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.
Here is the collection of Wednesday questions:Patrick O. (Downing Town, PA)
are you keeping Andrew Luck as your starting QB or when he comes back are going to put him inm as 2nd string QB?
Bowen: Yes, the Colts will be going with Andrew Luck as the team's starting quarterback when he returns to health. Luck has ramped up his throwing and Jim Irsay told NFL Network that there's a chance Luck could be ready for the Houston game on 12/20. For more on Luck being the team's definite starting quarterback, here's a piece on Colts.com about just that.
Chris M. (Sioux Falls, SD)
If you can give me your opinion on what you think should be changed in the defensive back field. Vontae can not do it by himself. It's been proven today that he is getting tired having to hold the entire back end together. Greg toler isn't good neither is Darius butler. Is there a reason the colts keep having faith in them to some how come back to what they were. First off toler was on the Cardinals prior to the colts. He had Peterson to make him look better than he actual is. I'm just sick of every team throwing on us every week. Cortland Finnegan was a free agent that just got picked up. Why didn't the colts look at him?. He's fiesty and aggressive. What's your opinion?.
Bowen: At this point of the season, the Colts are going to have to roll with what they have in the defensive backfield. Wholesale changes just aren't going to happen in the defensive backfield in December. That group hasn't played up to its potential this season with the Colts giving up the most big plays of any team in the NFL this year. While the coverage needs to improve, what the Colts are doing at the front of their defense has to develop, too. It's addressed below, but the Colts know that the pass rush they had on Sunday is going to lead to zero postseason success (if they are able to earn another playoff spot). The week prior to the Colts, Ben Roethlisberger threw for 456 yards against the vaunted Seahawks secondary and the big plays continued when Big Ben faced Indianapolis the next week.
Maurice P. (Charlotte)
This is the worst loss of the season. Everyone blamed Pep Hamilton for the first half of the season. So who is the blame now?? I keep telling other Colts fans this, we will not win a Super Bowl without a defense. I feel as if The Steelers exposed that fact more than the other teams we have played, but people blamed the offensive coordinator and now he has been replaced. Is The Colts Organization fine with this nonsense or are they focused on other things?
Bowen: Maurice, I don't think anyone is "fine" with the Colts performance on Sunday night. A non-existent pass rush against Ben Roethlisberger led to a massive day for the future Hall of Famer. With the Colts unable to rattle his timing, Big Ben was able to find all of his weapons in the league's most explosive air attack. There is definitely equal blame to go around with the Colts not winning any of the three facets of the game. If the offense could have taken advantage of the early turnovers, a lead would have been built allowing the defense to play from ahead and possibly change how things went. I thought things really began to unravel for the Colts defense midway through the second quarter. After allowing six points up to that point, those two late touchdown drives to end the second quarter carried over to the second half. For the Colts to win any meaningful game in January, the Colts must create more disruption with their defensive front.
Dave H. (Sebring, FL)
KEVIN, STEELERS ATTACKED US, LIKE NEW ENGLAND DID. NOT ALLOWING WRS OR TES ANY FREE RELEASE OFF THE LINE! WHY ARE WE NOT DOING THE SAME TO OTHERS TEAMS THAT DO THIS TO US? RIGHT NOW YOU KNOW OTHER TEAMS LIKE JAGUARS,TEXANS,TITANS! WILL BE GOING TO DO THIS TO US TO KNOCK US OFF. IF WE DO NOT FIXS THIS PROBLEM SOON, OR WE MIGHT HAVE A SHORT PLAYOFF RUN. WE GOT TO GET BETTER AT GAME PLANNING AND BEING PREPARED FOR ANYTHING THROWN AT US????????
Bowen: The Colts did try this defensive method (along with several others) and nothing seemed to work against the Steelers potent offense. The Colts cornerbacks are asked to be physical, oftentimes having to win their one-on-one matchups (without much safety help) for the overall unit to have success. On the other side of the ball, it was definitely surprising how the Colts weren't able to get T.Y. Hilton/Donte Moncrief more involved. After having great days versus the Buccaneers, the duo of Hilton/Moncrief combined for just four catches in six targets against Pittsburgh. It's why I've said time and time again, the Colts have to hit on some chunk plays for defensive back, and particularly safeties, to think twice about sneaking up to the line of scrimmage. More production in the running game would also keep defenses from thinking they don't need to worry about big plays over the top.