Though it was another victory, you can still tell that Andrew Luck and the Indianapolis Colts are far from any real contention this year. The Cleveland Browns are 1-5 today. Yesterday they were 1-4. The Colts should have won this game, but they should have won it by a lot more. 17 points against the 30th ranked defense in the NFL isn’t what I would call impressive.
I’ll start by pointing out that in 1998, coming into game 6, Peyton Manning had 4 TD passes, 12 interceptions and a 1-4 record. Luck came in at 7 TD passes, 7 interceptions and a 2-3 record. If you want to be happy about something, then be happy about that. I don’t know how many people know this, but #18 went on to be a pretty decent QB, and still is.
I think Luck is very inaccurate. His throws are usually behind the receiver, like he’s still not used to the speed of NFL wideouts. If he isn’t behind them then he’s way too long, like he’s over compensating. Something else I should mention; 1998 – 55% completion rate, 2012 – 54%. One more thing, Peyton had a much more experienced team around him than Andrew does. So if you were to look into a crystal ball, and if history tells us anything, then there will be joy in Indianapolis again. Just not right now.
The defense played fairly well, but then, again, it was the Cleveland Browns. 55 yards rushing against them, which is fantastic. However, Ternt Richardson was hurt and Brandon Weeden had a lot of open targets. Had Josh Gordon caught that for sure TD pass we might be looking at 2-4 instead of 3-3. But he dropped it and the defense held. I also believe that Luck would have had another game winning drive had he caught it. The defense had no real pressure on Weeden and had it been AAron Rogers, Tom Brady or any number of non-rookie quarterbacks Indianapolis would’ve been looking at a losing record right now.
I have to say that I was impressed with Vick Ballard. If I were Donald Brown I’d be a little worried about my starting position. There were a number of times when Ballard was caught behind the line yet still made substantial gains. I don’t believe Brown has that ability. Hell, even Delon Carter looked better than Brown has. Donald Brown needs open space, a hole to run through. I f not, he goes down like Peyton used to when he knew he was going to be sacked. Both Ballard and Carter put their heads down and brought the fight to the tackler. DBs, safeties and even some linebackers will think about that the next time they go to hit them.
I still feel the same way I’ve always felt about the offensive line, they’re just bad. Luck took another smackdown from a speeding pass rusher who just happened to blow by a Colt lineman. One of these times Luck may not get up. What then? Drew Stanton? Credit to Luck, he was aware enough to try to get back the fumble caused by the monster hit. This has got to stop. Period.
All in all, the Colts are 3-3 and sit in 2nd place in the AFC South, which no one thought would be the case after week 7 of the season. Next week they travel to Nashville to take on the Titans. Though this is a winnable game, the Colts have shown that they are not the same team on the road as they are at home, which is the case with most young teams with a rookie quarterback. So, until next week ….
One note; It was great to hear that Head Coach Chuck Pagano went home from the hospital and watched the game from there.
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.