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Alabama in the Pros

Offensive lineman Ryan Kelly, one of few standouts for Indianapolis against Detroit

Indianapolis Colts offensive lineman Ryan Kelly (No. 78) in preseason game against Buffalo Bills: Kevin Hoffman - USA TODAY Sports

The decision to select Ryan Kelly in the first round (18th overall pick) of the NFL Draft was no fluke on behalf of head coach Chuck Pagano and the Indianapolis Colts. It saw something special about the ex-Alabama center, and he produced in a big way during Sunday’s game against the Detroit Lions.

Kelly excelled at pass protection, giving Andrew Luck time to throw for 385 yards and four touchdowns on 31 of 47 completions. Neither team had much success running the ball; however, Kelly did block for a 56.2 percent conversion rate on third down to keep the Colts in the contest.

Kelly and Indianapolis outscored Detroit 25-18 in the second half, after the Lions held a 21-10 edge at halftime. He blocked for six scoring drives, but it was Lions’ kicker Matt Prater that nailed a 43-yard field goal with four seconds remaining in the game—delivering a 39-35 win for Detroit.

Indianapolis will travel to Sports Authority Field at Mile High to face Denver next week.

Stephen M. Smith is a senior analyst and columnist for Touchdown Alabama MagazineYou can “like” him on Facebook or “follow” him on Twitter, via @Smsmith_TDALMag.

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