After a disappoint first half, the Indianapolis Colts offense came alive in the second against the Denver Broncos. The rally fell short and the offense simply missed too many chances to take over the game.
Today, we hand out grades for the offense. We’ll add in player ratings from Pro Football Focus as well. For context, PFF grades on a plus/minus scale where 0.0 is average.
For our defensive grades, click here.
The Colts saw two red zone possessions end with just three points. Two more promising drives were felled by turnovers. And a coaching error saw a very good looking first drive come up short.
They simply made too many errors, and let opportunities slip through their fingers. The decision not to go for it from fourth-and-one at the Denver 36 is inexplicable. That is the sort of coaching decision that Chuck Pagano has to get better at, especially against a team like the Broncos. It really is a no-brainer and of all the miscues last night, that one might be the worst.
As long as the Colts have Andrew Luck, they have a chance. He still has a tendency to let passes over the middle sail on him and it caused two interceptions, especially the first attempt to Dwayne Allen. He had time to step up and deliver a more accurate throw, but didn’t.
The second interception was part on Luck, and a bit on Coby Fleener. Luck again has time to deliver a quality pass, but it is high and slightly behind Fleener. People were killing Fleener, but the pass grazes his fingers as he is completely in the air to attempt the grab.
It will be easy to nitpick his game week-to-week, but he has to be better early in the game and not when fighting for a comeback. You also don’t want to see your QB throwing the ball 53 times, but the score dictated the play calling on Sunday.
Wide Receivers: C
For all the attention paid to this receiving corps in the offseason (myself included), they did not produce on a big stage. Only rookie Donte Moncrief received a positive rating from PFF.
Reggie Wayne‘s production was high, but he failed to stay on his feet on the final play (there was also a little interference) and had a bad drop. T.Y. Hilton, who should be well on his way to a breakout year, was targeted 11 times and had just five receptions. He couldn’t get free from any defender, even with that breakaway speed.
Hakeem Nicks caught every pass thrown his way, but failed to pick up a first down on a short pass and could have had another touchdown if he’d extended over the goal line.
Tight End: C
Allen is going to be incredibly dangerous when he gets on the same page as Luck. His touchdown catch and run was outstanding. This was a merely average game for Allen in his first meaningful start since last September.
Fleener continues to be a disappointment. On eight targets, he picked up just three receptions. He managed to get a hand on that second interception, and should make a greater effort to go after the ball.
Both of Luck’s interceptions were on passes to the tight ends over the middle.
Running Backs: B
The score of the game limited the Colts to just 14 carries, and five of those were Luck scrambles. Trent Richardson averaged 3.3 yards per carry, already an improvement over last season. Ahmad Bradshaw had just three carries for 15 yards though.
Both players were very effective in the passing game as well. Eight receptions for 101 yards went to the running backs Sunday night. Its clear that Bradshaw offers more in the hurry up offense, but Richardson did show value and ran hard when given the opportunity.
Offensive Line: B-
Luck was sacked three times and hit six more. A.Q. Shipley missed a couple blocks badly, both of which resulted in lost yardage but that isn’t surprising given that he’s been with the team for about a week.
PFF gave Anthony Castonzo a 1.3, but he gave up a couple sacks and seemed to struggle at times with DeMarcus Ware. He did manage to keep Ware at bay in the fourth quarter and the whole offensive line played well when the Colts were attempting the rally.