Revisiting 5 Colts To Watch in Week 1 Against The Bengals The Colts have dropped their first game of the season to the Bengals 34-23 in heartbreaking fashion. Although it is hard to look at the positives after a tough loss Authentic T.Y. Hilton Jersey , there is a lot to be happy about in this game. The Colts are a young team that played well but just ultimately couldn’t get it done.So before we shift our weekly focus to the upcoming matchup with a talented Redskins team, lets look back on my 5 Colts players to watch from last week and see how they did this past weekend against the Bengals:Anthony Castonzo, LT (or whoever starts at LT):Anthony Castonzo came into this game as a game time decision and was inactive for the game. As I predicted in my preview piece for the game, Joe Haeg ended up getting the start in his place with J’Marcus Webb starting at right tackle. Overall Haeg held his own in pass protection and was about average in the run game. His pass blocking was especially commendable in this game as he made his first career start at left tackle against a very good Bengals pass rush.The most promising aspect of Haeg’s performance was that Luck had time to get rid of the ball. Even though a lot of what the Colts were doing involved quick passes, Luck did pass the ball 53 times and was only sacked twice. Neither of those sacks came from young budding star pass rusher Carl Lawson, who Haeg was tasked with blocking in passing situations on Sunday. Overall it was a good spot start for Haeg and hopefully Castonzo can play next week against Washington.Eric Ebron, TE: I did say in my preview article that Eric Ebron will be the X-Factor for this Colts offense as he has the athleticism and ability to be a matchup problem for any defense. Reich obviously thought the same way. We heard all offseason by multiple reporters and coaches that Ebron was going to be heavily involved in this offense. Well he definitely was involved this past Sunday with an impressive 4 catches for 51 yards and a touchdown stat line. Ebron was deployed all over the place this weekend in order to get the best matchup possible. With Jack Doyle and Ryan Grant mostly being used underneath, Ebron was the main target in the intermediate to long game. His ability in space and athleticism were on full display on his 26 yard touchdown catch in the second quarter. Overall, it was a very good debut for Ebron with the Colts and I expect his role to expand even more after this promising start.Darius Leonard, LB:It may not have been the flashiest game by Darius Leonard, but he was very solid in his rookie debut. In his first career game, Leonard was credited with 9 total tackles and a fumble recovery. In run defense, he was pretty solid in general. He could’ve taken some better angles in some moments and filled run lanes a bit better in other moments but overall not too many negatives in that aspect of his game. He played his role well in pass coverage as well as he wasn’t noticeably beat at any point either.This game was just really solid from Leonard outside of a few rookie mistakes. Leonard has been really impressive so far in his young career with the Colts and I fully expect him to continually progress into a really good starter. He will need to be on his “A” game this next week though as Washington rolls into town coming off a performance where running backs Adrian Peterson and Chris Thompson are coming off of huge games.Malik Hooker, SAF:Hooker didn’t have a great game this past Sunday but like I mentioned last week a lot of his play doesn’t really show up in the box score. By that, I mean that his presence in the backend of the field brings an intimidation factor to quarterbacks and forces them to not take as many deep shots. Besides one long touchdown pass to AJ Green, who is one of the best in the game, Hooker’s effect was felt as the Bengals rarely attacked the Colts downfield. That touchdown to Green was the one lowlight for Hooker though. Overall, Hooker finished with 4 tackles in his first game back.I fully expect Hooker to up his play as the season goes on. He was on pace for an excellent season last year before that horrible ACL injury that cost him his season. Although he did play well on Sunday Authentic Chester Rogers Jersey , there is definitely room for improvement. As the season progresses though, I do expect Hooker to solidify himself as one of the NFL’s top young safeties. Andrew Luck, QB:LUCK IS BACK. Andrew Luck was dealing this Sunday. After a poor decision on his first pass which resulted in a red zone interception, Luck completed a career high 39 passes on 53 attempts for 319 yards and 2 touchdowns. He also boasted a 73.6% completion percentage and finished as Pro Football Focus’ 6th ranked QB of the week. Not bad for a guy coming off of shoulder rehab and not playing for the last year and a half. This was as good a start as anybody could have hoped for from Luck. Everything appears to still be there from pocket presence, mobility, and arm strength. If Luck can continually churn out performances like this last weekend, the Colts will have a chance to win each and every game this year. Overall, Luck playing as well as he did is reason enough to be hopeful this season as a Colts fan. The Indianapolis Colts appear to have a potent running game, an offensive line that can protect and a record-setting kicker.Combined all that with a healthy Andrew Luck and the results are impressive.Luck threw his third touchdown pass of the game to break a tie with 5:28 to go, Adam Vinatieri set the career scoring mark and the Colts beat the Oakland Raiders 42-28 on Sunday to win in back-to-back weeks for the first time in three years."I think we're believing it now, I really do," Luck said. "I think we're proving to ourselves that we can do it, that this is a winning formula."Marlon Mack ran for a career-high 132 yards and two touchdowns, breaking the personal mark he set last week against Buffalo with 126 yards. The Colts finished with 222 yards rushing and didn't allow a sack for the third straight game as the investments made in the offensive line are paying off.The Colts are the first team since the 1970 merger to go consecutive games with at least 200 yards rushing, no sacks and no giveaways."I think you'd like to establish your identity in Week 1 and get that going right from the start," coach Frank Reich said. "On offense, it's taken us a few weeks to get that going, but right now I like where we're at."Mack's second TD came after Doug Martin lost a fumble for Oakland and sealed the victory as the Colts won in consecutive weeks for the first time in three years.Luck connected with all three of his tight ends with the 10-yard pass to Jack Doyle putting the Colts (3-5) up 35-28. Luck connected earlier in the game on passes to Mo Alie-Cox and Eric Ebron and finished with 239 yards against an overmatched defense for the Raiders (1-6).Derek Carr threw three TD passes and ran for a fourth just days after Oakland traded his top receiver Amari Cooper to Dallas . But it wasn't enough to prevent another loss in what is quickly becoming a lost season to begin coach Jon Gruden's second stint with the team."I'm not going to give up. Period Authentic Braden Smith Jersey ," Gruden said. "I just hope Raiders fans out there understand we're doing everything we can. I know it gets ugly at times, but in a lot of ways I'm excited about the future."The Colts started fast with Mo Alie-Cox making a one-handed 26-yard touchdown catch and Vinatieri adding a field goal to make it 10-0 before the Raiders finally found their stride."He swallowed the ball with his hands," Luck said. "It was truly like there was a gravitational pull flopped it in there. What an awesome job our tight ends group does to complement this offense, complement the wideouts and to complement each other."Carr threw a pair of touchdown passes in the second quarter to put Oakland on top and added a 1-yard sneak for a score on fourth down to make it 21-13 early in the third.The game went back and forth from there with Luck tying it with a 20-yard touchdown pass to Eric Ebron and a 2-point conversion pass to Chester Rogers.Carr then avoided a sack before finding Brandon LaFell for a 6-yard touchdown late in the third before the Colts tied it back up early in the fourth on Mack's 4-yard run .MOST POINTS IN NFL HISTORYVinatieri set the record as the NFL's top all-time scorer in the first half. He kicked a 26-yard field goal in the first quarter to tie Morten Andersen with 2,544 points and then added a 25-yarder late in the second to set the record . Vinatieri scored three more points, giving him 2,550 for his career."He'd done it for so long and for so many years and so prolifically, that I just thought, 'Man, it's untouchable.'" Vinatieri said. "But I guess as you keep going, you stack years upon years, the numbers start stacking up."RARE RUSHCarr scored on a 1-yard sneak on fourth down in the third quarter for the Raiders for his first career touchdown run. Oakland hadn't had a quarterback run for a TD since Terrelle Pryor scored on a 93-yard run against Pittsburgh on Oct. 27, 2013. Only the Chargers had gone longer without a TD run for a QB."I had a dance planned, but they threw a flag," Carr said. "I'll have to get another one."BACK TO BACKMack followed up last week's big game with another strong performance. This is just the sixth time the Colts have had a 100-yard rusher during Luck's seven NFL seasons and the first time since Joseph Addai did it in 2007 that a back topped the century mark in consecutive games.INJURIESThe Raiders lost backup OL T.J. Clemmings to a knee injury in the second half. ... Colts S Mike Mitchell left in the second half with a calf injury.UP NEXTColts: Host Jacksonville on Nov. 11.Raiders: Visit 49ers on Thursday night.
|Free forum by Nabble||Edit this page|