The offensive line is still a question mark
All offseason, the offensive line has been a cause for concern for many Colts fans, and understandably so. And then last week, in the preseason opener against the Eagles, the unit gave reason for hope by holding up well in pass protection (even though they didn't look good in run blocking). That hope came crashing down from the very start of Saturday's game. On the second play from scrimmage for the Colts, right tackle Jack Mewhort was beat inside and Andrew Luck was sacked. From there, the pressured continued - whether it was Mewhort getting beat again (on the next play, no less) or the pressure coming from up the middle of Anthony Castonzo getting beat by Jared Allen, Luck was hit and pressured too much in his limited work. Jack Mewhort in particular struggled at right tackle, and the Colts quite simply need to protect their quarterback better. Hopefully this was more of an aberration than anything else, but it still brings the concerns flooding back to the surface of fans' minds. Add to that the fact that it appeared as if the starting center, Khaled Holmes, was benched and the questions just continue to add up for this unit. Instead of having more answers about the line through the first two preseason games, I think we might have more questions.
David Parry might be the best nose tackle on the team
From the moment the Colts drafted David Parry out of Stanford in the fifth round, many (including myself) were very excited to see what he could do. The Colts gave him quite a bit of playing time at nose tackle last week with the second and third teams, and he looked great. Good enough, in fact, that he worked with the first team a lot this week in practice. Sure enough, Parry received reps with the first team defense tonight, and he continued to impress. Sure, there were times that he didn't have much of an impact (mainly against double teams), but he still showed something pretty clearly: he looks like the best nose tackle on the roster. Josh Chapman has been inconsistent at best during his tenure with the Colts, and while he could still have value as a situational player, the Colts need an answer at nose tackle. Is David Parry that answer? I don't know. But from what we've seen so far in preseason, I think it'd be hard to argue that he's not the best option at nose tackle on the roster right now.
The starters look solid… but not the depth
Here's the good news: the Colts led 11-9 at halftime, which is much more indicative of how each team's starters played than the 23-11 final score. Taking the three drives that the starting offense and defense played, the Colts outscored the Bears 8-6 and outgained the Bears 103 to 63. The Colts averaged 6.1 yards per play, while they allowed just 3.2 yards per play. The defense allowed just 2.7 yards per rush - and that's including a 13-yard scramble by quarterback Jay Cutler. Of course, much of the Colts' offensive output came on just one drive, but it was still a nine-play, 89-yard drive - nothing to complain about. My point is this: I actually thought that the Colts starters played pretty well overall on Saturday night. There were issues here or there - like the offensive line - but when looking at the whole picture, they did a solid job. It was the depth that didn't, and we saw for the second straight game that the depth for the Colts isn't very good. It starts with the backup quarterbacks, who were awful, and extends elsewhere, both on the offensive and defensive side of the football. This team might not be too deep, but at least when the starters were in they played well.