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After Andrew Luck quickly moved the Indianapolis Colts i
diciembre 6, 2018
2:58 am
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julio 17, 2018

nto position for one final Jabaal Sheard Jersey , desperation heave Sunday at Philadelphia, he came out.With 5 seconds left and Indy at its 46-yard line, coach Frank Reich put in Jacoby Brissett.In some respects, the move made perfect sense. Brissett had the stronger arm and given the slim chance of winning the game on such a play, it didn't make sense to risk everything with someone returning from major shoulder surgery.Soon, the questions started popping up, too, and Luck attempted to put them to rest."I know I'm at a level where I can make all the throws and I feel confident that I'm going out there with my full arsenal," Luck said Wednesday. "I don't think anything is holding me back. But again you can always get better and I don't think I'm anywhere near scratching the surface of realizing my full potential."Clearly, this has not been the same Luck who started his career with three straight Pro Bowl appearances.His completion percentage (68.5) through three games would be a career best. His yardage and touchdowns are down slightly, while his interception rate continues to hover at about the same pace. He's been more efficient on third downs and maybe slightly less efficient in the red zone.All of those traits showed up in Sunday's loss at Super Bowl champion Philadelphia, where Luck went 25 of 40 and wound up with 164 yards — more than half of those yards coming on the final two series with Luck attempting to rally the Colts from a 20-16 deficit.Luck has thrown for fewer than 200 yards 15 times in 73 career starts, though it's only the fifth time he's failed to top 200 yards in consecutive games.Many wonder whether the changes are a result of Reich's offensive philosophy; limitations on Luck; a series of injuries to Indy's receiving corps and offensive line; a function of still getting acclimated to this new offense; or some combination."I feel free to call anything," he said. "There's no doubt there are times when you're going on the road and you're in a hostile environment, you might try to get it out early. But you can't stay in that mode. You can't play scared."The Colts (1-2) insist they're not playing it safe and point to downfield throws that have been made — just not always converted — including a 33-yard pass interference penalty on the Eagles that set up Indy's only touchdown at Philly.Playing two of three road games hasn't helped, nor has facing three solid pass-rushing teams with J.J. Watt, Jadeveon Clowney and winless Houston on deck.Indy could again be missing left tackle Anthony Castonzo Jack Doyle Jersey , who has yet to play because of an injured hamstring; Pro Bowl tight end Jack Doyle, one of Luck's favorite targets who missed last week's game with a hip injury; and likely right tackle Joe Haeg, expected to miss a couple of weeks after leaving last week's game with an injured left ankle.Even Luck showed up on Wednesday's injury report with a sore groin. But it didn't keep him out of practice.None of it has changed Indy's approach."We definitely want more chunk (plays) and we want to be able to — we do take what the defense gives us," offensive coordinator Nick Sirianni said. "If they are taking away our initial read and we want to push the ball down the field, we want to play smart football."Naturally, it was expected Luck would need some time to shake off the rust after missing 26 games over the previous three seasons. But if he and his receivers hooked up on a couple more plays, perhaps he wouldn't have to answer any questions."Honestly, I don't know if there's scrutiny or not," he said. "But I think we, as an offensive unit, we put a lot of pressure on ourselves to do well, and certainly in the last game we did not do well. The red zone sticks out in my mind more than anything."Notes: Running back Marlon Mack (hamstring) and defensive lineman Denico Autry (ankle) did limited work at Wednesday's practice. … Defensive linemen Tarell Basham (personal reason) and Hassan Ridgeway (calf) did not practice. Also sitting out were Castonzo, Doyle and Haeg, tight end Eric Ebron (shoulder and knee), safeties Malik Hooker (hip and groin) and Clayton Geathers (knee), and cornerback Quincy Wilson (concussion).Knee-Jerk Reactions: Colts drop opener to Bengals 34-23 After a strong first half showing, the Colts fell flat in the second half to drop their season opener. The nightmarish end to the game is a continuation of the blown first half leads from a season ago. This is something fans were expecting to change with Andrew Luck’s return. Don’t get me wrong Cheap Andrew Luck Jersey , this wasn’t exactly the same. Luck and the offense were moving the ball at will against the Bengals defense with just under a minute to play before Jack Doyle fumbled. Last year, fans felt defeated late in games and didn’t have a great deal of confidence that anything magical could happen. This time, fans trusted in Luck and the offense and one bad play ended that dream.The biggest reasons the Colts lost this game were players and position groups where Indianapolis had a great deal of strength entering the game. Safeties Malik Hooker and Clayton Geathers were assumed to be a big part of the new-look Colts defense. Instead, they blew coverage deep on A.J. Green that allowed a long touchdown reception. Geathers was whistled for a pass interference penalty that allowed the Bengals to continue a second half drive that led to a touchdown. Tight end Jack Doyle has become one of the most reliable and trusted targets in Indianapolis over the last few years. Luck targeted Doyle late in the fourth quarter as he was trying to drive down for the game winning touchdown. His pass was on target and Doyle had the yards he needed for another first down, all he needed to do was go down and allow the Colts to use one of their timeouts. Instead, Bengals safety Clayton Fejedelum put a hit directly on the ball and scooped it up for the game-sealing touchdown.In terms of pass rush, the Colts still struggled generating pressure off of the edges. Surprisingly, Al Woods and Margus Hunt were the most disruptive pieces on the defensive line. Coming into the game most would have expected bigger pressure from Jabaal Sheard and Denico Autry.Until the second half, the Colts offensive line did what they needed to do to keep Andrew Luck upright and stifle defensive end Carlos Dunlap. In the second half, Dunlap got going and put the offense into difficult situations, playing a major role in keeping Indianapolis off of the board in the fourth quarter.One aspect of the Colts defense that turned out about as fans might have expected is the run defense. The Bengals picked up over 100 yards on the ground and Joe Mixon was very effective rushing and in the passing game in the second half. This will be a work in progress and is one of the biggest issues when you rely so much on speed and give up size on the defensive side of the ball.A loss is always frustrating but there are some very positive indications for the team’s future and things to build upon. To start, this offense was very efficient. Frank Reich is going to utilize all of his weapons and it is clear that he has a ton of options. Nyheim Hines had a strong first outing after showing very little in the preseason. Jordan Wilkins continued to look good. Maybe even more encouraging is that Reich and Ballard gave the rookies a ton of opportunities and that can only be positive for their development. When Marlon Mack returns it should give them another weapon.While Andrew Luck took some hits and two sacks, we knew heading into the game that the Bengals defensive line would present a major challenge. Rookie guard Quenton Nelson did a very nice job keeping Geno Atkins in check throughout the game. Anthony Castonzo should return to the lineup within the next week or so and will certainly help solidify things on the left side. Joe Haeg played admirably overall and may get the nod at right tackle when Castonzo returns. Long-story short, this wasn’t a perfect effort and there was more pressure than we would have liked to see, but there are also signs that the line is better now than it was a year ago and should get better when key players get healthy.This defense is very fast. Darius Leonard looks natural as a starting linebacker in the NFL and was making plays all over the field. The secondary looked comfortable flying to the ball and made heads up plays, including a nice forced fumble by Matthias Farley — who arguably had the best game of any safety on the roster. There is no doubt that this defense will continue to make some exciting plays throughout the season and speed will often be the reason.Take away the big play at the end of the game and you would be excused if you felt like the team was far outperforming expectations. The offense showed some encouraging signs and the defense was better in the first half than anyone would have reasonably expected. This is a difficult loss to take early in the season with a tough early year slate ahead but there were also enough positive signs to suggest that the season isn’t lost. This team could still surprise a lot of people and a win next week could go a long way in helping to erase the disappointment fans are feeling this week.

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