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linchao · 10 months ago
3 points of interest for the Colts 2018 season The upcoming season gets a bit of British perspective. NFL football is finally here! The Indianapolis Colts have made it through preseason and now the real football begins this week when the Colts take on the Cincinnati Bengals this Sunday.What I’m looking forward to this season:*Other than staying awake until 5 am to watch the Colts play in prime time. Which trust me hasn’t always been easy recently.Progression I’m looking forward to seeing a team actually progress instead of treading water and the ultimate sinking like the previous regime. Colts General Manager Chris Ballard is slowly and surely putting his stamp on this team. The hiring of Frank Reich and Co. is exactly the step in the right direction the organization has needed. Drafting talent and signing free agents to prove it deals instead of the team of the past where it seemed money was handed out for the fun of it to low end talent. This team needs to show signs of progression and it needs to start this season White Matt Slauson Jersey , an offense that actually scores regularly, a working offensive line that keeps the quarterback on his feet, an effective run game and a defense working as a unit to stifle the opposing offense. This is the progression the team needs, not the quick fix band aid return to the playoffs from the Grigson/Pagano era. Whether the progression is reflected in the team’s record is different and not necessarily needed. Player developmentOutside of a few outliers the Colts under Ryan Grigson and Chuck Pagano failed to show any major signs of player development. Whether that was due to poor talent selection or just poor coaching, with a whole new coaching staff and new talent, it can’t continue. Chris Ballard has done a good job of acquiring good young talent through the draft and free agency, now it’s time for the coaching staff to develop the talent in front of them. The Colts have young players who need their pro talent unlocking. Guys like Quincy Wilson, Tarell Basham, Malik Hooker , Nate Hairston, Kemoko Turay, Marlon Mack, Braden Smith and Ryan Kelly to name a few need to take that step to the next level and become core standout contributors.Andrew LuckI couldn’t write an article about the upcoming season without mentioning the big man himself. Luck’s injury has been so widely publicized that it reached peak “hot takes” that even being in the UK you couldn’t hide from it all. Luck is back and he seems to be progressing in the right direction. Despite all of that, Luck will be starting Week 1 against the Bengals. Luck will be rusty, but that’s to be expected. Having him back behind center is exactly what his team needs to take it back to winning ways. Having Luck guarantees that this team will be elevated, he is a super talented franchise QB who makes everyone around him better. It’s good to have Luck back on our side. This is by no means going to be a straight forward, easy, winning-record season but I have a feeling with Frank Reich Youth Jordan Wilkins Jersey , Luck and Co. on offense along with Matt Eberflus’ youth movement on defense we are in for a fun filled exciting season. This has been a very strange week for Colts fans. After suffering through years of sub-par offensive line play, things appear to be coming together. The line has helped Indianapolis enjoy back-to-back games with a 100 yard rusher for the first time since 2007, and with 200 or more rushing yards as a team for the first time since 1985. According to Football Outsiders, the line has given up 10 sacks this year — which is tied for the second least in the NFL. They are tied for fourth in adjusted sack rate at 4.4%, a measure that includes intentional grounding and that is adjusted for down, distance, and opponent. Football Outsiders ranks the unit fifth overall in pass protection.In the ground game, the line is fourth in the NFL in average RB yards per carry at 4.93. In adjusted line yards, the offensive line is second with 5.11 yard per carry. They are the third best line in the NFL in generating positive yards on rushing attempts White Eric Ebron Jersey , allowing only 14% of rushing attempts to be stuffed for no gain or a loss.If all of that isn’t strange enough for Colts fans to read, it must have been a shock to see rookie guard Quenton Nelson receive Rookie of the Month honors for October. He is the first guard in NFL history to receive the recognition. The icing on the cake is that Indy’s offensive line is starting to gain other national recognition, with’s Chris Wesseling naming center Ryan Kelly to the mid-season All-Pro team. The idea that the Colts would have two offensive linemen generating national discussion in one season would have been laughable a season ago. Kelly was hurt for much of 2017, Nelson was playing at Notre Dame, and the offensive line was held together by super glue and duct tape. Now? Anthony Castonzo’s healthy return to the lineup and pairing with Nelson and Kelly is a huge advantage against just about any opponent. More shocking, Mark Glowinski has been strong in his first starting reps in Indianapolis after a rough beginning to his career in Seattle and rookie Braden Smith — the assumed heir apparent to the starting right guard position — has looked good at right tackle.Sometimes everything seems to go right all at once. With two 2018 draft picks and one free agent addition, Chris Ballard may have done something in his tenure that former general manager Ryan Grigson was unable to do throughout his time with the Colts. The offensive line may be one of the team’s biggest strengths and they’ve just started to show signs of what they’re capable of accomplishing.If this unit stays healthy and continues to play dominant football, the Colts could shock the NFL world in the second half of the season.

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