For as many players the Colts had seeing their first NFL regular season action on Sunday, the performance level was perhaps better than was expected. While high-profile rookies like Brandon Weeeden, Ryan Tannehill and Justin Blackmon were struggling in their NFL debuts, the Colts’ trio of Andrew Luck, Coby Fleener and Jerrell Freeman each had fairly auspicious beginnings to their NFL careers. None of the three, however, could stomach the season-opening loss despite good individual performances.
Andrew Luck threw for over 300 yards Sunday and completed his first NFL touchdown pass, but his mind wasn’t on those initial career milestones. Luck was disappointed in his role that contributed to five Colts’ turnovers. Luck wouldn’t even absolve himself of the interception thrown when he was sure the Bears had jumped offsides giving him a free play.
“I did think it was a free play, but it doesn’t excuse a bad ball. We’ll move on from it and hopefully get better.”
Luck isn’t about to panic however. He realizes there’s a lot of football left to be played this season.
“I want to try and view the film as a learning experience. Be critical of yourself and not wallow in the ‘Oh we lost, this is terrible, woe is me.’ I think a lot of plays out there that you wish you could have done differently. Some throws, some interception throws that I wish I could take back. I think we had some opportunities to maybe flip the script and get ahead early but didn’t take advantage of those.”
Luck’s fellow rookie and former teammate at Stanford, Coby Fleener, also had a nice debut. After the game he wasn’t wanting to talk about his six catches for 82 yards. For Fleener, the fact that his team lost overshadowed any individual performance.
“We lost the game. I think that’s the big story line and I think we’ll try to build off what we can.”
Linebacker Jerrell Freeman had arguably the best debut performance. His interception return for a touchdown gave the Colts and early 7-0 lead. He recorded an additional five solo tackles, but like his peers, wasn’t focused on getting off to a good start personally.
“I’m not into individual accolades. That’s not the type of person I am. I could care less right now. Hopefully I’ll do what I can to do to help this team win football games.”
Colts fans may be disappointed in Sunday’s loss, but not more than the players they’re cheering on. And from the sound of those who are leading this young team, they won’t be satisfied until they get on the winning side of the ledger this week against Minnesota.
Chuck Chapman is entering his second season as the editor and lead writer for Colts 101. He also covered the Cincinnati Bengals for the Sports Media 101. Chuck and his family are originally from Ohio, but have settled in Central Indiana and become big Colts fans. You can read Chuck’s other writing about the Colts at www.colts101.com.
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