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INDIANAPOLIS – It’s a comment fans of the Indianapolis Colts aren’t used to hearing from an opposing coach.
“They imposed their will today,” were the words from Jon Gruden after his Raiders lost to the Colts, 42-28, on Sunday afternoon.
Although it’s taken a few weeks, the 2018 Colts have started to put the type of offensive performances together that this franchise has longed for in recent years.
“Right now, we like where we’re at,” Reich said of his offense after beating the Raiders, 42-28, in Week Eight.
“The guys up front are playing great. The vision has always been for a great run game and a great play action game off of that and then being good in situational football, so that’s good to see.”
It has started up front, with the Colts investing proper resources into the offensive line and seeing the results.
The run game has produced back-to-back games with at least 200 rushing yards for the first time since 1985. The Colts have rushed for 442 yards on 77 attempts (5.7 YPC) in consecutive wins.
In pass protection, Andrew Luck hasn’t been sacked in 156 straight attempts (dating back to his first attempt in Week Five). That streak is double Luck’s second longest no-sack run in his seven-year career.
Do not think that Luck having two of the more efficient passing days of his career wasn’t helped out majorly thanks to the historic rushing performances.
“It means everything,” Reich says of the reliable ground game helping Luck out. “It literally means everything. It makes it so much easier to play quarterback.”
Reich is also quick to point out the special plays that Luck is making at the quarterback position.
With Luck’s passer rating in the last two weeks being the 5th and 8th highest of his career, the quarterback looks well-versed in Reich’s new offense. Luck’s thrown 7 touchdowns and 0 interceptions in the last two weeks.
Another impressive thing to note about the Colts scoring 30 points in three straight games for the first time since 2010, they’ve done it without T.Y. Hilton providing huge chunk of yards.
Hilton didn’t play against the Jets, and had just 59 combined yards the past two games (the smallest back-to-back outputs of his career).
Luck noted after the Oakland win how teams continue to double Hilton, opening up plenty of opportunity elsewhere on the offense.
While Hilton’s yards are down, his returning presence (along with the likes of Anthony Castonzo, Marlon Mack and Jack Doyle) have clearly contributed to the Colts finding the sort of offensive output that people thought was possible when Frank Reich took this job back in February.
For Luck, it goes back to the complementary offense the Colts are finally receiving.
“This season when we’ve managed balance we’ve done some good things as an offense,” Luck says. “I think we’re believing in it now. I really do. I think we’ve proven it to ourselves that we can do it and that this is a winning formula.”
Now, it’s time to sustain that with some big games on the horizon.
“Two weeks is hardly enough to celebrate too much about,” Reich said on Sunday, “but there’s two positive outcomes so we’re very pleased with that.”
As they should be.
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