INDIANAPOLIS – You asked them and we answered them.
Here's "Four-Down Friday" which is a weekly Twitter Q and A piece that will run every Friday.
This week's installment of questions focuses on getting Dwayne Allen more involved, the depth along the defensive line, the pass rush situation and the use of a fullback.
Going into Monday night, I don't think many people had Jack Doyle ending the game with the same amount of targets as Dwayne Allen and Coby Fleener combined (2). But that's what happens with the Colts displaying numerous three tight-end sets and having a concerted effort to establish the run (something they were able to do very well).
It's no secret that Allen is a tremendous weapon for this offense in a multitude of ways. The fact that Pep Hamilton feels comfortable using Allen as an offensive tackle in unbalanced sets is an indication of the type of blocker No. 83 is. Allen's targets, just like every other Colts skill player, will be fluid throughout the year considering all the different types of weapons Andrew Luck can look towards. Allen is an every-down tight end that provides this offense with a consistent threat whether it is in the run game or as a receiver.
The defensive line depth for the Colts has been tested ever since OTAs. With Fili Moala and Jeris Pendleton both being placed on injured reserve that has opened the door for a young guy like Zach Kerr to get some major first-team run.
As far as moving linebackers down to the defensive line, that's a last resort type of option and something that would only happen if more injuries pile up front on Sunday. The Colts have used a lot of nickel looks early in the year, which takes a lineman off the field, so the need isn't necessarily there for three true defensive linemen there every snap. The status of Ricky Jean Francois is one to watch this week after he hasn't practiced the last two days.
It's still a little early to look ahead to division projections especially considering every team in the AFC South has yet to play a divisional game. That will change very soon and for the Colts they will see each divisional team in the next four weeks.
Right now Houston sits atop the division at 2-0, Tennessee follows at 1-1 and then the Colts and Jaguars are at 0-2. I think right around double-digit wins is the magic number to take the division. I expected Houston to bounce back significantly from last year's 2-14 mark and they are on that early progression after two weeks. The Colts are in an early hole but that can change with the four games in 19 days (three AFC South games) starting on Sunday.
This is a very good observation from Monday night and something to watch going forward. The Colts ran it very effectively out of three-tight end looks (Doyle a lot as an h-back) with Dwayne Allen even lining up as an unbalanced tackle.
Teams around the league have toned back the use of a pure, bruising, fullback. The Colts fall in line with that theory, but they haven't abolished the position by any means. Stanley Havili is on PUP right now but he's the versatile matchup the Colts love to have from the fullback position. Doyle did his best Havili impression on Monday night---excelling as a blocker in 36 snaps and catching a pair of key passes.