The Indianapolis Colts defeated the Cleveland Browns, 27-6, in Saturday night's third preseason game. Quarterback Andrew Luck didn't have much trouble in this game, carving up the Browns defense with 164 yards on 25 passing attempts in the first half. The Browns offense couldn't get much of anything going, being held out of the end zone and managing just 270 total yards.
Brad Wells of Stampede Blue was as impressed with Luck as ever, but he remains concerned about the power running game, particularly the poor interior line play:
The "power running game" isn't working, and offensive coordinator Pep Hamilton needs to stop with it, already. Interior linemen like Samson Satele simply aren't talented enough to impose their physical will on opponents, which is kind of important if you want to run that kind of offense.
It wasn't until the Colts' abandoned the power running in the second quarter and came out throwing when the offense started catching fire. 6 of the Colts 8 plays on that first drive in the second quarter were designed passing plays. The end result was an 8-yard touchdown pass from Andrew Luck to Stanley Havili.
Robert Mathis had another quiet game, failing to record a tackle. Wells has more concerns about the lack of pass rush in general:
As he's been all preseason, Robert Mathis was invisible last night. He failed to record a single tackle and he was no-where near the quarterback, Brandon Weeden, when the Colts blitzed. For as sensitive as Mathis gets when writers like Andrew Mishler make logical observations about his limitations, Mathis has done nothing this preseason to dispel the perception that he is little more than an average player without Dwight Freeney to draw double teams.
The Colts pass rush continues to be a problem. The only first unit defensive player to register a sack in preseason is Erik Walden (ugh) and when the Colts sent 6 rushers at Weeden, the Browns were able to keep them off their QB. Mathis was invisible. Lawrence Sidbury was a waste all preseason. Bjoern Werner was inept as a stand-up linebacker, proving more effective in the second half when he played mostly defensive end. I also didn't see any pressure from Ricky Jean Francois, who has underwhelmed this preseason. Like Mathis, Jean Francois failed to register a single tackle against the Browns.