INDIANAPOLIS – The finality of the NFL season is becoming more and more real for the Indianapolis Colts.
Thursday was the final time the team's coordinators will meet the media this season. Rob Chudzinski and Ted Monachino spoke to the media following the second practice of the week.
With prep for the Jaguars reaching the end, here's the Thursday notebook going into Week 17.
- CB-Darius Butler (concussion): Butler remains in the concussion protocol after missing the first two practices of the week.
- CB-Rashaan Melvin (knee): This knee injury kept Melvin away from some practice time last week, but the corner still started and played against the Raiders. Melvin has missed the first two practices of this week.
- WR-Donte Moncrief (hamstring): Moncrief remains sidelined with the shoulder injury that took him out of last Saturday's loss to the Raiders.
Rob Chudzinski on the 2016 season for Andrew Luck:
"I think he's played great.
"I can't imagine there's a guy in the league that's as valuable to their team as Andrew."
Bowen's Analysis: Chud certainly believes Luck's value to the Colts is extremely high. The first complete year working together for Chud and Luck has seen some major improvements in the efficiency from the quarterback position. Chud singled out the completion percentage (career-high for Luck) and the interception rate (the second-best of Luck's career) as areas he's particularly proud of from his quarterback.
Chud acknowledges that there are still plays where Luck believes he can make the risky throw, but those have dwindled from prior years. The leadership aspect from Luck is something that Chud has seen him take a big jump.Rob Chudzinski on the future of the offensive line:
"Guys up front have been physical. All of the different combinations we've played with, this one has shown to be really physical."
Bowen's Analysis: In September, you could have received some pretty good odds on a line of Jonotthan Harrison at left guard, Joe Haeg at right guard and Le'Raven Clark at right tackle being the team's best group in 2016. But the numbers from this unit the last two weeks, with those three starting, backs that statement up. While the sacks have ceased against Minnesota and Oakland, the offensive line has also done a tremendous job in opening up running lanes, too.
Looking ahead to Sunday, Chud would like to forget what happened when these teams met earlier in 2016. Drops and poor pass protection told the story in the Colts scoring just six points through three quarters. Both of those areas have improved for the Colts, so we will see if that continues in Week 17.Ted Monachino on watching the Jaguars put it together last week in their 38-17 victory over the Titans:
"The quarterback play was really sound and solid."
Bowen's Analysis: It's been an up and down year for the Jaguars offense and quarterback Blake Bortles. Probably the biggest 'up' came in last week's win over the Titans when Bortles and company looked like the unit many expected in 2016.
Bortles has found plenty of recent success against the Colts. He's thrown 5 TDs and 0 INTs with the Jags rolling up 81 points in back-to-back wins over Indy. On Thursday, Monachino pointed to the elimination of penalties and not allowing big runs as things the defense must amend from when these teams met in London earlier this year.**
Here is Thursday's injury report:
-DNP: CB-Darius Butler (concussion), CB-Rashaan Melvin (knee), WR-Donte Moncrief (shoulder)
-LIMITED: OLB-Chris Carter (shoulder), QB-Andrew Luck (right shoulder)
-FULL: S-Mike Adams (rest), CB-Vontae Davis (rest), RB-Frank Gore (rest), OLB-Robert Mathis (rest)