As the Week Three game against the Jaguars approaches, the Colts will be gameplanning specifically for this week's mactchup. As we approach each game, we'll be looking at just one of the many possible matchups for the gameColt
As always, there are plenty of matchups we could spotlight, but the one that is the most intriguing to me is the continuing development of the interior offensive line. So, this week's matchup is Seth Olsen, Mike McGlynn, and Trai Essex versus Tyson Alualu, C.J. Mosely and Terrance Knighton.
So far this season, the Colts interior line has struggled immensely. Seth Olsen has been the bane of Colts fans' existence, Mike McGlynn nearly caused the Colts several turnovers last week with terrible snaps, and Trai Essex is an accident waiting to happen.
In terms of breaking down each player, the performances have been inconsistent at best.
McGlynn has been the most impressive of the two (read: least harmful) for the Colts, performing at about an average level overall. The game against the Vikings was rough for McGlynn, as he gave up a QB hit and hurry, as well as poor run blocking. On the other hand, he was much more impressive against the Bears. Part of the reason was the switch to Center, where he was far worse, not only in his horriffic snaps, but also was much less effective as a blocker. If Samson Satele does return for the Jaguars game (as bad as he's been), it will help merely in getting McGlynn back to a better fit for him.
Trai Essex has been just bad overall in the past for the Steelers. There hasn't been any distinct difference between his run and pass blocking, as he's been inconsistent (read slightly better than bad) at times in both areas. Against the Vikings, he was actually ok when pass blocking (giving up just one hurry), but was awful in run blocking. Essex also had two penalties, but after a full week and a half in Indianapolis, Essex should be a little more disciplined.
Seth Olsen is bad. He's easily the worst starter on the team at this point (outside of maybe Jeff Linkenbach), getting overwhelmed in both pass and run blocking. ProFootballFocus even liked Olsen's performance against the Bears, giving him a positive grade, in a game where it seemed like he struggled, but last week was terrible, as Olsen's -4.0 rating was ranked dead last in the league for Week 2. Olsen, again, was bad in both run and pass blocking, but was especially bad against the pass, where Olsen gave up three hurries and had a penalty.
The Jaguars possess a quality defensive tackle in Terrance Knighton and an inconsistent Tyson Alualu, who has been struggling in both run stopping and pass rushing so far this season. Nevertheless, a week against a struggling Colts' interior should be a good opportunity for him to get a good game in. Knighton, on the other hand, has looked good thus far, and will be more than enough for the Colts to handle.
For the Colts offense to be effective, the interior line has to improve upon last week. The Vikings secondary is bad enough that Andrew Luck could take advantage of it, even without any support from the run game (and getting harassed all game during passing snaps), but it won't be like that every week. This week provides a moderate challenge for the Colts, but one that is open to show improvement as well.
Ugh, I know this matchup is important. Can I just pretend it doesn't exist? Also, am I the only one who thought that Essex looked to be out of shape. Yeah, I know that linemen typically look large but even his arms looked flabby. Maybe his technique matters more but I have a hard time believing he could help much if he shows up out of shape.
Thanks for addressing the O-line, Kyle. It has to be done, as much as I want to ignore the problem.