A Tale of The Tape, Week 2: The Offensive Line

Hello again, Stampede Blue! Welcome to the second installment of my film review series over the Colts' starting offensive line! I was thrilled with all of the positive feedback my initial article received, and I am stoked to make this into a weekly endeavor!

For those unfamiliar with my grading system, here is how it works. Each play, I slow down the tape in order to evaluate each starting lineman, giving him a positive (+) grade if he successfully completed his task, or a negative (-) grade if he failed to do so. In order to give a final grade, the total number of (+) snaps is divided by the total number of plays. However, there are instances that I give an "asterisk" grade for any of three reasons:

- The lineman 'technically' completed his task, but he could have done so better.

- I, as an evaluator, failed to make a decision as to whether the grade was positive or negative.

- The lineman started the play well and ended badly or vice versa.

If an asterisk grade is received, the play is disregarded from a player's final grade, as to avoid it affecting him positively or negatively.

There were 30 offensive snaps for the starting offensive line against the Giants. However, due to asterisks, no lineman is graded out of more than 26. Let's get started with Anthony Castonzo!

(Each final grade is based on a 99-90: A, 89-80: B, 79-70: C, 69-60: D, 60-0: F scale).

Anthony Castonzo

Let me just begin by saying, "Wow!" That is exactly how I felt when grading the starting left tackle this time around. He did almost everything right. Castonzo got off the ball well, got into his pass sets, punched and latched well, and truly moved some people in the running game. I try to avoid totaling up my grades as I am watching the film, in order to avoid bias. However, I knew that when I figured Castonzo's grade it would be good; I just didn't know how good it would be. He played unbelievably well and is deserving of the grade he received.

Final Grade: 21/22, 95%, A

Donald Thomas

Donald Thomas is a player that is very good at some aspects of the game and very bad at others. In this particular game, he was very effective when coming off the ball in the running game and driving his man out of the hole. Also, his ability to find a defender when pulling is excellent. The problem is in the passing game. In pass sets, he often loses his balance and is overpowered by strong defensive tackles. And seriously, the Colts have got to stop using Thomas in space on screens; he just isn't agile enough at it. Donald Thomas also received an extra negative on his grade due to a false start penalty.

Final Grade: 18/23, 78%, C+

Samson Satele

This grade may not be very accurate for two reasons. First, he was taken out of the game after 21 snaps in favor of Thomas Austin. I am not sure if this was an injury or some other miscellaneous reason, but it limited his snap count. Second, he was "Mr. Asterisk" in this game. Out of his 21 plays, he finished with 12 asterisks. This was due to the fact that Satele, on most plays, really had little no impact, positive or negative. I can say that he looked very good in the running game, as he usually does.

Final Grade: 7/9, 78%, C+

Mike McGlynn

Talk about regression to the mean. For those of you who read my last article, I gave McGlynn an 85% B. His play was very different in this game. In his pass sets, he was effectively bull rushed a couple of times and gave up a pressure off of a swim move. He just simply looked like he lacked the agility necessary to play in this game. In the running game, he was usually pretty ineffective, but he also wasn't really a liability. The reason McGlynn tends to be the whipping boy for the fans, I have noticed, is that when he makes a bad play, it is horrendously awful. Here's to hoping he improves against the Browns.

Final Grade: 13/22, 59%, F

Gosder Cherilus

I am unsure whether I should be happy for or disappointed in Gosder Cherilus. There is definitely plenty to like about him. Cherilus is big, strong, fluid, and remarkably athletic. In the game against the Giants, he managed to latch onto and contain most of the assignments he drew when in pass protection. He also is very good at creating a pocket for the quarterback to step up into. As a run blocker, Cherilus gives very good effort almost every play. There are some concerns, though. He seemed to have a difficult time hearing the snap and getting into his stance on most plays. Also, Cherilus seems to lose match-ups when the defender uses his counter (second) move. Overall, he had a better game than last week, but he still should be better for the contract he is being paid.

Final Grade: 20/26, 77%, C+

Other Notes:

- Vick Ballard bailed the Colts out more than once in pass protection.

- Stanley Havili can hit someone with authority, both in the passing game and the running game.

- Our backs this game seemed to have the "Joseph Addai dance-in-the-backfield, indecisiveness" thing going on, and many of the short gains were their fault, not the offensive line's.

- Luck makes up for so many deficiencies that I am not that concerned about pass protection as a whole.

Well, that's all I have for now. Thank you so much for reading, and feel free to comment! I'll be back with more next week.

This is a FanPost and does not necessarily reflect the views of Stampede Blue's writers or editors. It does reflect the views of this particular fan though, which is as important as the views of Stampede Blue's writers or editors.

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