CHI-IND grades: Andrew Luck excels behind solid pass protection
Indianapolis Colts 29, Chicago Bears 23
Here are the biggest takeaways and highest-graded players from the Indianapolis Colts’ 29-23 victory over the Chicago Bears.
Quarterback grade: Andrew Luck, 82.1
Andrew Luck lethal from clean pocket
While Andrew Luck slightly struggled under pressure against the Bears, he was nearly unstoppable when Chicago was unable to move him off his spot. He completed 25 of his 32 passes for 265 yards from a clean pocket, and both his touchdown passes came on plays when he was not under pressure. Furthermore, he was extremely accurate on throws downfield, as he completed 10 of 14 attempts that traveled 10 or more yards from the line of scrimmage. All in all, this game once again proved that Luck is among the best quarterbacks in the league when he gets the protection he needs from his offensive line.
Top offensive grades:
LT Anthony Castonzo 82.5
WR T.Y. Hilton 82.2
LG Jack Mewhort 76.3
TE Dwayne Allen 65.5
RB Frank Gore 63.7
Offensive line plays major role in win
Although the offensive line struggled in opening holes for running back Frank Gore, its performance in protecting Andrew Luck was crucial for the Colts. The unit allowed only seven total pressures on 49 dropbacks, and was able to maintain a clean pocket for Luck for the better part of the afternoon. Wide receiver T.Y. Hilton also had a solid outing, lining up all over the field and winning matchups against numerous Bears’ defenders; Hilton caught 10 of his 11 targets, including the game-winning touchdown pass on a post route.
Top defensive grades:
OLB Erik Walden 79.0
NT T.Y. McGill 73.2
CB Darius Butler 72.0
DE Hassan Ridgeway 69.0
CB Vontae Davis 68.2
Colts’ defense bends, does not break
Indianapolis’ defense had a tough day, as they relied more on the mistakes of the Chicago offense than making plays themselves. The unit failed to generate pressure on a consistent basis and put Bears quarterback Brian Hoyer under pressure on only six of his 44 dropbacks. In addition, the defense struggled making tackles, as Indianapolis missed a total of 14 tackling attempts.
Quarterback grade: Brian Hoyer, 79.5
Brian Hoyer looks poised in loss
There were reports prior to the game about Hoyer having a chance to win the starting job in Chicago, and while he did not achieve that on Sunday, the game against Indianapolis didn’t hurt his case. Hoyer looked poised in the pocket and was confident reading coverages and going through his progression. While he did not attempt many vertical throws—43.9 percent of his yards came after the catch—Hoyer still had a solid game, as he avoided major mistakes. He was especially good when he was not blitzed, as he completed 86.2 percent of his passes on these plays and averaged 11.0 yards per attempt.
Top offensive grades:
C Cody Whitehair 85.2
RB Jordan Howard 83.0
LT Charles Leno Jr. 81.4
LG Josh Sitton 77.5
WR Cameron Meredith 77.0
Rookie RB Jordan Howard shines in Bears loss
Rookie running back Jordan Howard had the best game of his short NFL career, as he routinely made Colts defenders missed and read the blocks of his offensive linemen very well. While Howard averaged just slightly more than 2 yards after contact, he managed to break seven tackles on only 16 carries. He was the most productive between the guards, as he averaged 16.4 yards in the two A-gaps, which was largely due to some excellent blocking from center Cody Whitehair, another rookie on the Chicago offense.
Top defensive grades:
LB Danny Trevathan 84.0
LB Jerrell Freeman 81.7
CB Tracy Porter 80.6
S Adrian Amos 79.8
CB Cre’von LeBlanc 79.7
Bears cannot overcome individual mistakes
While the overall unit played well—especially when it came to tackling, as they missed only two tackles on the day—a couple of individual mistakes caused the loss. The most prominent of these came on the Colts’ game-winning touchdown pass, when wide receiver T.Y. Hilton left cornerback Jacoby Glenn in the dust as he caught a 35-yard pass in the end zone.
PFF Game-Ball Winner: Colts QB Andrew Luck
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