See what I did there? A little play on words….Anyways, onto the important stuff. The Colts came into Sunday’s game with some momentum after a victory over Jacksonville last week. Although they didn’t play that well, they were able to dispose of the Jaguars, but there was a lot left to be desired. The Jaguars put up a fight but fortunately didn’t have the personnel to hang with a team like the Colts. Washington should have been a better barometer game, and in some ways it was. Colt McCoy – not RG3 – started at QB due to first year coach Gruden (not John) deciding he’d give his team a better chance at winning.
Well, that decision failed as the Colts nearly hung 50 on Washington with a final score of 49-27. Yet, I can’t seem to shake the feeling that something isn’t quite right. Maybe I’m nitpicking too much and it’s hard to complain overall, but I just can’t look past nagging issues, but I will get into those later.
The game started with the offensive line being over-powered which resulted in a Luck fumble on the first play of the game. The defense responded and held Washington to three points. The next series resulted in more pressure and a bad throw by Luck which was tipped and resulted in an interception; luckily, the Colts D did not give up any points. Not a good start by any standards, but the Colts took over from that point on and never looked back.
Luck threw five touchdowns on the day with most of them being monster throws. The highlight of the day was a 79-yard TD pass to rookie Donte Moncrief in the 4th quarter; this occurred after Luck already hit Moncrief for a 48-yard TD in the third. Luck also hooked up with Coby Fleener for a pair or TDs (30 and 73 yards, respectively). T.Y. Hilton pulled in an impressive 3-yard touchdown. Matching the big play mantra of the day, Dan “Boom” Herron scampered for a 49-yard touchdown and ended the day with 88 rushing yards.
The defense did their part by preventing Washington from capitalizing on the early Colt turnovers and even put points on the board after a strip-sack of McCoy with D’Qwell Jackson scooping up the ball and taking it to the house for a touchdown. Factor in the six sacks: Walden (2), Newsome (1.5) Toler (1.0) Freeman (1.0) and Jones (.5), and the team pressured McCoy all day in one of the most impressive totals in a long time.
The offensive line struggled early and often. Cherilus and the right side in particular had lots of trouble with the edge rushers in Washington. Luck continues to take too many hits which result in much of the dysfunction the offense encounters at times. Harrison had another bad exchange which now appears to be a weekly occurrence. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – the team needs to get this fixed this offseason; otherwise I fear Luck will never be able to reach his true potential.
The defense was a mixed bag again. The team played really well in chunks while other times looked confused and unable to stop anyone. The secondary, aside from Vontae Davis, continued to have troubles. Josh Gordy continues to look particularly awful and he’s their depth guy. Toler gets his normal amount of holding or pass interference calls but did notch a sack.
Herron looked solid carrying the ball and I’ve mentioned before his similarities to Donald Brown. Richardson continued to disappoint and at this point it seems there isn’t much of an option as to who should be getting the carries. In fact, Herron and Tipton should be getting their touches with Trent sprinkled in. T-Rich just looks like he’s not having a fun at all, and probably isn’t.
I’m anxious for Josh Cribbs to take one to the house. He looks like he is shot out of a cannon every time he touches the ball. It shows what the team was missing and although I’m sad Griff is gone, it is obvious the upgrade was necessary. I also wonder when or if the team plans on utilizing him besides kickoffs. He still seems to be dangerous in space.
Andrew Luck again demonstrated why he was drafted first overall and really showed how dangerous this offense can be. This was also Moncrief’s breakout game in the league. He and T.Y. Hilton will be fun to watch as targets for Luck for years to come. Reggie is Reggie, but he is looking more and more like his better days are behind him. As much as I love Reggie for what has done for Indy, it just seems like this could be the passing of the torch year. Reggie will always be a legend, but the young guns are showing why they are the future.
All in all, it was an impressive, but not a complete win for the Colts. Although they were much improved on both sides of the ball, I still feel this team is capable of so much more and will need that to propel themselves to the ultimate goal. Sitting at 8-4 with some winnable games coming up this team has so much potential. If they could put together a complete game they could be scary – really scary. Next up, Jonny Football and the Cleveland Browns!