It may only be the start of Week 3 in NFL season, but a lot can be deduced from the Colts’ win against the Vikings on Sunday.
1. Andrew Luck can can orchestrate a game-winning drive.
Some quarterbacks can take years to master this. Others can never seem to come through when the game is on the line. Luck marched the Colts down the field for two scores in the final two minutes of the first half. With 30 seconds remaining in the game and a score tied at 20, Luck channeled his inner Peyton Manning and moved the chains to get into field goal range and ultimately win 23-20 against the Vikings. We have seen flashes of greatness in Luck already with his poise, clock management, and ability to perform under pressure.
2. Donnie Avery is emerging as a new favorite target as wide receiver.
Avery has put up astounding numbers through the first two weeks. Luck has targeted the wide receiver 12 times for 148 yards and one touchdown. With Austin Collie battling concussion issues, the Colts are depending on a solid number 2 receiver to step up and fill his shoes and take some pressure off of Reggie Wayne. Avery makes a nice addition to the wide receiver corp of T.Y. Hilton, Coby Fleener, and Dwayne Allen, as long as he stays healthy.
3. The dinged-up/reshuffled Colts offensive line is going to be a problem moving forward.
The Colts may have slipped through with a win against Minnesota, but tougher defenses will have less trouble getting to Luck. Three starters are currently out with injuries: center Samson Satele (knee), left guard Joe Reitz (leg), and right tackle Winston Justice (concussion). Mike McGlynn moved over from right guard to center and was replaced by Trai Essex. The makeshift offensive line gave up two sacks and five quarterback hurries against the Vikings.
See related: Andrew Luck Needs a Better Offensive Line to Succeed
4. The Colts running game is in trouble.
Who is the Colts leading rusher this season? Let’s break it down for the first two games:
See related: Are the Colts Playing Running Back Roulette?
Donald Brown: With 25 attempts for 93 yards, Brown is averaging 3.72 yards per carry.
Vick Ballard: With 10 attempts for 19 yards, Ballard is underachieving with an average of 1.9 yards per carry.
Delone Carter: Battling a rib injury since preseason, Carter has been inactive.
Mewelde Moore: With 1 attempt for -2 yards, he has been virtually non-existent in the Colts running game.
Andrew Luck: Thanks to his athleticism and scrambling, Luck has racked up 30 yards on 6 carries, averaging 5 yards per carry.
The Colts have a long and winding road ahead of them this season. Andrew Luck is living up to the hype but will still have his ups and downs. Keys to his success will rely heavily on what kind of protection he gets from his offensive line, how much he can rely on the running game, and the defense’s ability to keep games close, all of which are huge question marks for the Colts this season with injuries, rookies, and a new coaching regime.