After a rocky 1-5 start, the Indianapolis Colts, who are winners of three straight, are starting to figure things out offensively. They now sit at 4-5 after another dominating performance offensively against one of the better defensive units in Pro Football, the Jacksonville Jaguars.
While Indy wasn’t able to have a ton of success running the ball like in previous weeks, they were able to manhandle the Jags through the passing game. The Colts came out firing on all cylinders, as Andrew Luck was connecting with many different targets during their first series, which eventually led to a blown coverage on Jacksonville’s part, and Eric Ebron’s acrobatic 53-yard touchdown.
Luck to Ebron has been quite the combination over the course of this season, and the dominant duo would end up connecting for another touchdown later in the game, courtesy of yet another blown coverage by Jacksonville. Make no mistake about it, Frank Reich and Andrew Luck were picking apart the Jags defense all throughout the first half on Sunday!
For a fourth straight week, the Colts didn’t surrender a single sack to Jacksonville’s stout front seven! When you really think about it, it’s extremely impressive considering that just last season, Indianapolis surrendered a league-high 57 sacks.
Credit the entire Indianapolis organization, particularly Chris Ballard and head coach Frank Reich, who emphasized the importance of protecting the franchise quarterback. Ballard admits he made a mistake by not taking care of the offensive line last season, and he more than made up for his blunder by making major improvements during this past offseason.
Rookies Quenton Nelson and Braden Smith have played about as well as you could ask of them. Since being inserted into the starting lineup, the Colts went from having a reoccurring problem at right tackle, to finding a potential permanent solution with Smith. At this rate, it’s his job to lose!
Meanwhile, Smith’s counterpart Quenton Nelson, is just on an entirely different level! At one point during last Sunday’s game, Jacksonville wouldn’t even lineup a defender on Nelson, that’s how dominant he is! He’s ridiculously talented and has started all ten games for the Colts this season.
But this Indianapolis offensive line is doing more than just protecting Luck, they’re creating gaping holes for fellow backs Marlon Mack, Nyheim Hines, and Jordan Wilkins to run through. Mack’s been the primary back throughout these last three games, and has been more than impressive. He’s amassed 287 total rushing yards throughout that span.Mack has also averaged 5.3 YPC over the last four games, too.
It goes without saying that there’s a lot of credit to be given, and not enough personnel (both players and staff), to give it to. The Colts face yet another interesting challenge this coming Sunday, as they will take on the red-hot Tennessee Titans (5-4), who, by the way, are number one in the NFL in points allowed per game with 16.8.
Their defense as a unit is one of the best in the league in every major statistical category, including yards allowed per game with 328.0 (6th best in the NFL), passing yards allowed per game with 228.2 (6th best in the NFL), and rushing yards allowed per game with 99.8 (11th best in the NFL).
Then again, Indianapolis did just carve up a Jacksonville defense that came into that game number one in total and passing yards allowed per game. So it’ll be interesting to see how Frank Reich and this offensive juggernaut that is the Colts’ offensive line prepare for this stout and aggressive Titans defense.
Andrew Luck is finally getting the protection he so rightfully deserves and has waited too long for! His numbers are off-the-charts, as he is currently only second to Kansas City Chiefs’ quarterback Patrick Mahomes in passing touchdowns with 26. Luck is on pace to throw for over 4,000 yards and 40-plus touchdowns…again!
It’s no secret Indy’s offensive line has been imposing their will on each of their opponents throughout their last four games. What was once known as one of the most egregious and “picked on” units in all of Pro Football, is now one of the leagues’ best and most stout units!
No more will this offensive line be picked on! So opposing “bullies” (or defenses) beware, because the Colts’ offensive line is the bully now!