Colts 2014 Positional Review: Offensive Line

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The Indianapolis Colts finished the season 11-5 and made it all the way to the AFC Championship game. We take a look at each position and break down the units performance over the past season. Pro Football Focus (PFF) provides the grades, Football Outsiders DVOA (value per play) and DYAR (total value).

The Colts haven’t had anything resembling a dominant offensive line for the better part of a decade now. What they did have this season was an average line that did a decent job protecting Andrew Luck and creating holes for the running backs.

There is a misconception that all of the hits that Luck takes lie solely with the offensive line. While that is at times true, its not the only factor. Luck has a tendency to hold the ball for too long and trying to make something happen when he should take a loss and move on.

The Colts suffered from injuries all across the line this season and if everyone is healthy in 2015, it could be a position of strength. Plans were scrapped in the preseason when guard Donald Thomas was once again lost of the year with a torn quad and the center position took a hit with Khaled Holmes suffering a high ankle sprain and rarely staying healthy.

Football Outsiders ranked the Colts 15th in terms of run blocking and seventh in pass protection. That would make this line fairly good. It wasn’t the line play that lost the AFC Championship game, it was everything else.

The bigger questions about the offensive line stem from coaching and front office decisions. The line was constantly shuffled and good players were benched for inferior ones. While the left side of the line remained solid, from center through right tackle was a mess all season long.