The good, bad, the ugly, and the pretty was evident from the Indianapolis Colts’ visit to Foxborough.
Here’s the Week 5 report card from both sides of the field:
Andrew Luck and Passing Offense: B+
Whenever Andrew Luck is on the field, the Colts offense — although lacking healthy weapons — is always alive and ready to put up points. With critics still critiquing the shoulder strength of No. 12, Luck’s final stat-line included 38 completions for 365 yards and three touchdowns. While his arm strength continues to be the No. 1 story each week, Luck is proving each game that passes that he’s still the quarterback we saw from 2012-16.
Without Luck, the Colts wouldn’t have cut a 21-point deficit to just seven in the third quarter. On the flip side, you could argue without Eric Ebron on the field the Colts offense could’ve had little to no life as well. Ebron hauled in nine catches for 105 yards and a pair of touchdowns, and the former top-10 pick proved he can be a No. 1 option if needed, and it was needed with Marlon Mack, T.Y. Hilton, and Jack Doyle out with injuries.
Moving forward, Frank Reich should continue to find a way to exploit defenses with his talented tight end group, and with Hilton coming back that should give that exploitation a boost.
The grade for the passing could’ve been an A+ if Luck’s receivers could find a way to hold onto the ball. Altogether, the Colts ended up with six drops against the Patriots. A week ago, the offense had six as well. It’s a cause for concern, and the receivers need to be better moving forward.
“It’s concentration,” coach Frank Reich said after the game. “The guys we have, I know they have good hands. I mean, I see them everyday in practice. We don’t have any guys that don’t have good hands, they all have good hands. It’s just a matter of concentration.”
The reason why this grade isn’t a D, or an F for that matter, is because of the fact this unit is dealing with numerous amount of injuries on a short week of rest, and several of those occurred during the game itself.
One play that stood out in particular came during the second half when the Colts desperately needed an answer on defense. Tom Brady, with a lot of time to maneuver around the pocket, launched a ball into the arms of a double-covered Josh Gordon.
The pass could’ve been, and should’ve been for that matter, intercepted and given back to the Colts with plenty of momentum. Instead, Chris Milton used poor judgment on the ball and it ultimately put the game out of hand. The defense has been known as a “bend but don’t break” unit. That was a point in the game where the Colts couldn’t afford to break.