Luck, Taking over where Manning Left Off

I hate to admit it, but even after everything over the offseason … the Colts look exactly the same as they always have. Receiving tight ends. A decent, inconsistent running game. A defense that struggles to get off the field. And – as a saving grace – a killer quarterback. As Sean Odonnell puts it, even after Manning's gone, the Colts remain a one-man team.

After such an improbable run last season, Luck has picked up right where he left off.

With the rest of the offense looking rather lackluster and the defense caving to a poor offense, Luck was forced to carry the team once again. During the Colts' victory over the Raiders, Luck completed 18 of 23 passes for 178 yards and two touchdowns—good for a 127.9 quarterback rating. Despite Luck's success as a passer, he was equally as impressive rushing the ball on Sunday. He rushed six times for 38 yards with a late go-ahead score.

In the end, the Colts did beat Oakland. The defense managed to save the game with two red-zone interceptions, despite putting themselves in that situation on almost every drive. Heck, the only defensive stand worse than Indy pulled was Cincinnati, who – down by three – allowed Chicago to run a seven minute drive to end the game.

And after the addition of DHB and Ahmad Bradshaw, the latter of which put in a very mediocre game, Luck still had to work through a strange gameplan and a terrible defensive effort to pull out the win. I mean, a few stats for you:

127 rushing yards on 26 carries, teamwide. That averages to 4.9 yards per carry. Were the Colts to run the ball every play, they would be looking at perpetual 3rd and inches. Moreover, did anyone see Vick Ballard yesterday? He has to be locked into the starter role by this point.

178 passing yards on 23 attempts. That's a good half for Luck, who only passed the ball on … 23 plays??? Oakland passed more than Indy did, and they're a run-first team.

Okay. now. How did the Colts score all of 21 points on a day where nearly every individual member of their offense played well (o- line reserved for off-blog ranting)? I get it: start the run game. And hey, it worked. But for some reason, Oakland was able to pressure Luck on almost every play, even with the run game playing well. Luck's go-to recievers were always double covered. I mean, if Oakland could read their playcalling that perfectly, imagine how Indy will fare against a good team.

… thank god for Miami, and their non-existent run game.

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