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Offensive Burning Questions after two months of the Regular Season

Posted Oct 28, 2013

Intro: With the Colts regular season now reaching the halfway point, here is a look at some burning questions at the offensive position groups. Check back to Colts.com tomorrow for some questions on the defense/special teams.



INDIANAPOLIS –The Colts bye week fell after game number seven of a 16-game regular season schedule.

It’s never a dull moment for the Colts offense in 2013 with the group ranking near the top of the league in several categories despite losing five players to season ending injuries.

Here’s a look at some burning questions at each offensive positional group after two months…

How will the loss of Reggie Wayne impact Andrew Luck’s play? Luck’s 2013 numbers continue to follow the preseason expectations for the second-year quarterback.

He’s on pace for right around 3,500 passing yards and while his touchdown numbers are similar to last year, he has thrown just three interceptions in 2013 (had 18 in 2012).

The final nine games for Luck will come without his “security blanket” in Reggie Wayne.

On third-down conversions this season, Wayne had double the conversions of any other Colts receiving target so Luck will have to look elsewhere to keep drives alive.

Luck continues to use his legs at critical times as he’s converted all seven third-down rushing attempts into first downs this season.

Is a breakout game for Trent Richardson on the horizon?


The Colts rushing attack is sixth in the NFL averaging 4.6 yards per carry.

Thanks to an offensive line that has held the same starting five for the last three weeks, the Colts have had success on the ground against some of the league’s best defenses.

Trent Richardson (75 carries for 228 yards) is still looking for a breakout game with the Colts and without Wayne, the new Colts running back should see even more attention from opposing defenses.

In short yardage situations, Richardson has been particularly effective and position coach David Walker said he’s very pleased with the progress Richardson has made in his month in Indianapolis.

Donald Brown continues to impact the game in several ways and he’s averaging 5.9 yards per carry.

How do the Colts receivers make up for the production of Reggie Wayne?
It’s going to take a collective group to replace a player that has a Canton type resume.

T.Y. Hilton and Darrius Heyward-Bey have the speed to change a game with the ball in their hands and now they both must become consistent threats on all downs.



What happens at the rest of the receiver position remains to be seen.

Can LaVon Brazill (no catches in 2013) show the flashes of his rookie season and be another big-play option with Hilton and DHB?

Will Griff Whalen, who was just signed to the 53-man roster, become the player that he was throughout a majority of training camp/preseason?

Will Coby Fleener see his targets increase without Wayne? 
First, it was the Dwayne Allen injury and now it’s Wayne’s absence that puts a larger burden on Fleener.

In his second season, Fleener has caught 22 passes for 235 yards and two touchdowns (had 26 for 281 yards and two touchdowns in 2012).

With attention from opposing defenses now turning towards Hilton and DHB, Fleener should have more options to make plays down the middle of the field.

Currently, the Colts have just two tight ends on the roster with Indianapolis native Jack Doyle catching his first NFL pass against Denver.

How’s the depth along the Colts offensive line?
The Colts offensive line has three straight weeks of starting continuity in its starting five.

Bookend tackles Anthony Castonzo and Gosder Cherilus continue to play very well in keeping Andrew Luck upright.

Luck has been sacked 15 times in 2013, on pace to be well under the 41 number last season.

Rookie Hugh Thornton (four starts at left guard) has shown the “mauler” mentality that Chuck Pagano and Ryan Grigson alluded to following the NFL Draft.

The next step for the offensive line is continuing to remain among the league’s top rushing attacks while springing Trent Richardson for a few long gains.

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