I'm going to say first that we looked great. However, I will say that frankly the Rams looked worse. Couple of notes
It's clear the Rams O line is terrible. They missed several key blocking assignments on running plays that just led to them getting totally stoned. Especially on Freeman's play at about 5 minutes left of the first quarter. Three linemen end up blocking Nevis when clearly two had it handled. Multiple times they pick up the wrong guy or are simply floating and not blocking. In pass defense they were slightly better but not great. Jerry Hughes had his first sack on a blown assignment and he basically ran right to the QB. If you watch it again he looks frankly surprised that nobody was there to get in his way .The second sack however he just pawned the RT. Nice job. To be honest, when their line actually got to their assignments we didn't beat them one on one as much as I would have expected. We blitzed well though. I thought the ILBs did a great job of causing some chaos. Also, if you missed it, Freeney has still got it. On a pair of rushes from the OLB position he ruins the childhood of the RT by bullrushing him 7 yards back before he ever even knew the play started.
Specific players I noticed:
Justin King - was giving way too much cushion and clearly was the target of the Rams. However, he was a stone cold tackler. Maybe some of the best tackling we've seen at the corner back position in a long time. He didn't miss a single one and most were one on one. Also he came up in run support twice and iced the play. If he can learn to cover tighter he may be a real asset.
Freeman - I'm just not sold. He looked very average. I thought Conner looked more active and was shooting his
gaps with more conviction and violence. I think he lacks a short distance burst that is going to be a real problem in
our division against the Cuban hit squad that are the running backs we face 6 times a year. I'll be watching him very
Oline- the second possession shows you the nightmare scenario for our line. Costanzo misreads his assignment and lets the OLB rush right passed him to put pressure on Luck on the first play. My guess is he thought the RB was on that side for help. Satele gets mauled on the first running play. Just driven back and ruined. Looked really bad in replay. On the third play the whole left side of the line gets driven back into Luck's lap. However, on the next few series you see the right side of the line hold up really well except for Justice's one holding call play. Satele is NASTY blocker when he's in form. He actually gets the jump on a DT at one point and drives him face down into the turf completely taking the guy out of the play. It was beautiful. Also when he's left free and off a fixed block he does a great job of pushing engaged D-linemen and getting them off balance. If he's consistent he's going to be a huge asset. Also, you can tell he really likes Luck. Gave him a headbutt right before the first play and right after the touchdowns. Like a big brother telling a little brother that "I got you man. They'll have to put me down before they ever get to you".
Wayne/Collie - looked like the professionals they are. Which is the best thing I could say about them. Ran crisp routes and apart from one drop were totally reliable.
Brazil - he's gotta make the team. Fast, shifty and gets open. He's THE insurance policy for Avery if/when he gets hurt.
Brown - yup. He looked like a first round pick. Faster and quicker than pretty much everybody on D. Had some great blitz pick ups. I would have liked to see more pure running from him but that'll come.
Ballard - who the hell said this guy is a power back? He looked AMAZING. Twitch quick and decisive. Also had some nice thump to him on contact. We should certainly give he more reps. I think the depth chart should be Brown-Ballard-Carter-Moore at this point.
Fleener/Allen - basically non factors in the game. Some good blocking here and there. Especially on the first play - BTW if you watch it again, every single player locks someone up with a block. Actually a perfect play. I think we'll see more of what these two have when Arians is ready to share.
Addison - you may not have seen but this guy was killin' it . Multiple pressures from the OLB position. He's a second year guy out of Troy. 6-3 257lbs. Solid sounding and solid looking. Had a spin move that was a 100% copy of Freeney. Looking forward to to seeing more of him.
Nevis - love this guy. High motor all the time. Always attacking. Almost never was taken out of a play. Usually holding his ground and causing trouble.
NT's - looked good. Held at the point of attack. Granted, none of them took on a double team particularly well but didn't appear to be a source of weakness. This is even given that Chapman isn't playing yet who I think will be the best of the bunch.
Back up QB's - both looked very good. However, they were facing the dregs and the defense was very vanilla.
Crosby/Evans - almost certainly going to get the cut first. Both are at positions we have depth at and both showed weakness where their competition did not.
Last but not least
Luck - HOLY F*ING SH*T. This is like drafting a guy in Madden and realizing he's like a 94 as a rookie. On the out route to Hilton, there was NOWHERE else to throw that ball at all. It was there or nowhere and he got it there. If you look at the angles again you realize the OLB had flattened out so he had to put a little air under it to get it over which is the only reason that Jenkins can even get close. If not for putting as much zip that ball is a pick 6 all day. His two throw aways were sack savers. Period. Most QB's don't learn how to do that till their 5 or 6th year. It'll keep him healthy and keep us in great field position. The TD to collie was perfect. Nothing more to say. To be fair the O-line murdered the D-line there. (A classic Satele raping). If he gets time, he will be like Peyton circa 2008 - lethal. To be fair, two of his balls on the third drive were about a foot higher than they should have been but they were still good throws. Secondly, he NEEDS TO PLANT HIS BACK LEG on his throws. He could be getting even that much more on the ball. It's almost crazy to even make these comments but I think we should all recognize that as good as what we saw is, he has room for improvement and the coaches should keep pushing him along.
To me, though great, this went as it should. We are a much better team and we showed it. Next week, is the real test. You better believe that every nasty ugly defensive package that every team made for Peyton is now going to be used on Luck. LeBeau is going to give him somethings to keep him up at night. The whole team is going to need to take a step up especially with Angerer out. If we can hang with the Steelers I think I will expect an 8-8 season.
GO COLTS!! NEVER BEEN PROUDER TO BE A FAN.