It was discussed as a critical issue all offseason, but the Colts’ interior offensive line is a major concern, especially in short-yardage sitauations. If you have to throw on 3rd and 1, if you can’t QB sneak it in on 4th and 2 feet, it makes it awfully difficult to win a football game. It’s hard to score, let alone consistently sustain drives.
Did the Colts and their fans expect much? Probably not, especially with the team starting journeyman center, A.Q. Shipley, a player the team literally claimed a week ago.
However, why did it get to this point in the first place? The team took a major gamble by banking on unproven 2nd-year center, Khaled Holmes, with little to no insurance behind him. A player that entering the year had 0 career starts and couldn’t earn playing time in 2013 on a banged-up and ineffective offensive line.
So far, that gamble hasn’t paid off, as Holmes has been held out with an ankle injury sustained in preseason. His back-up depth, the aforementioned Shipley and undrafted rookie free agent, Jonotthan Harrison (a pleasant find but probably not ready to play meaningful minutes), are not exactly players to write home about.
While Colts’ rookie 2nd round pick and starting offensive guard, Jack Mewhort, mostly blocked well tonight. He’s still inexperienced and committed two costly penalties against the Broncos, including an ineligible player upfield and offensive holding penalty respectively. The team lacks experience, they lack polish, and most importantly, they lack push, as they couldn’t create the holes when the team needed them the most.
If the interior offensive line continues to struggle in short-yardage situations, we are in for a long season. It’s a growing concern for the Colts, but unfortunately, the current available options are limited.