Indianapolis Colts Offensive Ranks
Total Offense: 18th (345.9 YPG)
Rushing Offense: 11th (128.4 YPG)
Passing Offense: 21st (217.4 YPG)
Scoring Offense: 16th (22.6 PPG)
Following the retirement of quarterback Andrew Luck, expectations of making a deep playoff run were floored in Indianapolis. In stepped quarterback Jacoby Brissett, and through seven games of football played, the Colts are atop the AFC South with a 5-2 record.
Brissett has silenced all doubt thus far, passing for nearly 1,600 yards with a 64.5 completion percentage while also amassing 14 touchdowns to three interceptions. Though his teammates asserted votes of confidence in Brissett following his departure, the Colts are pleasantly surprised with the play of the fourth-year quarterback.
"He can run, throw, do all the football stuff and he just enjoys playing, competing. He's got full command of the offense'' said Colts left tackle Anthony Castonzo following the team's victory over the Denver Broncos last week.
The victory came on the heels of what will probably go down as one of the most impressive plays in Brissett's career.
While Brissett has been able to get the job done through the air, running back Marlon Mack has achieved success on the ground to the tune of averaging 4.3 yards per carry with three touchdowns on the year thus far. Mack has also been the definition of a workhorse back, carrying the ball 138 times thus far (seventh-most carries in the league).
Indianapolis has a fair amount of talent across the offensive depth chart, whether it be pass catchers such as Eric Ebron/Zach Pascal, or other running back help in Nyheim Hines. However, two key components of Indy's success rest within the offensive side of the ball:
G Quenton Nelson
Coming into the 2018 NFL Draft, Quenton Nelson was heralded as a potential generational talent. Through a season and a half of play, Nelson has lived up to his billing, and perhaps even exceeded it. Nelson's play early in his career has earned him All-Pro/Pro Bowl honors, as the Notre Dame product is among the most physical linemen in the league.
Broncos pass rusher Von Miller agrees.
"He's just a mean guy and you can see it on film" said Miller. "You don't even have to talk to him. You can see it in his play that he's just a tough, mean offensive lineman. The type of offensive lineman that you respect without even meeting them."
Nelson was named the top second-year player in the NFL by Pro Football Focus, ahead of names like Lamar Jackson, Jaire Alexander and Nick Chubb. It's hard to dispute Nelson's talent when you see plays like the one below.
Whether it be pass protection or run blocking, Nelson is as reliable as they come, and should act as the anchor of the Colts' offensive line for years to come.
WR T.Y. Hilton
Although the numbers don't exactly jump off the page for T.Y. Hilton (32 receptions, 360 yards), Hilton still sees himself as the most prominent offensive weapon in Indianapolis. Despite not gaining over 100 yards in a game this season, Hilton has reeled in five touchdowns thus far.
While players such as Pascal and Parris Campbell are beginning to emerge, Hilton is the clear-cut alpha dog in Indy's receving corps. With Hilton leading in every major receiving category, it's easy to envision why Brissett favors him so much.
Hilton's route-running, speed and ability to make remarkable catches still resides in the receiver's skill set.
Despite being limited in practice this week, Hilton is expected to be ready for Sunday's game. Although Hilton has been quiet on the stat-sheet, he still remains Brissett's go-to receiver when the Colts need a big play (Hilton has earned 17 first downs for the Colts), and big plays are what Hilton provides for Indianapolis.