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Colts Offensive Success Comes Against League's Top Defense, In Most Hectic Week Of 2015

Intro: takes a look at why the Colts offense had so much success on Sunday against Denver and what the offensive operation looked like with Rob Chudzinski calling the shots.


INDIANAPOLIS – The voice in Andrew Luck's ear on Sunday afternoon was not Rob Chudzinski.

Yes, Chud was calling the shots in the Colts' finest offensive performance of 2015.

However, with Chud wanting to stay up in the press box despite his added game-day responsibilities, quarterbacks coach Clyde Christensen had to be the intermediary in relaying the play call to the ear of Luck (NFL rules mandate the ear piece for the quarterback has to come from the sideline, not the booth).

It was another wrinkle in a week, and game day, like nothing the Colts have faced in the Chuck Pagano era.

After 60 minutes of football, the transition was virtually seamless and the play was dominant.

The game plan on Sunday was simplified for a Colts offense coming off a short week and dealing with a change at the play calling position.

Chuck Pagano didn't want his players cramming leading into Sunday when already faced with the task of the league's No. 1 defense.

It was evident.

"Guys weren't really thinking as much," Andre Johnson said on Monday. "Guys were just out there playing (with) things scaled back. We knew exactly what we were going to do and (Chud) knew exactly what he was going to get from (us)."

"If you look just at the speed we played with as an offense, you can see it. Guys were locked in, flying around."

Just how impressive was the Colts offensive effort on Sunday?

Putting the hectic nature of last week aside (the coaching staff also had to send wide receivers coach Jim Hostler down to the sideline Sunday to handle substitutions), the Colts produced numbers Sunday that no unit has done against Denver all season.

The Colts had the most points, first downs, third-down conversions, total yards, plays and time of possession of any offense who has faced Denver in 2015.

Veteran Matt Hasselbeck said controlling the ball for nearly two-thirds of Sunday's game (38:39) was also a byproduct of having Chud in the booth. The transition from booth to Luck kept the Colts away from no-huddle, an area where the offense has always had success.

Pagano believed the quick start from Indianapolis set the tone for the rest of the afternoon.

Not only did the Colts score the first opening-quarter points Denver has allowed this season, they snowballed that into a 17-0 lead midway through the second quarter.

It was a position the Colts haven't faced in 2015.

What it allowed was for the Colts, and Chud, to stick to their script and check off several keys adding up to their best win of the season.

"I love the balance, 40 runs and 36 passes," Chuck Pagano said on Monday.

That was just the start of why Sunday was an all-around offensive success for Pagano's Colts.

"Win the turnover battle (plus two)---you're going to win a lot of games. Hold the ball 39 minutes---you're going to win a lot games. Win the rushing battle 120 to 35---you're going to win a ton of games."

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