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Colts Offensive Line Among The NFL's Best

Intro: After an offseason full of questions, the Colts offensive line has had a very solid start to the 2014 campaign. Where does the Colts offensive line rank among the league’s top units?


INDIANAPOLIS – If you played a game of "fill in the blank" this offseason on the key to offensive success for the Colts in 2014, one answer was predictable.

The Colts offensive line must improve.

Could the Colts find the continuity needed among an offensive line that would be in charge of protecting a collection of elite skill players?

Those worried about this entering Training Camp didn't have their opinion change much upon the Colts leaving Anderson.

Who would be the Colts starting center with Khaled Holmes dealing with a high ankle sprain?

Was rookie Jack Mewhort ready to start despite missing valuable time during Training Camp?

Fast-forward to Week Four of the NFL season, and those questions have fallen to a murmur.

Instead, the talk is on how successful the Colts five-man offensive line has been in helping the Indianapolis offense rise to the upper echelon of several categories.

"Ton of pride in that room," Chuck Pagano says of the big men up front.

"We have great leadership in that room. AC (Anthony Castonzo) and Gos (Gosder Cherilus) are two pillar guys in that room. They do take a lot of pride in opening up holes for our runners, protecting our quarterback, keeping him upright and keeping him clean."

A black and white look at the Colts' sideline during the Jaguars game.

According to Pro Football Focus, the Colts currently have the best pass blocking line in the NFL.

Center A.Q. Shipley has proven to be much more than just a stop-gap guy in his three starts in the middle after the Colts signed him just a week prior to the season opener.

While keeping Luck off the turf has been the highlight for the unit, the Colts are also coming off their best consecutive rushing outputs in nearly a year.

"They've done a great job," No. 12 says of the five protecting him.

"We run the ball better every week I think. I think the continuity is helping and you can tell the guys are building each other up. They've done a heck of a job run blocking and pass blocking."

Whether it was the 169 rushing yards against Philadelphia and the no sacks allowed, or the 529 net yards of offense against Jacksonville (the highest for the Colts in nearly a decade) the Colts offense line is allowing the entire unit to flourish among the NFL's elite.

Reggie Wayne, the veteran of the Colts skill players, spoke very highly of the guys in the trenches on his weekly radio show.

For the Colts to be able to spread the ball around like they have lately, the five up front has been a sound, collective unit.

"They all have to work together for anything to happen on the plus side if you're running the ball or passing the ball, because it all starts with them anyways," Wayne says of the line. "The last couple of weeks, they've really been playing as a unit.

"It's to the point where as a receiver, you want to throw every time but you are kind of enjoying seeing them come together, even with all the injuries we've had and all the shuffling we've been doing, they've come together and put some good play out there. We've been running the ball pretty good and that's all you can ask for. Those guys are laying it on the line each week and hopefully we can keep going the right way."

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