There should be a recap available in the near future, so I wanted to give out my own way of reviewing today’s Colts loss against the Bears in report card style. There were things that went good at times, and there were things that went bad at times. As long as this team can correct those mistakes they made today, they should be competitive and not make today look like it did.
Passing Game: C
Andrew Luck had an up and down game for his first official NFL start. He had some good looking throws and he had some bad looking throws, hence the average grade of C for the passing game. He made his first NFL touchdown with a pass to Donnie Avery after the game looked to be getting away. There were three interceptions by Luck with those throws coming up short, so they were easy pickings for the secondary of the Chicago Bears. Luck had to attempt 45 passes, which is quite a bit more than I expected him to be throwing. But the Colts were down in this one by 20 at one point, so Luck had to throw. Hopefully the attempts will come down and Luck can make some better throws on the open receivers. I’m not going to downgrade this grade because of the two open drops by Donald Brown, but Brown needs to make those catches, especially since one could have continued a drive. Reggie Wayne helps bump up this grade as he made huge catches, and I know he’s going to be a great safety net for Andrew Luck.
Running Game: C-
I almost went with the D grade on this as Brown looked bad at times, but he only carried the ball nine times, so that’s not a lot of carries. On those 9 carries, he did get 48 yards, and averaged just around 5 yards a carry. I would think the offense would take that for a running back to get. But that offensive line looked good for a series or two, and looked really bad at times on the other series. Brown got some good runs when the line held it’s own, and he was able to make moves to get some yards. He picked up a touchdown on his own as well. But there’s work to be done with that line holding their own in the passing game and the running game. If those things shore up, hopefully Brown gets some more carries.
Passing Defense: C-
The Colts defense did get their first score thanks to an interception return, but after that, not much else good to say. Vontae Davis got burned on a huge play that lead to a score, and he’s supposed to be a good defensive player. The Colts didn’t put any pressure on Jay Cutler after those first few drives, and he looked like he had plenty of time to set and make the throw. When he made those throws, it looked like lightning coming out. 333 yards passing from Cutler with 119 of those yards made up by Brandon Marshall. Marshall looks to be that breakout receiver, everyone thinks he can be. The Colts have got to get pressure on the quarterback so their secondary isn’t chasing receivers all day.
Rushing Defense: C-
Matt Forte ran for 80 yards on 16 carries, which averages out to about 5 yards a carry. The Colts need to slow that area down a bit. But there weren’t any big rushing plays that came out, so the Colts were able to hold down Matt Forte. That line needs to step up and stop the line a little bit more as that 5 yards a carry is high.
Special Teams: C
There were two good plays by the special teams by guys running down and getting it way back in the Bears’ own territory. Devin Hester is a great returner, and he wasn’t able to do much, so that’s something. The return game of the Colts didn’t do much of anything, and even had a fumble caused by LaVon Brazill, but a middle of the road grade seems acceptable.
Overall Grade: C
Like I said earlier, there are correctable issues. This game almost felt like it should have been a bigger win by the Bears after some of the Colts’ mistakes. Andrew Luck got a learning experience in his first start with the interceptions and all the pressure on him. Both lines of the Colts have things to work on. Donald Brown better get to catching wide open passes. Reggie Wayne is the player of the game for me for the Colts as he had some great grabs, and was able to make Luck look good on his throws. Wayne had 9 receptions for 135 yards. Next week’s game against Minnesota could be a winnable one as they didn’t look very good today, but they end up with a win.