Bad running game against Vikings shows offensive line in big trouble

The Indianapolis Colts might have gone 2-0 this preseason after beating the Minnesota Vikings in a tight 12-10 game, but it was one of those games where very few fans will walk away and feel confident about the team’s performance. It was like you needed workers compensation to get through it.

Sam Ehlinger has been intercepted twice, including a pick-six, and those two stray shots bring his tally to three in just 28 preseason assists. Jacob Eason avoided those choices and appeared to be in command of the attack, but seemed much less precise than against Carolina.

One of the most concerning aspects of this match was the ongoing offense, as Jonathan Taylor’s absence showed that if their second-year star were to run out of time, this team would be completely lost when it came to to pick up yards on the ground. However, it’s not all about the running backs.

The Colts carried the ball 32 times, but they only racked up 86 rushing yards and never ran more than 10 yards. With three starting offensive linemen on the mend and the saves doing little to cement themselves as players who need to be taken seriously, it’s a recipe for disaster.

The Colts’ offensive line and running play were poor.

The well-documented battle between Sam Tevi and Will Holden on the left tackle did not result in a solid resolution as the two players continue to look unequal. Chris Reed looked decent replacing Quenton Nelson, who is currently hampered by a bad footing, but Joey Hunt has a few bad times to replace Ryan Kelly.

The backs suffered. When Jordan Wilkins’ five 20-yard runs were the best performance of the day, it’s worrisome. Nyheim Hines and Marlon Mack combined for just 27 rushing yards, and Benny LeMay only totaled 13 yards despite 11 carries.

There is hope for the Colts. Kelly appears to be on track for a comeback in Week 1, and Nelson seems to tend to play the same opener against the Seahawks. These reinforcements are needed in the worst possible way after a very poor performance against Minnesota.

The offensive line seems to be a big part of why a healthy Colts team has the ability to topple rival Titans at the top of the division, and the Vikings’ game showed what happens on offense when this unit is decimated by injuries.

Hopefully stallions like Nelson and Kelly can get back into the lineup as soon as possible, because giving Eason, Ehlinger or Carson Wentz a racing game like this could spell the end.

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