Anthony Castonzo: Underrated or Overrated?

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Aug 26, 2017; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Indianapolis Colts tackle Anthony Castonzo (74) at the line of scrimmage against the Pittsburgh Steelers during the second quarter at Heinz Field. The Colts won19-15. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports
Aug 26, 2017; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Indianapolis Colts tackle Anthony Castonzo (74) at the line of scrimmage against the Pittsburgh Steelers during the second quarter at Heinz Field. The Colts won19-15. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

The Colts’ offensive line is an absolute mess, ranking bottom of the league in sacks allowed with 39, and also allowing countless pressures and QB hits while being average at best in the running game. The Colts had three solid offensive linemen coming into the season, which were left tackle Anthony Castonzo, guard Jack Mewhort and center Ryan Kelly. The rest of the line was a complete mystery.

Now at the half point of the season, the offensive line has performed even worse than expected. After some expectations of at least average play, everything crumbled. Kelly started the season injured and still has not recovered his level of play, Mewhort has underperformed to a degree that there are now doubts as to wether the Colts should stick with him at guard, and the right guard spot has been an absolute mess, with rookie Kyle Kalis now starting. Kalis was awful against the Steelers, being a constant liability, and committing a pair of penalties.

There have been a few bright spots. Actually, only two. Joe Haeg has developed into a steady right tackle and is playing at a level that should leave the Colts comfortable with him starting to protect the quarterbacks (whoever it is) strong side. But the real hero of the offensive line has been left tackle Anthony Castonzo.

Castonzo has easily been the Colts best offensive this season and one of the top, if not number one, tackles in the NFL. After a not so great start in the passing game (his run block remained elite through the course of the whole season) Castonzo has really picked up his slack and could be considered the main reason why Brissett is tossing the ball so well in the past few games.

Castonzo’s play had been steadily improving and he has punctuated that in the past two weeks. Against two strong front sevens in the Texans and the Steelers, Castonzo did not allow a single pressure on Brissett, and was graded as the top tackle in the NFL in the past two weeks. Castonzo is now really playing at the level that was expected from him at the beginning of the season and then some.

Castonzo is now ranked number eight among all tackles by Pro Football Focus and is the third best run blocking tackle in the League. Simply put, Castonzo has been elite all season long.

Castonzo is currently 29 years old, which is not exactly young for a left tackle, but he is not old either, he still has plenty of football left in the tank, and he is also under contract for two more years for just six million dollars, which is fairly cheap.

Overall, Castonzo should be the building rock of the offensive line once (if) Luck returns. If he continues to perform at this elite level then the left tackle problem is surely solved for a few years.


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