Scouting report: Early look at the Colts

October, 11, 2012
10/11/12
6:00
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FLORHAM PARK, N.J. -- A few quick observations on the Colts (2-2), who travel to MetLife Stadium this weekend:

1. The Colts are coming off an emotional, come-from-behind win over the Packers, a game in which they dedicated to leukemia-stricken coach Chuck Pagano. But now they have to travel outside their comfort zone. The Colts have dropped nine straight road games, the second-longest active streak in the NFL, according to ESPN Stats & Information.

2. This Andrew Luck kid is pretty good. The No. 1 pick in the draft has passed for 1,208 yards, the second-most by a rookie in his first four games. (Cam Newton passed for 1,386 last season.) The mark of a great QB is his ability to rally his team from behind, and Luck did it in each of the Colts' two wins. He operates an up tempo, no-huddle attack with the aplomb of a veteran, and he can escape pressure better than most -- 104 rushing yards.

3. Most of the offense revolves around WR Reggie Wayne, who is tied for the league lead with 56 targets. In other words, Luck looks for Wayne on one out of every three attempts. Wayne does a lot of the dirty work, going across the middle. Stop Wayne, and you should stop the Colts' passing game.

4. Defensively, the Colts have a different look. The days of the 4-3, Tampa-2 scheme are gone. They're a 3-4 defense, with former DEs Dwight Freeney and Robert Mathis lined up as outside linebackers. But Mathis (sprained knee) is out for 2-3 weeks, the Colts announced. Freeney, who suffered a high-ankle sprain in the opener, returned last week. He isn't back to full speed. But he showed he can be a factor in the pass rush, recording a sack last week.

5. The Colts are struggling against the run (25th), yielding 4.7 yards per carry. Their pass defense is having problems, too. Opposing QBs have a 102.8 passer rating against them, which might be the ideal tonic for Mark Sanchez. They have one of the most benign secondaries in the league -- a 63.7 completion percentage and only two interceptions.

Rich Cimini

ESPN New York Jets reporter

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