INDIANAPOLIS – What have we learned after a quarter of the Colts 2016 season?
The Colts currently sit at 1-3, with the reliance on late game magic catching up to them in the first four weeks.
With the Colts two games behind the division-leading Houston Texans, we take a look back on the first month of the season.
Here are some takeaways from the first quarter of 2016:
**No More Relying On Heroics
**The Colts have been living dangerously through the first weeks of 2016. Everyone knows the Colts cannot rely on the drama of fourth quarter comeback, after fourth quarter comeback.
Starts to games have to improve. The Colts have floated around the idea of utilizing more up-tempo on offense. Would that cure the sluggish starts the Colts have had in three of four games this season (all losses)?
This season, the Colts have been outscored 64-35 in first halves. They are outscoring teams 73-61 in second halves.Vets Step Up
You listen to Dwayne Allen, Anthony Castonzo, or Robert Mathis and they know that their individual play has to get better.
These times are when teams look to their leaders for guidance and, most importantly, high level play. In the Colts' lone win this season, we saw individual efforts from Andrew Luck, T.Y. Hilton, Clayton Geathers and Mike Adams ultimately complete that victory.
Frank Gore and Adam Vinatieri have done their part in 2016. For the Colts to get back to .500, they need their other frontline guys to play to their potential.
*It's no secret that the Colts' best offensive performance of 2016 came when their offensive line was intact.
The good news for the Colts is that the starting offensive line could be back this week. With rookies Austin Blythe and Joe Haeg thrust into starting duty last week in London, Luck was sacked a career-high six times.
Starters Joe Reitz and Denzelle Good have returned to practice and that means the line could have its normal five together on Sunday. While the line has struggled to keep Luck upright in 2016, Frank Gore is averaging 4.0 yards per carry.**
Will Healthy Defense Make Improvements?**
It's a Colts defense that will see some turnover in Week Five, but not because of injuries. The team will have new starters at cornerback and inside linebacker after parting ways with Antonio Cromartie and Sio Moore.
Outside of the inside linebacker spot next to D'Qwell Jackson, this defense is expected to have all of its starters in Week Five that we thought would be there coming into the 2016 season.
This unit has to eliminate the penalties (most in the NFL through four weeks) and give some help to Erik Walden (4.0 sacks) in the pass rush department.**Change Division Outlook
**Ever since the creation of the AFC South back in 2002, the Colts have been the most feared team in the division.
The Colts are in a current spell where they have spent much more time than normal looking up at other teams within the South.
Indianapolis will have a chance to make a dent into the division in the coming weeks. Road games in Houston (10/16) and Tennessee (10/23) are paramount for the Colts wanting to get back into the mix near the top of the AFC South.