If you had to point to one reason why 2022 was a disaster for the Indianapolis Colts, the easy selection would be the offensive line. A lot of things went wrong for Indianapolis last season but it all started with the offensive line. The group that was once dependable in the run game struggled to do that. When it came to pass blocking, things were just abysmal.
This season, the unit has made a complete 180. Not only is the Colts offensive line no longer one of the worst groups in the league, the unit is currently one of the best groups in the NFL. Indianapolis is once again dominant on the ground, and the guys up front are doing a phenomenal job of keeping Gardner Minshew upright.
On the season, the Colts are averaging 118 rushing yards per game. That’s good for 10th-best in the league this season. Indy has only given up 22 sacks through 10 games— 14th-least in the NFL. The unit has definitely turned things around.
This growth is reflected in PFF’s most recent offensive line rankings. Entering Week 11, the Colts’ offensive line is ranked as the third-best offensive line in all of the NFL.
PFF ranks Colts offensive line third in NFL
Indy only trailed the Detroit Lions and the Baltimore Ravens. Zoltán Buday of PFF pointed out how effective Braden Smith was returning to the lineup, and named second-year linemen Bernhard Raimann the best player on the line this week. Raimann is coming off a special game after playing in front of a ton of family in Germany and he has been playing well all season.
A lot of credit has to go to Tony Sparano Jr., who was hired as the team’s offensive line coach this season. Head coach Shane Steichen said he spent a ton of time with Sparano before hiring him, because Steichen wanted to be sure that he picked the right coach for a job of massive importance to the team. 10 games into the season, it seems like Steichen made the right decision.