PFF Preview: Colts @ Steelers, Week 8
Possibly the hottest team in the NFL, the Indianapolis Colts will head to Pittsburgh on Sunday looking to extend their five-game winning streak. The offensive line has been much improved, as evidenced by the fact that Luck has been pressured on just 28.8% of his drop-backs, down from 37.2% last season. Add to that a defense that has played will even without Robert Mathis in the lineup, and the Colts are once again primed for an AFC South title.
Helping that cause was the Steelers win on Monday night over Houston. That win has ensured that Pittsburgh has alternating wins and losses from Week 1 on, and mixing that up with a win against the Colts will go a long way toward calming a fan base that’s right to be frustrated with the inconsistent play. One move in the right direction is relegating Cortez Allen (-15.1) to the nickel role, though he’ll still see plenty of action with the Colts unafraid to let Andrew Luck (+10.9) air it out.
With the playoff race starting to heat up, the Steelers can’t afford to fall behind a competitive AFC, while Indy will look to maintain their division lead and momentum heading into the second half of the season.
Vontae Davis – Davis has been targeted by opposing quarterbacks 32 times this year, surrendering just 14 catches, no touchdowns, and picking off two passes for a cumulative QB rating on those throws of 35.2.
Andrew Luck – The 2012 first overall pick has completed 21 of 31 passes oven 10 yards in the air and to the right outside the numbers for a +8.8 grade. If last week is anything to go by, he’ll be throwing at Brice McCain in base defense and Cortez Allen in nickel on those passes this Sunday.
Gosder Cherilus – After a respectable 2013 in pass protection (+2.7, 47 total pressures), he’s struggled tremendously this year. Allowing four or more pressures in each of the last three games, the former Lion is on pace to allow 62 pressures by seasons’ end.
Jason Worilds – Worilds is coming off an impressive stretch with a pass rushing grade of +11.3, recording one sack, four hits, and ten hurries over the last three games.
Antonio Brown – One of the best receivers in the game at present, Brown’s +11.1 receiving grade is at the top of the chart. His season-low receiving yardage total was an 84-yard performance in Jacksonville.
David DeCastro – There are green grades next to all the starting members of Pittsburgh’s offensive line. Among them, DeCastro has allowed just eight pressures in seven games, good for the 10th-best Pass Blocking Efficiency (97.7) of all guards.
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