With Sunday’s loss against the 2013 AFC Champion Denver Broncos, the Indianapolis Colts received many answers to questions regarding their football team. However, not all of the answers where positive outlooks for Head Coach Chuck Pagano and the Colts.
The return of future Hall of Famer WR Reggie Wayne was by far the biggest positive throughout the game. Wayne is Andrew Luck’s security blanket that he did not have last year. While Wayne looked a bit slower, his veteran savvy showed quickly as he used his body to separate from the CB on nearly every play. He ended the game with 9 catches (13 targets) for 98 receiving yards. His return means the Colts receiving game will be at its best again. To go along with Wayne’s return, fellow WR Hakeem Nicks looked good in his Colts debut. The former NY Giant seemed to have a good connection with Andrew Luck catching 5 passes for 36 yards and a TD. Nicks impact on the outside will help out free up both Reggie Wayne and T.Y. Hilton. Another player that will benefit from the bevy of WRs is TE Dwayne Allen. Allen missed all of last year with a hip injury, but picked up right where he left off last year. He finished the game with 4 catches for 64 yards and a TD. He will continue to be a monster on option, out, seam, and deep crossing routes. These receivers may make you want to do some American Football betting at William Hill.
Another former Giant looked good against the Broncos as well, his name is Ahmad Bradshaw. Bradshaw has always had the talent to be a difference maker in the backfield, but his problem has always been injury based. He only 3 carries totaling 15 yards but was a threat receiving the ball out of the backfield with 5 catches for 70 yards. He has looked like the better RB and is going to have a bigger role within the offense as the season goes on.
When focusing on the negatives to this game, you can bring up the safety play as one of them. Another negative can be Trent Richardson impact, or lack thereof on the offensive side of the ball. Nevertheless, the major negative from this game begins and ends with the disappointment of the offensive line. Andrew Luck was under direst all game, prompting him get sacked or constantly scramble to evade the rush. The Colts have invested in their offensive line with the signings of RT Gosder Cherilus, LG Donald Thomas, and the drafting of C Khaled Holmes (2013) and G Jack Mewhort (2014), but the signings have yet to pay off and provide QB Andrew Luck with a clean pocket for the majority of a year. Khaled Holmes was supposed to take over the center duties this year, but has been injured prompting them to sign A.Q. Shipley and start against the Denver Broncos. Donald Thomas has suffered a season ending Quad injury 2 years in a row, effectively having no impact on the Colts sense he signed in 2013. Left Tackle Anthony Castonzo and Right Tackle Gosder Cherilus seem like bookend tackles that can help keep Luck upright, but the middle of the line is terrible and must be addressed. Defenses don’t need to get to Andrew Luck on the outside if the can go right through the middle to get him. Seeing the Colts comeback from a major deficit and constantly compete to bring it within 1 TD shows the heart that the Colts have (undoubtedly something they gained from their Head Coach). They have the weapons and a defense in place to compete for a Super Bowl, but all things become mute if the interior play of the offensive line does not improve.