Indianapolis Colts quarterback Andrew Luck (12) throws a pass during the fourth quarter against the Miami Dolphins at Lucas Oil Stadium. The Dolphins won 24-20. Mandatory Credit: Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports

Indianapolis Colts Week 2 Five in Review

The Indianapolis Colts lost a close one on Sunday to the Miami Dolphins 24-20, and here is a closer look at five performances from the game. Two of them are of the good variety, while the other three were of the not-so-good kind.

1. QB Andrew Luck

I think the world of Andrew Luck, but he didn’t have one of his finer performances against the Miami Dolphins. He looked OK overall, but it was a mediocre game from Luck and not the kind of performance I expected against the Dolphins. While Brent Grimes and Reshad Jones are two excellent player, the Dolphins don’t have much depth in the secondary and Luck was unable to take advantage. He faced way too much pressure up the middle, but his tackles did a good job of keeping some great pass rushers at bay. Luck finished with a QB Rating under 80 and while he wasn’t bad, I expect a lot more out of a high-level QB like Luck.

2. The tackles

I came into the game thinking that Anthony Castonzo was going to be in for a rough day against underrated Dolphins DE Olivier Vernon, but he did an excellent job keeping Vernon at bay. Castonzo played a phenomenal game, and the Indianapolis Colts will be hoping for more of that out of their left tackle going forward. Cameron Wake is one of the toughest matchups in the NFL, and it goes beyond just how great Wake is. The Dolphins play Wake at left defensive end, which means that he goes up against the opponent’s right tackle. What that means is he’s usually going up against the opposition’s tackle who isn’t as adept in pass pro, leading to more mis-matches. Gosder Cherilus is a pretty darn good RT (as shown by the amount of money the Colts gave him this offseason), and he didn’t disappoint. It’s not easy to essentially take Wake completely out of the game, but that’s exactly what Cherilus was able to do.

3. The interior

You can justify some of Luck’s struggles by making note of where the pressure came from. Although the Dolphins were surprisingly unable to get much going with Vernon and Wake on the outside, they were able to consistently put Luck under duress up the middle. Interior pressure is tougher on quarterbacks than pressure off of the edges, and I think Sunday’s game was a good refresher course on that. Randy Starks and Paul Soliai compose one of the best defensive tackle duos in the NFL, and both veteran players were at their finest on Sunday. Starks, especially, was a disruptive force, and they both consistently got pressure on Luck.

One of the main reasons why things fell apart so badly on the inside was the injury to Donald Thomas, and this is an absolutely devastating blow that deserves more attention nationally. Thomas is one of the most underrated guards in the game, and he should have started over Dan Connolly for the New England Patriots last season. He deserved every penny the Indianapolis Colts gave him this offseason, and it’s a crying shame that a quadriceps tear will end his season. This put Hugh Thornton in the game for Thomas, and there was an immediate drop-off. It’s sad when Samson Satele is the best interior OL on your team, and the Colts definitely have issues there.

4. WR T.Y. Hilton

The Miami Dolphins have depth issues at corner, and that’s why I had playmaking WR T.Y. Hilton tabbed for a big game against the ‘Fins. Hilton delivered, and he absolutely exploded for 124 yards and six receptions. That’s an average of over 20 yards per catch, and Hilton certainly showed some big-play ability and once burned the Dolphins defense for a 47-yard gain. Hilton only caught 50% of his passes, but that definitely doesn’t matter with the yardage he piled up.

5. CB Greg Toler

Greg Toler was a solid offseason signing at corner following his release from the Arizona Cardinals, but he didn’t play a good game against the Dolphins at all. Mike Wallace had a real coming-out party on Sunday, and the big-money free agent wideout exploded with nine receptions for 115 yards on a touchdown on 11 targets. That’s an incredible performance, and most of that production from Wallace came against Toler, who allowed Wallace’s 18-yard TD and his big 34-yard reception. Toler just needs to shake things off at this point, because he did play well in Week 1. That was a much easier matchup, of course, but Toler is a good starting corner and was simply the victim of a huge outburst by a high-upside wide receiver.

You can follow Joe Soriano on Twitter for more NFL updates and analysis @SorianoJoe. Be sure to like us on Facebook here and follow our site on Twitter as well.

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Tags: Andrew Luck Anthony Castonzo Cameron Wake Donald Thomas Gosder Cherilus Greg Toler Indianapolis Colts Mike Wallace Olivier Vernon Randy Starks Samson Satele T.Y. Hilton

  • Donald Ray Andry

    Good article, your assessment of the Colts was very creditable. I had trouble watching this game thru the shadows in the stadium. I think the refs did too. A lot of grabbing and pulling to the turf went no-call. I get disjointed over the opponents oline tackling our defensive players. At times I thought the play was quite rough. Very impressed with Miami and Tannehill. I feel the Colts made a huge mistake trading Rayford and cutting Marshay Green. Nevis was grabbed off waivers quickly also. Arizona rooster looks like Colts from last year(9). With these injuries, Colts are in a pickle. Conservative play calling hurt more than Miami’s pressure and coverage. Don’t want to beat yourself….BUT. To disarm the troops in the heat of battle spells defeat. hopefully someone will suck it up and get some guts and b… and make the necessary calls on offense.

    • Joe Soriano

      Thanks, Donald, this is why I always love talking to Colts fans; you guys are always kind. Arians brought a lot of his guys from Indy to Arizona. Btw, interesting that you point to the play-calling, because I actually thought they took a lot of shots deep down the field and had 20 more passing plays. But those numbers don’t necessarily tell the whole story, and I wonder just how important Arians’s scheme was to the Colts success as a passing offense. Is that the case here?

      My biggest worry with the Colts has always been consistency on defense, and games like this remind me that this secondary will have a couple of games where things break down a bit. Btw, Robert Mathis was terrific.

  • Donald Ray Andry

    Hey Joe, hope Arians works his magic with the Cards like he did here under less than desirable circumstances. Our defensive secondary is always under the gun .seems our interior line on ‘d’ is weak. No push or flushing the QB out of his comfort zone. Pryor is dangerous. Big, strong, fast……..more experienced than recorded by media. Tannehill stayed in the pocket. Sacked three times but, seldom pressured otherwise. Using our LB’s puts even more pressure on our DB’s so it seemed the coaches chose to play it conservative so Miami ran the ball!!! Weak running game? I don’t think so. It worked for a win. One thing, why wouldn’t Brown on the last play, break to his left when Wheeler got around him? He is great in the open field. Look at very first play from scrimmage last year……Luck’s very first pass. Nearly an 80 yard TD pass on a broken play. To Mr. Brown. I feel Arians had a presence about himself that allowed the guys to think/react as a player with trust from the coach. These guys would take on Goliath for him. Lot of incidentals in life that there are no graphs for or that can be explained to our satisfaction. The X factor is alive and if I was Pep I’d dial it up.