When searching for a reason as to why the Indianapolis Colts are Super Bowl contenders again, look no further than the young receivers steping up. Ever since Darrius Heyward-Bey was benched against the Cincinnati Bengals, the Colts’ offense reverted back to where they were before the bye week.
Indianapolis was searching for someone to step up and replace Reggie Wayne since he went out with a season-ending injury on October 20. They thought Heyward-Bey would be the guy. Unfortunately, Heyward-Bey choked and couldn’t getting open. When he did, he’d drop everything thrown his way. That allowed teams to double T.Y. Hilton on the line of scrimmage and blitz extra guys, making it tough for Andrew Luck to throw or get a run game going.
But when youngsters like LaVon Brazill and Da’Rick Rogers stepped up in Cincinnati scoring two touchdowns each, it forced teams to defend Indianapolis differently. Griff Whalen stepped up Last week against Houston, giving Indianapolis their first touchdown in the opening half since that October 20 game. From there, they would score in the 20s again, winning 25-3. The week prior, they scored 28.
Then against the Kansas City Chiefs today, Whalen stepped up again with seven catches for 80 yards which sparked this Colts offense. Yes, he’s been the main reason for their success the last two weeks, but don’t discount Rogers and Brazill’s ability to step up as well.
Between the three, they’ve stepped up in replacing Wayne by committee. With Hilton being single-covered again, he had eight catches last week and five more today. The run game also eclipsed 100 yards for the second straight game and is making this team scary again. Credit Brazill, Whalen and Rogers.
Eric Smith is the Colts Beat Writer for Rant Sports. He’s covered the team the past four seasons and is recognized as an accredited member of the media by the Colts. Follow him on Twitter @ericsportsguru