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Colts just can’t keep an offensive line together

Andrew Luck

Indianapolis Colts’ Andrew Luck (12) is sacked by Tennessee Titans’ Kamerion Wimbley (95) and Derrick Morgan (91) during the first half of an NFL football game on Sunday, Dec. 1, 2013, in Indianapolis. (AP Photo/Michael Conroy)


No quarterback has had to play behind a makeshift offensive line more consistently than Andrew Luck.

The Colts’ line was the least consistent in the league last year as measured by Continuity Score, a statistic developed by that tracks offensive lines based on the number of different starters it had over the course of the season, the number of times the starting line changed from one game to the next, and the longest stretch of starting the same five players in the same five positions.

The Colts’ Continuity Score was 19 out of a possible 48, which was not just the lowest in the NFL last season but the second-lowest for any team in any season since 2000. The Colts used 10 different starters over the course of the season (tied for most in the NFL), never went more than three straight games with the same line (tied for the worst in the NFL) and had 11 different week-to-week changes (the most in the NFL; no other team had more than nine changes).

Last year was not a fluke for the Colts: They were near the bottom of the league in 2012 and 2013 as well. They’ve simply never put together a consistent line to protect Luck. Impressively, Luck was only sacked 27 times while throwing 616 passes, which is actually a relatively low rate. That says more about Luck’s ability to recognize the pass rush coming and get rid of the ball quickly than it says about the Colts’ ability to protect him.

The addition of guard Todd Herremans should help the Colts this year, and there’s a good chance they’ll add a starting offensive lineman in the draft as well. Maybe this will finally be the year the Colts put a consistent offensive line in front of their franchise quarterback.