Well that was heartbreaking.
A day after I watched Iowa State get completely bulldozed by Iowa, I had my heart get ripped out by the Colts in Week 1. How nice.
This game came with plenty of negatives, but also some positives for the team as well in the loss to the Lions. As heartbreaking as it was, it could be worse. We could all be Oklahoma State or New Orleans Saints fans. Right?
Let's get to the awards.
MVP - Andrew Luck
Was this even a question? With the exception of the first quarter where the play-calling left something to be desired (I thought) Luck was on fire all game. Throwing for 385 yards and four scores, Luck announced that he had returned to form. I would go so far as to say we haven't seen this version of Luck since the playoff win over Denver.
If Luck continues playing like this (read: like himself) this Colts offense is going to score lots of points. Lots.
Forgotten Stat Award - Frank Gore
I think a lot of people missed it in the comeback, the poor defense, and Luck's stats, but Frank Gore had a very good game.
After a slow start where the Colts playcalling was reminiscent of last year with Matt Hasselbeck, Gore made the most of his carries. Once Luck's passing game started to open up the defense, Gore was consistently finding success on the ground. In fact, Gore finished with 59 rushing yards and tallied about 4.2 yards per carry while doing it. Not bad at all.
Worth noting that Gore also had 19 receiving yards on two catches. The running back also gained a lot of key yards on the Colts final drive against a solid Lions defensive front.
Coby Fleener Who? Award - Jack Doyle
After an off-season of my complaining about the loss of Fleener every chance I could get, I loved seeing Doyle step up as the number two tight end. In a weird way, I think in this game Doyle was the tight end the Colts hoped Fleener would be. A big, reliable red zone target.
Doyle only had three catches, but two were touchdowns, and another was a huge play over the middle. If Doyle can continue this solid play, and Allen continues to stay healthy and contribute as a bigger play tight end; we might finally see the unit used the way we all hoped back when the Colts drafted Allen and Fleener.
Protector Award - Offensive Line
Guys, the offensive line was pretty darn good yesterday. I know the Lions didn't have the most intimidating pass rush, but their unit is far from bad. Luck had ample time to throw, and when pressure did come, he had room to create on the run. He wasn't swarmed by the defense on a constant basis like last year.
Yes, Luck took sacks, but both were early in the game. Almost any time the line isn't mentioned in the game it's a good thing, and the line was barely mentioned yesterday.
Darren Sproles Award - Theo Riddick
Wow. Riddick absolutely abused the Colts defense. He made big plays for the Lions all day. It isn't a coincidence that the Lions attack slowed down when Riddick went to the locker room. When he came back, the Lions moved the ball with ease on offense. The defense couldn't tackle Riddick at all, especially on the screen play.
LVP - Defense
That was bad. I could rant and rant about this, but I'll refrain. It was bad. Any time your QB throws for nearly 400 yards and four touchdowns and you don't win, there's a problem. And yes, health is a HUGE concern for the defense (secondary) right now, I get it. But should you be giving up 37 (those last two points don't count) to the Lions sans Calvin Johnson? No. No you shouldn't.
It sucked, but the Colts are 0-1 yet again under Chuck Pagano. Something tells me this season will be reminiscent of the 2004 season. You're gonna need about 35-40 points to win each game.
Next up, as you're all keenly aware, are the Denver Broncos. The Broncos came away with, what I thought, was a stunning Week 1 win over the Panthers. The Colts have found lots of success against the Broncos in the Andrew Luck era, so let's hope that continues this Sunday.