2, for the Colts it’s a matter of necessity.
MINNESOTA – 31 INDIANAPOLIS – 28
About the Author
Written by Rich Marchione
I have lived in Indiana most of my life with the exception a stint in the Marine Corps in the early 80's. I currently live in Anderson, IN, where the Colts camp out for the summer. I have followed the Colts since the Jeff George days. Back then you had to go to the game to watch them because they weren't very good and around Indiana basketball was king, so they were never on television. Then Peyton showed up and the rest was history. Now he's gone and we start a new era. I am excited about all the new changes and will be following them closely. I am married to Cynthia Marchione, I have one daughter, Kaylee and three step-children, Jason, Autumn and Nikki. I also have eight grandchildren.