The Indianapolis Colts were able to win a close one in their season opener by a score of 21-17 over the Oakland Raiders, and now the team needs to focus on fixing a few things before their Week 2 match-up against the Miami Dolphins.
Specifically, the Colts need to address the offensive line.
I was really impressed with the offensive line during the first two drives. Everything looked good. Andrew Luck had plenty of time to get the ball away, especially on the first drive. The running game was looking good as well, with Vick Ballard putting up a couple of nice runs.
After that, things got ugly. The running game seemed to stall, Luck was under constant pressure and the Raiders started making a comeback. Luck was sacked four times on the day, a number Colts fans were hoping would go down after the struggles of the 2012 season.
Luck made up for the offensive line's woes, however, going 10-for-11 with 100 yards and a touchdown when he was blitzed. He had a QB rating of 134.8 when blitzed, although he was sacked three times.
The inside of the line didn't look that good. Mike McGlynn didn't get beat as often in pass protection, but he was also getting a lot of help around him with double teams and things of that nature. Samson Satele had his struggles as well, while Donald Thomas looked to be doing a pretty good job overall on the other side.
Gosder Cherilus looked to be doing a pretty good job protecting Luck, but he struggled blocking on run plays. The Colts ran off of the right tackle eight times against the Raiders, and gained just 24 yards in the process.
On the other side, Anthony Castonzo looked bad.
Castonzo struggled protecting Luck's blindside and things were getting ugly as the game continued. I'm going to assume that this is due to the knee injury he's dealing with, but if things don't get better this could be a big problem.
I'm not really sure what to suggest in regards to improving the offensive line, but I would really like to see Hugh Thornton get a chance to start over McGlynn. He looked pretty good in training camp, and just as good during his limited time in preseason games. With how bad McGlynn was last year, this could actually be an upgrade.
Other than that, the Colts will just need to find ways to keep Luck upright for as long as possible. There are plenty of weapons on offense, Luck just needs time to get the ball in their hands.