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Andrew Luck, Colts offense not pulling their own weight RSS

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#1 Andrew Luck, Colts offense not pulling their own weight
“I wanted to throw a touchdown and win the game and celebrate with my teammates,” Luck said. “It didn’t happen.”Luck is frustrated but hopeful. This isn’t the team he has always wanted, but it’s getting closer. Used to be, the Colts needed heroics from their quarterback or they weren’t going to win – and might even get blown out. Those Colts are gone, whisked away by a shakeup in the front office and coaching staff, and by the arrival of a young, hungry defense led by a rookie linebacker we’ll see in a Pro Bowl sooner or later. And because Darius Leonard is that good, bet on sooner.Luck doesn’t have to win by himself anymore. The offense just has to do its share, and on Sunday it didn’t. But think about that, for a moment. Think about it, and take in the whole picture: The Colts, a team you probably– and I definitely – didn't expect to be even mediocre Ryan Shazier Jersey Cheap
this season, went into Philadelphia and could have and probably should have beaten the defending Super Bowl champion Eagles. The Eagles were missing several starters, but so were the Colts: their best tackle (Anthony Castonzo), tight end (Jack Doyle) and running back (Marlon Mack). The Alejandro Villanueva White Elite Jersey
Colts aren’t what anybody wants them to be down the road, but for the first time in years they finally seem to be on that road.Now, are there questions? Sure there are questions. Andrew Luck has made a career out of throwing the ball downfield, and it hasn’t happened this season. When he last played in 2016, Luck averaged 7.8 yards per pass attempt, putting his career average at 7.2. After going 25 for 40 for 164 yards Sunday, he’s averaging 5.3 yards per attempt in 2018.The dinking and dunking Antonio Brown Jersey Cheap
bordered on weird Sunday, like when Luck was 10 for 16 in the first half … for 35 yards. After three quarters he was 16 for 27 … for 80 yards. On the final drive of the game, when the Colts had 43 seconds to go 89 yards, Luck dinked and dunked it six times for 35 yards. Add to that backup quarterback Jacoby Brissett running onto the field so he, not Luck, could throw the final 54-yard Hail Mary – and the optics go from weird to alarming.Is Luck’s shoulder OK? It’s fair to wonder, and to ask – and I did. I asked Luck and Colts coach Frank Reich, and both said the final play was a function of Brissett’s superior arm strength, not Luck’s recuperation from 2017 surgery on a torn labrum.“Nothing to do with that,” Reich said. “It was everything about getting the ball into the end zone.”Said Luck: “Jacoby has a stronger arm than I do.”For Luck, Sunday was his second consecutive game with a sub-80 passer rating after throwing for 319 yards (on 53 attempts) and a 93.2 passer rating in the opener against Cincinnati. Some of that can be explained away: Rainy day, on the road against the reigning Super Bowl champions. But not all of it.Thanks to a defense that forced two turnovers deep in Eagles territory, the Colts had the ball in the red zone five times and came away with one touchdown, three Adam Vinatieri field goals – giving Vinny 635 for his career, tied with Morten Andersen for first all-time – and that late sack by Barnett.“One for five is unacceptable,” Reich said.It is, but it’s understandable, up to a point. Teams must be able to run, or at least threaten to run, to score consistently in the red zone – and the Colts can’t. Not yet. They don’t have the manpower, perhaps at running back and clearly on an offensive line that is two or three players away.More than
Luck’s shoulder, which I doubt is a factor at all, the Colts’ limited personnel is the reason for the dinking and dunking. Between the line’s inability to hold the pocket and most of the receivers’ inability to create quick separation, Reich wants Luck to get rid of it fast. Reich comes from Philadelphia, where Carson Wentz averaged 6.2 yards per attempt as a rookie in 2016 but upped that to 7.5 last season, and where emergency replacement Nick Foles averaged 5.3 yards per attempt in the regular season but 9.2 in the playoffs. Expect Reich to mimic his former boss, Doug Pederson, and dial up the distance when he feels his personnel is ready.Meantime, the Colts have completely flipped the script: They are being carried by their defense, which won the game last week in Washington and was the only reason – on a day the offense gained 209 yards – the Colts had a shot Sunday.“The defense, they played their hearts out again,” said T.Y. Hilton, who caught five of his 10 targets for 50 yards. “We have to match the defense’s intensity.”Seriously. That’s what they’re saying in the Colts’ locker room – “Our defense did a great job of putting us in some awesome situations, and we didn’t get enough out of it,” Luck said – and they’re right.This Colts defense has an emergent star in Darius Leonard, who followed his 18-tackle, AFC Defensive Player of the Week showing last week with another candidate Sunday: 13 tackles, including five for losses and two sacks, and a pass breakup. It has an unlikely star in Margus Hunt, who put his fingerprints on a third consecutive game with a strip-sack deep in Eagles territory and recovered the fumble. Safeties Clayton Geathers (10 tackles) and Malik Hooker (six tackles and a diving pass breakup in the end zone) are quite a tandem. So are defensive ends Kemoko Turay and Jabaal Sheard, who combined for two sacks.Throw in Vinatieri and super young punter Rigoberto Sanchez and flawless long snapper Luke Rhodes, and the Colts have all three phases working.Well, two phases are working.Can you believe it? The Colts are waiting on an offense led by Andrew Luck. Can’t imagine they’ll be waiting much [b][url=]JuJu Smith-Schuster Jersey Cheap

longer.Find IndyStar columnist Gregg Doyel on Twitter: @GreggDoyelStar or at Hoge Jersey
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olekvhad (141809)

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