A Week 3 Look at the Indianapolis Colts in the AFC South
Still, they felt much better Monday following a one-sided, prime-time victory over the New York Giants.
And while that victory didn't completely erase the memory of a season-opening loss to the Houston Texans – nor did it erase the one-game deficit in the AFC South standings – it did show the Colts have a chance to the same season-long contenders they have been for the last decade.
As much as the Colts struggled in some areas against the Texans, they were equally impressive against the Giants.
The Colts rushed as well as they have in several seasons, and after struggling against the run against Houston, Indianapolis limited the Giants enough to enable defensive end Dwight Freeney and Robert Mathis to focus on rushing the passer. That had the expected results, as Freeney and Mathis each registered two sacks and controlled the game in the second half.
The Colts seemed to sustain no serious injuries in the game. Bob Sanders is out for at least three months and wide receiver Anthony Gonzalez expects to miss 4-to-6 weeks. Linebacker Clint Session missed the game with a hamstring issue, but should return to practice this week.
Here is a quick look at the Indianapolis Colts in Week 3:
The opponent: at Denver Broncos (1-1).
The trend: The Colts won last week after losing the regular-season opener. They have been 1-2 just once since 1998 and that was 2008, when quarterback Peyton Manning missed the preseason and the Colts needed victories in their last nine games to finish 12-4.
Recent history: This is a series the Colts have controlled. They have played four of the last six regular seasons, with Indianapolis winning the last three meetings and losing the regular-season finale in 2004 after they had clinched playoff seeding. Indianapolis also dominated two post-season meetings with Denver following the 2003 and 2004 seasons.
Key question: Can the Colts take the momentum gained from a home victory over the Giants on the road? They lost at Houston in Week 1, and being a tram that traditionally plays very well on the road, Indianapolis doesn't want to slip into the routine of playing well at home and struggling on the road.
Pressing issue: The Colts will continue to focus on the offensive line. The unit improved last week against the Giants, allowing just one sack and clearing holes for 160 yards rushing after allowing consistent pressure in the regular-season opener. The line didn't play together in the preseason because of injuries to center Jeff Saturday and left tackle Charlie Johnson and continued continuity should mean continued improvement for a unit that historically does a good job protecting quarterback Peyton Manning.