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NFL Power Rankings: Colts generated mixed reactions through week three

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Indianapolis Colts v Philadelphia Eagles Photo by Elsa/Getty Images

Through 3 weeks, no one knows quite what to make of the Indianapolis Colts. Is their defense any good? Is the offense incredibly innovative or dreadfully boring? Is Andrew Luck back to normal or facing the prospect of being Checkdown Chad Pennington for the rest of his career?

All these questions are being bandied about, and the power rankings this week reflect that uncertainty. The Colts have hung in there with 3 very good teams and beaten one of them. They’ve faced two straight road games and gave the defending Super Bowl Champs all they could handle. If the officials had paid more attention, the Colts might have just shocked the league and pulled out a win.

Regardless, we shouldn’t expect a lot of movement until the Colts stop “looking promising” and start winning football games. Once that happens, the arrow is likely to point up on this Colts team, and they are entering a pretty favorable stretch of schedule.

With that said, let’s take a look at what people are saying about this team around the NFL.’s Elliot Harrison has the Colts dropping four spots to 26th.

The plucky Colts hung tough in Philly, two weeks after doing the same against the Bengals and a week after delivering an unexpected win in Washington. The movie logline of the 20-16 loss in Philadelphia: A frisky football team enters a hostile stadium with high hopes, only to see its dreams derailed by red-zone futility. Or something like that. Indy kept finding its way inside the Eagles’ 20, yet three times, the Colts came away without a touchdown -- and on another, no points at all. By the way, “finding its way” might not carry the kind of action you would expect in sports writing, especially about offense. Although considering the Colts couldn’t generate any Sunday (209 yards total), how they stumbled that deep into Philadelphia’s side of the field almost defies logic.

ESPN has the Colts up one spot to 24th.

The Colts still don’t seem to trust Andrew Luck’s ability to throw the deep ball, as evident in their decision to have Jacoby Brissett attempt the Hail Mary on the final play in Week 3. Luck is averaging just 5.4 air yards per attempt this season, the shortest average pass in the league.

Frank Schwab of Yahoo! Sports has the Colts holding at 21st.

I’ll give Frank Reich and his staff a lot of credit. The Colts are playing very well, despite their 1-2 record. You get the feeling that staff is getting the most out of the talent on hand. Don’t forget that Reich is a rookie head coach and his offensive, defensive and special teams coordinators were never NFL coordinators before this season.

USA Today’s Nate Davis has the Colts ranked 15th.

Andrew Luck on pace to become next Chad Pennington given inability to strike deep like he used to. (Hoping this is worst projection of all.)

Bleacher Report has the Colts down two spots to 22.

The good news for the Indianapolis Colts is the team has had a second-half lead in all three games this season. The bad news is that twice—including Sunday in Philadelphia—the Colts haven’t been able to hold that lead.

Frankly, the Colts were fortunate to have ever had the lead against the Eagles. Indy’s offense was downright offensive, gaining a measly 209 total yards. Quarterback Andrew Luck continued to struggle moving the ball downfield, averaging just 4.1 yards an attempt.

The most damning indictment of Luck came on the final play of the game, when the Colts brought Jacoby Brissett in off the bench to attempt a Hail Mary. After topping 300 passing yards in Week 1, Luck has just 343 over his last two games combined. Sunday also marked the second straight week the Colts failed to amass 300 yards of total offense.

That’s not going to get it done.