The Indianapolis Colts came into this week riding the high of a rousing 30-27 victory over the Green Bay Packers in Indianapolis that week.
It didn’t last long.
The Colts were run over (quite literally) by a truck bearing the license plate “GREENE.” As in Shonne Greene. The Jets running back, who prior to today had failed to register a single 100 yard game this season, trucked over the Colts defense for 161 yards and three touchdowns. Jets quarterback Mark Sanchez was also more effective he has been the past couple of weeks, throwing two touchdowns on 11/18 attempts and no interceptions.
It didn’t help things that Colts quarterback Andrew Luck played very much like a rookie in this game. Luck completed 50% of his passes for 280 yards, but threw two interceptions. One of those was a bad toss into the end zone where it was obvious he was trying to force it in. As should be expected, that was a bad idea as it was easily picked off by defensive back Ellis Lankston. This was Luck’s first game without a touchdown this year.
The lack of a running game made things more difficult, as rookie running back Vick “the Mayor” Ballard could get nothing going gaining just 25 yards on 8 attempts in relief for the injured Donald Brown. This enabled the Jets defense to focus on taking away Luck’s security blanket in Reggie Wayne. Wayne only tallied 5 catches for 87 yards a week after notching 13 versus the Packers. Ironically, that still led the team for the game.
This was only Luck’s second road game, but one can already sense a pattern developing. In the other away game (at Chicago), Luck threw only one touchdown versus three interceptions. This young man will have to learn how to play on the road, and soon, if the Colts want to have any shot at competing for a playoff spot, however unlikely that may appear right now.
It’s obvious the Colts couldn’t match the depth on the other side of field. Several defensive starters, including outside linebacker Robert Mathis, defensive end Fili Moala, and inside linebacker Pat Angerer, were out, with others such as cornerback Vontae Davis playing hurt. The injuries have hurt the Colts all year, though the case can be made (and fairly accurately) that this team doesn’t have the talent level to compete consistently this year. Sure, they have a puncher’s chance any given Sunday (cliché alert), just see last week, but that is likely the exception rather than the rule.
The Colts play the Cleveland Browns next week in Indianapolis. For any going to that game, be sure to wear orange in support of the #CHUCKSTRONG movement/leukemia awareness. And yes, we are all aware that orange is one Cleveland’s colors.
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