Colts Offensive Line Continuity Unmatched In 2019

Colts Offensive Line Continuity Unmatched In 2019

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Colts Offensive Line Continuity Unmatched In 2019

Through the first 6 weeks of the 2019 regular season, the Colts offensive line has done something no other unit in the league has accomplished. What is it?

Joe Robbins | Getty Images

INDIANAPOLIS – Nyheim Hines is surprised to hear the question.

“The whole O-line?” Hines asks for confirmation.

Yes, all 5 members of the Colts offensive line have played every snap together this season.

They are the only O-line in the NFL to have all 5 starters not miss a single snap.

“Sheesh,” Hines adds.

That continuity, which helped the Colts turn their season around last year has once again silenced any questions about the Colts offensive line.

In 2018, the Colts were 1-4 when they turned to their new line configuration of: LT-Anthony Castonzo, LG-Quenton Nelson, C-Ryan Kelly, RG-Mark Glowinski, RT-Braden Smith.

The Colts went 4-1 when those 5 started together in the 2018 regular season.

With the Colts finally finding a quality, and consistently available, starting offensive line, it led to some historic numbers last year. The Colts led the NFL in pass protection, allowing just 18 sacks in 644 pass attempts (2.7%). They had a stretch of not allowing a sack in 239 straight pass attempts.

A re-signing of Glowinski back in January kept that line together for 2019 (and beyond).

After 5 games this season, with every single game coming down to one possession, the Colts have had a healthy offensive line.

The results have the Colts ranked 4th in rushing yards per game (142.0) and 4th in sacks allowed per pass attempt (3.59%).

“I know everybody knows this but it’s even more important than I think we all realize,” Frank Reich says about the impressive continuity up front. “We talk about it. Everybody knows it’s important, but every game that those guys can stay together and play together it really does a lot.

“It does a lot in a lot of ways when you’re trying to build something. So the fact that we have been able to do that has been a big part of our success.”

Having that togetherness up front also aids the Colts’ runners.

Backs have more confidence in knowing how the guys up front block certain plays and their tendencies in pass protection.

“I read off them, know what they are thinking, how they are blocking,” Marlon Mack says.

Now 21 games into his NFL career, Quenton Nelson has been on the field all 1,494 snaps.

It’s pretty remarkable, considering the constant revolving door the Colts endured up front for so many years prior to Nelson’s arrival.

“Having played almost a whole year and a half together, it definitely has increased our continuity and chemistry together,” the All-Pro guard says. “No one missing a step and not having any subs in is big for us.

“It’s just our job to be out there. No O-linemen comes out unless they are hurt.”

That job has been accomplished unlike any other NFL team to start the 2019 season, and includes last year's two postseason contests.

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