INDIANAPOLIS – Each week, readers of Colts.com can submit their questions to have a chance of them being answered in our Wednesday or Saturday mailbag.
With the abundance of questions in recent weeks, we will have two mailbags each week. This one comes via a weekend edition (here's the Wednesday version from this week).
Here is this weekend's collection:
Chris A. (Charlotte, NC)
I see we sit on top of our division , not surprising. My concern is this, the first division games we win by 2 (Titans), 3(Jaguars), and 7 (Texans). Why aren't we putting these guys away in dominating fashion? If we are barely winning against our division opponents, howe can you expect to beat anyone outside our division? (Patriots, Panthers, etc)
Stephen D. (Louisiana)
did Andrew luck injure his shoulder early in the season or possibly during the preseason?
Bowen:* *Luck's injured shoulder came during the Titans game. If Luck was hindered at all before that, we would have seen his reps dwindle in Training Camp, the preseason or even the first few weeks of the season. Chuck Pagano said following the game on Thursday night that Luck is "really, really close" to returning to the field.
Craig V. (Des Moines, IA)
Is Frank Gore fumble-prone? He has lost fumbles twice in crucial situations on Colts' drives and each time it stopped a deep Colt drive! Maybe that is why the Colts were able to obtain him? Most of the time though he shows his abilities with long gainers!
Bowen:* *Following the Jaguars game, I was curious to look up Gore's numbers in holding onto the football. From afar, I have never looked at Gore as a "fumbler" during his time in San Francisco. The numbers back that up. Gore fumbled on around 1.5 percent of his touches in San Francisco. Going into Thursday night's game that number was around 3 percent in Indianapolis. Gore is definitely not a "fumbler." Colts.com will have more from Gore on Monday, where the 11-year vet opens up on him admitting to be pressing earlier this season.
Matt T. (Savannah, GA)
If we are having so many problems with our pass protection, why don't we go to a hurry up offense early? Put points on the board and then we will be able to set the tone. We could put the game in Gores hands and let him run the clock down. I feel like we have it reversed. Run early, play from behind, then hurry up offense to pull of a comeback. Your thoughts Kevin?
Bowen:* *Matt, to be fair you sent in this question before the game on Thursday night. I think you saw in the Houston matchup the type of offensive game plan the Colts have had success in. Getting the ball out in an efficient manner was a staple of Hasselbeck's work the past two weeks. The Colts saw offensive balance, took an early lead and the offensive line play was tremendous in keeping the 40-year old Hasselbeck clean. I see this continuing when Andrew Luck returns. That doesn't mean the Colts are going to eliminate their looks at hitting on big plays. The speed of T.Y. Hilton, Donte Moncrief and Phillip Dorsett is too immense to ignore deep balls throughout the course of a game.
Stan C. (Minneapolis)
Hey Kevin, thanks as always for your insights. Another contract negotiation question for you.
Once again, Allen has shown an inability to remain healthy. He has a ton of potential when healthy, but it's gotten to Vick Ballard-levels of unfortunate injury woes. The Colts would love to keep both him and Fleener, but contracts for Castonzo, Hilton, and Luck are going to make things right. And that's excluding the seemingly inevitable Ryan Grigson FA binge, with concerns (still, even coming into Luck's 4th season) remaining at the OL, secondary, and linebacker groups.
With Allen's continued inability to remain healthy, what do you think are the odds that his price point will fall to the range that the team will be comfortable keeping both tight ends on the roster moving forward?
Bowen: Stan, this is a question so many Colts fans have on their minds and one that will be asked several times between now and March. You covered things pretty well with your general overview of upcoming contracts. The debate over Fleener and Allen (if the Colts don't have the room to keep both) will come down to the rare pass catching/availability of Fleener versus the versatility/unpredictability Allen provides the Colts offense. This question doesn't have an answer right now. Allen showed Thursday night in Houston why his value is so immense to this offense. Against the Jaguars, Fleener's career-day was necessary. This will be one of the biggest questions Ryan Grigson and his personnel department will face in the offseason. Ideally, you would keep both, but that asking price might be too high
Isadore B. (Orangeburg, SC)
What is the latest on Bradshaw?
Bowen:* *The Bradshaw front has been quiet after he was at the Colts Complex on Tuesday. If there is move coming on Bradshaw, I would expect it this weekend. The Colts were in a serious roster numbers crunch last week due to the injuries and a Thursday game. Indianapolis always speaks very, very highly of Bradshaw. We will see if something develops over the weekend into a potential roster spot.
Bob V. (Bedford, TX)
The last two weeks Vontae Davis never is looking back to find the ball and seems to be chasing the recievers all the time. Is he hurt and why does Greg toler always give the recievers a 5-8 yard spread.just concerned about r two db's
Bowen:* *Davis is dealing with a foot injury that had him in a boot earlier this week. He did not practice all week but the Colts obviously needed him with how incredible the attrition has been at cornerback this season. As far as the defensive schemes for the secondary, I think you will see that group settle into the system now that they have the healthy trio in tact for the first time. The trio of Davis, Toler and Darius Butler is obviously going to have to play very, very well when the Patriots arrive next Sunday.
WT. F (Indianapolis)
How can I express my appreciation to the man who sang the national anthem prior to the Titans game on 10/4?
His was the BEST rendition of the anthem I have heard in Indianapolis. Ever.
I've been a season ticket-holder since the Colts came to Indy, a Pacers season ticket holder for many years, plus countless Indy 500's, Indians games, etc etc, and I have never heard as beautiful a rendition of the anthem as that.
I would like to express my appreciation to the gentleman.
Bowen:* *I'll let the appreciation sit right there, WT. For those that missed the National Anthem against the Jaguars, here's the performance.
David B. (Clearwater, FL)
"Guess we will never know" Those 5 words closed every good or bad call made in the NFL, before "Instant re-play" arrived. If u did not see a play twice it was lost for-ever and quickly forgotten and the game moved on. I miss those days. So many changes, so quickly. Like to hear your take on the subject. TY Throw back Dave.
Bowen:* *In this day and age of the NFL, every play is scrutinized from so many angles, within the game itself and of course, the days after the game. That's just how life is in the NFL. Will we ever get to a point where every play has the ability to be "reviewed"? I'm sure a lot of that will depend on how long the NFL wants actual games to last.
Ellen B. (Indianapolis)
The answer to the last question is that the players are wearing compression sleeves. Endurance athletes wear them to speed recovery. In a grueling season like the NFL (and NBA) look for players to wear these to help them recover faster. As we age, recovery takes longer and longer, this you'll see a lot of guys out there noting the advantages of these garments.
Bowen: Here is our answer to the "elastic band" question from last week.