The Indianapolis Colts put up a fight against the Chicago Bears, but ended up taking a beating in a 41-21 defeat in their Week 1 season-opener. Rookie quarterback Andrew Luck got his first real taste of what the NFL was really like, having four total turnovers in the game.
This game was the first time I probably have ever seen the Stanford product show his frustration and anger on the field after multiple mistakes by the offense. What really got to Luck was the Bears’ pass-rush, as they kept attacking Indy’s offensive line with only a four-man rush.
The game started off perfectly, however, for the Colts. They started off with a solid defensive showing by sacking quarterback Jay Cutler on the very first play of the game. On the next drive for Chicago, Cutler would end up throwing an interception to linebacker Jerrell Freeman for the score to put Indianapolis up quick, 7-0.
Chicago would in fact respond, though, sooner or later. On a solid, long drive going, they ended it with a one-yard run in the goal-line by Michael Bush to tie up the game. Another touchdown would follow with Cutler to Brandon Marshall and a field goal by Robbie Gould in the second quarter to put the Bears up 17-7.
However, the Colts went to business. Luck performed perfectly on the next drive, acting as the field general. It would end with a solid 18-yard scamper to the end zone by running back Donald Brown. Chicago would then respond again with another touchdown by Bush to put Chicago up 24-14 at halftime.
After that, it was all over. The Colts would get one last touchdown in fourth with a pass to Donnie Avery, making it Luck’s first career NFL touchdown. Down 34-21 with enough time to make a comeback, it was possible. That was until Cutler put in the books with a 42-yard bomb to rookie wide receiver Alshon Jeffery to give the Bears a 20-point lead with six minutes left in the game.
It was a rough game overall, especially for Luck. The big problem has been the Colts’ o-line, and that is what will hold this team back from succeeding. It is easily the weakest link of this squad, which led to Luck’s three interceptions and fumble. Though he did throw for a touchdown and added 309 passing yards, he finished with a 52.9 rating.
His main targets the whole day were veteran wide receiver Reggie Wayne and rookie tight end Coby Fleener. Wayne finished with nine catches for 135 yards while Fleener had six catches for 82 yards.
The creepy part of this whole situation is Luck’s comparison to former Colts quarterback Peyton Manning. Both of their statistics were nearly identical in their regular-season debuts, with both of them having 300-plus passing yards, a touchdown and three interceptions. In their first two preseason games, they had the same stats as well. It’s starting to become clear that Luck could bring what Manning brought for the past 14 years.
That may be what it is, but the Colts do need to find out how to win games. They should a lot of signs of being a successful football teams. It was moments where they had big blown coverage or when the offensive line couldn’t handle the pressure.
We’ll see how they will adjust next week against the Minnesota Vikings.