Colts owner Jim Irsay demanded it, and Colts owner Jim Irsay got it.
Review of the game film from Sunday’s loss to the Dolphins shows that the Colts did a better job of protecting quarterback Andrew Luck than in Week One against the Raiders. While Luck’s mobility went a long way toward helping him avoid hits and sacks when protection broke down, the blocking schemes generally fared well against one of the fiercest pass rushes in the NFL.
In the first half, Luck was sacked once (resulting in a fumble the Colts recovered) and hit once. In the third quarter, Luck was hit only once without being sacked.
In the final quarter, specifically as the Colts were trying to erase a four-point deficit, Luck was sacked twice and hit four other times.
That’s the development that should give the Colts the greatest amount of concern. Despite neutralizing the Miami defensive line for most of the day, the protection fell apart as the Colts were trying to help Luck author yet another come-from-behind win.
And it’s not just on the blockers. Luck at times lingered in the pocket, at times stepping up to throw or, eventually, to scramble. He has the legs to run away from pressure and extend the plays laterally, which could have helped extend some of the plays and given him a chance to find a receiver.
In all, it was a good showing. But the Colts couldn’t keep it up when it counted most, and it’s one of the main reasons they’re now 1-1 instead of 2-0.
It won’t get any easier to climb to 2-1 when the Colts face the 49ers on Sunday.