Colts offensive line needs bounce-back effort
INDIANAPOLIS (AP) Going into the home opener, the Colts' offensive line will have to do a better job of protecting Andrew Luck than they did in Week 1.
The Colts' offensive line allowed Buffalo to hit Luck six times and sack him twice, slowing Indianapolis' offense in a 27-14 loss. Luck threw two interceptions and was hurried throughout the game.
Protecting Luck will be another tall task for Indianapolis when the Jets visit Indianapolis on Monday night.
New York forced five turnovers in a 31-10 rout of the Browns.
Of those five turnovers, one was an interception because of relentless effort to hurry Cleveland's quarterbacks.
New York finished with three sacks, 21 points off turnovers and added four tackles for a loss.
''From a pressure standpoint, (New York) is going to challenge our protection just like Buffalo did and give us multiple looks - especially on third down,'' Colts coach Chuck Pagano said.
And for Indianapolis' offensive line, that means scaling back preparation to the bare basics.
The Colts' line spent much of the week preparing for New York by practicing technique, and other fundamentals that contributed to the poor play in Buffalo.
On Saturday, tackle Jack Mewhort stressed the emphasis that was placed on executing at each position across the offensive line.
''We came back and corrected our mistakes,'' Mewhort said. ''Communication, technique - it's about going out there and executing.
''Our job is to be prepared for everything they'll throw at us and keep Andrew (Luck) upright. (New York) has a great defensive front, there's a lot of talent there. It just goes back to being prepared. It's on (the offensive line) to go out there and execute.''
Colts left tackle Anthony Castonzo said the Jets have a lot of playmakers on the defensive side of the ball, and New York can bring them all in pass-rush scenarios.
''They've got a lot of guys who know how to pass rush,'' Castonzo said. ''Their outside linebackers are basically defensive lineman. Again, it's just going to come down to fundamentals and technique and our ability to move very good players off the ball.''
Last week, that ability was affected by the crowd noise at Buffalo's Ralph Wilson Stadium. The Colts were on the road with a hostile crowd, which made offensive audible and pre-snap adjustments difficult to hear at times.
Castonzo said playing at Lucas Oil Stadium will make a difference on offense.
Pagano shared a similar sentiment heading into the home opener.
''They're going to challenge our communication, but the good thing is we're playing at home,'' Pagano said. ''The job that our guys did (in Buffalo) on the road was very, very difficult. But we won't have that issue on Monday night, so that will help.''
Notes: Colts wide receiver T.Y. Hilton left Sunday's game with a knee injury. X-rays were negative and Hilton was listed day to day with a bruised knee. On Saturday, Hilton practiced for the first time and is listed as questionable for Monday's game. ... Colts linebacker Robert Mathis, who missed last season with a torn Achilles tendon, is also listed as questionable.
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