Pre-Season 1-0

Well. So that’s what balance looks like. The Colts threw the ball 30 times and ran the ball 32 times in their first pre-season game today.  There was also balance between offense and defense as well. Neither side had to carry the others. Hell, even special teams didn’t stink up the Luke, and after so many years of suckage, that’s all we can ask for. Oh yeah, and that new kid, the QB, he was pretty good too.  And now for the breakdown.

The front seven played pretty well. The Rams averaged 2.6 yards per carry in the run game. When was the last time that happened against the Colts? Never? There was a Jerry Hughes siting (2 sacks). That’s more production out of him than his entire career combined to this point. There was pressure on the Rams quarterbacks throughout, forcing a couple of bad throws and a late interception. There wasn’t any damage done through the air, but the secondary wasn’t great eithrt. The Packers are going to tear them a new one. Maybe even teams with less than elite passing too. Hopefully, GM Ryan Grigson can find some help on the waiver wire as the pre-season progresses.  One thing I noticed was that our safeties didn’t have to do a ton of tackling. That meant that the Rams runners weren’t getting by our linebackers. Kavell Connor’s name was called a lot along with Jerrell Freeman, Moises Fokou, and Monterio Harvey. Mario Addison, Dwight Freeney’s back-up, was able to push the pocket on several occasions.  I only noticed the nose tackles a couple of times, but I think that’s the way its supposed to be. The ends seemed to be in the mix of things though. Fili Moala, Drake Nevis, and Ricardo Mathews all made plays.  The D is by no means a finished product, but maybe they won’t completely suck ass.

Special Teams:
Oh that’s what non-bad special team play looks like. Unfamiliar. There weren’t any great returns on the Colts part, but the Rams got nothing either. I’ll settle for breaking even.

Um, wow. I’ve watched the Colts since 1984 and can honestly say that I have never seen three quarterbacks on the roster play that well front to back. Drew Stanton played the worst of the three and he had a QB rating of 94. That’s real good, by the way. Chandler Harnish was able to lead the 3rd and 4th team guys to two scores and had a perfect rating of 158.3. Who else? Oh yeah. Our starter. Andrew Luck lookes like the #1 pick in the draft. Thank God he was. He looked poised, confident, elusive, and in command. His first pass was a 63 yards touchdown (thank you Donald “DAMMIT!” Brown). The other drives, though, are what gave me warm and fuzzy feelings. Anyone can luck into a long touchdown. Curtis Painter did it more than once last year. It’s the other stuff I look for in a QB. The offensive line – my main concern going into the game – needs some more work. Early on, Luck had to scramble and dodge the opposing defenders, but they did settle down and throw some nice protection in. On the TD to Austin Collie, Luck had enough time to bar-b-q some burgers back there. They were good, too.  There was also some nice run blocking. The Colts were able to convert 3rd and short several times. That hasn’t happened since 2006. I think Mewelde Moore looked like the least effective running back out there. But he’s old, so what can you expect. He didn’t play bad, just less good than the others.  Grigson has put together a nice receiving corps. There were a trio of drops, but that was more than made up for by a couple of catches, namely the sideline catch by TY Hilton over the defender – a perfect pass by the way. I don’t envy trying to pick who stays and who goes. Donnie Avery better heal quick.

The Conclution:
Yes I know. It was one pre-season game against the crappy Rams. But it should be noted that the Colts and Rams were both 2-14 last year. It just looks like the Colts were the only ones to improve. I’ve seen many a message boarder point out how bad the Rams are, but I would like to point out that the good QB’s in this league eat bad defenses for breakfast and that’s what Andrew Luck did. Will every game be this easy? Hell no.. starting next week at Pittsburgh. But as a first test, the Colts could have looked like the Rams but didn’t. That’s a first step into a larger world (Star Wars reference!).

One more thing. For those that are saying the Andrew Luck didn’t have much to do with his first touchdown and that it was no indication of his future, maybe not, but 15 years ago another rookie QB threw a short pass that turned into a 48 yard touchdown. That also meant nothing in the grand scheme of things, but that rookie turned out to be Peyton Manning. I’m not saying Luck will be that good, but maybe – like last time – this is a good omen.

Thank you!

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