Some brief thoughts out of the Colts’ 30-17 loss to the Redskins in Washington on Saturday afternoon.
We’ve long been asking if this collection of offensive linemen will be good enough to offer rookie quarterback Andrew Luck sufficient protection. Through two games it had been pretty good. Phillip B. Wilson of the Indianapolis Star wrote their praises yesterday. They were without injured left guard Mike McGlynn again and Seth Olsen filled in. He was not good, especially early, and overall the protection was the type cynics feared as this group was pieced together. Luck showed poise and calm and had a good feel for what was going on around him. And he did well to get rid of the ball. But he absorbed shots on several occasions just as he let the ball go. A couple blitzes up the middle, like one in the third quarter by linebacker London Fletcher, proved a good tactic for supplementing the defensive line. Washington’s entire defensive front was quite disruptive -- and this was without Brian Orakpo. The offensive line remains a giant concern.
The run blocking didn’t do anything to offset the protection issues. Donald Brown really failed to get anything going, with eight whole yards on his seven carries. The Colts are going to need to have some success running the ball to take pressure off of Luck in a game like this, and what we saw was a scenario where the ground game offered no help, the pass game had to carry the offense and the line wasn’t up to the task.
While Brown was ineffective, the Redskins got fine work out of the back that got most of their early carries. Sixth-round draft pick Alfred Morris looked quite good as he turned 14 carries into 107 yards, and the Colts were far too sloppy in terms of hemming him in and bringing him down.
Jerraud Powers went out of the game with a sprained knee. The Colts have several indispensible players. Their top cornerback is absolutely a can’t-lose guy, considering the drop-off in talent at the position after him. Hopefully he can recover quickly, but injuries have been the one thing that have slowed him down.
Receiver Jeremy Ross had a nice 59-yard catch-and-run from Chandler Harnish in the fourth quarter. He made it difficult for safety Reed Doughty to bring him down as he made three different cuts. But one of them should have turned around the defender enough for the receiver to have broken free and gone farther, I thought.
Jerry Hughes started for Robert Mathis, and Jerry Hughes served as the referee for the crew of replacement issues. Yup, the Colts outside linebacker and the ref were both Jerry Hughes. The one in the striped shirt was far more visible in this game.