Each week, Zach Sears will dive deep into the Colts’ performance last week. For the first installment of the year, he looks at Indy’s 19-17 win over the Seahawks.
In Seattle, we witnessed the return of franchise quarterback Andrew Luck who hasn’t played an NFL game in 568 days. On August ninth, we all had the pleasure of watching his historic return to claim the NFL. Head Coach Frank Reich had told the media a couple days before the game that Andrew Luck would play the entire first quarter, Luck did that, and part of the second. In Lucks first two drives back, he threw for six completions in nine attempts throwing for 64 total yards. Sadly, there were no touchdowns thrown by Luck but both of his drives ended in three points which would later give the Colts the edge in their 19-17 win over the Hawks.
2017 season starting QB Jacoby Brissett had a drive where he threw for six completions in eight attempts for a total of 35 yards. 2017 practice squad player Philip Walker had the best day for the Colts QB’s as he threw for 88 yards and one touchdown, completing five out of his eight attempts. Former Lion Brad Kaaya had an atrocious game vs Seattle. Not only did he muff four snaps but he also made three completions in three attempts for just 24 yards. Yeah, if Kaaya doesn’t step up I wouldn’t be surprised if he isn’t on the team come week one of the regular season.
The Colts saw the debut of three running backs, rookies Nyheim Hines, Jordan Wilkins and 2017 free agent, Christine Michael. Besides the multiple muffed returns by Hines, we didn’t see too much from him as he only took three carries for seven yards. Second-year player Marlon Mack and veteran Robert Turbin had decent games as Mack only ran for nine yards in four attempts but made up for the lack of rushing yards in the passing game as he caught two passes for a combined 23 yards. Turbin, on the other hand, had a good return after a dislocated elbow injury in the 2017 season as he racked up 27 yards in six attempts.
Pro Bowl wide receiver T.Y. Hilton didn’t have much playing time and it shows as he had only one catch for eight yards. Chester Rogers, a possible wide receiver two, had two catches for 16 while K.J. Brent, who is trying to earn his keep, had the third most yards for receivers with 18 yards. Two others who are trying to make the team are Zach Pascal and Kasen Williams who both had over 30 receiving yards. Pascal had one catch for 32 yards while Williams had three catches for 64 yards and the only touchdown thrown by Philip Walker. There wasn’t much from the tight end group as they combined for 19 yards in two completions the entire day.
The Colts have been known for having a struggling offensive line, however, this season looks to be a promising one. 26-year-old guard Jack Mewhort retired earlier in the week which looks to not be a big deal moving forward this season. Rookie left guard had a great couple of drives providing great protection along with center Ryan Kelly. On the right side we saw free agent right tackle Austin Howard who looked shaky at times but had a couple bright spots and a combination at guards being Joe Haeg who was a starter at tackle for the Colts for the most of the 2017 season and 2nd round draft pick Braden Smith who both struggled most of their reps.
On the defensive side of the ball, cornerback Nate Hairston had the only interception of the game in the Seattle end zone while Skai Moore and Mathew Adams had a pass deflection each which is great to see with the new scheme and style of linebackers the Colts were looking for this past offseason. The average number of tackles for the defensive unit was about 2.5 tackles per player whereas there were only four total sacks, two of which were by Hassan Ridgeway, 1.5 from John Simon and .5 from former Raider Denice Autry. The defensive unit had a lot of strong moments but that came with a couple weak points mainly in the secondary.
The last part I want to dive into is special teams where 12 of the Colts’ 19 points came from. Veteran kicker and G.O.A.T Adam Vinatieri went 3/3 for nine points, his longest being for 51 yards. UDFA kicker Michael Badgley went 2/2 in his tries, one being a field goal and the other being the extra point for Philip Walker’s touchdown pass.