Here's all you need to know for this Sunday's preseason game between the Indianapolis Colts and the New York Giants in New York at Metlife Stadium. Game time is 7:00 and it will be broadcast nationally on FOX. It will be on radio locally on WFNI and WLHK in Indianapolis by Bob Lamey and Jim Sorgi.
How will they Rebound?
Last Sunday's 44-20 loss to the Buffalo Bills was described by owner Jim Irsay as a "crap performance," one that got his "commanders" and "earful." Did it work? Will the Colts really come out and rebound well against the Giants? Chuck Pagano on Monday gave his take on the game against the Giants and playing on national TV:
"It’s obviously, any time you get to play on national TV at seven o’clock in New York City against the New York Football Giants, which is a great organization as we know and has got a great head football coach in Tom Coughlin, it’s a great opportunity for us. Number one, I fully expect this team to bounce back from Sunday’s performance. Again, there were a lot of good things there but it’s a great opportunity. Again, national television, under the lights, everybody’s watching. So, we all expect every man in that locker room, all the coaches, we expect to go play and play well."
Will they really play well? The team is confident they will, I'm confident they will, and Chuck Pagano is confident they will - and I'm sure he's really hoping they do as well so that he doesn't have to get another earful from Mr. Irsay.
How Long will the Starters Play?
Chuck Pagano said Thursday that the starters are definitely going to play longer against the Giants, and that they may possibly even play the whole first half. Pagano said that they would love to get Andrew Luck in a two minute drill at the end of the half. Ultimately, however, it depends more on number of plays than quarters or drives, and Pagano said roughly 25-30 plays is the estimate for the starters on Sunday. Greg Manusky on Wednesday said that he expects his starting defenders to get "15 plays at least playing together," and with Pagano's comments Thursday that seems to be the low end. Manusky did state that it also depends on age, as the older guys (over 30 years old) won't play as much as the younger guys. Really, the amount of playing time in the preseason just depends on how the game is going. It's hard to pin down exactly, and it's also important to remember that the number of plays is the real thing to be looking for, not a certain point in the game (like halftime).
Last week we saw the Colts and Jerry Hughes reunited, as Hughes is now playing for the Buffalo Bills. Well, who would have thought that this week an even more infamous Colt would be facing his former team? Yeah, that's right, Curtis Painter is now the fourth string quarterback for the New York Giants, backing up Eli Manning (and David Carr and Ryan Nassib). I didn't even realize that he was still in the league until the other night I had the Giants' first preseason game on and was working on some writing and looked up and saw Painter enter the game. Well, he will be playing against his former team this Sunday. If the game was in Indianapolis, I wonder if they would have had a thank you video tribute of all of his interceptions from 2011 as a way of thanking him for Andrew Luck? Or what about the picture of the two of them together? Ok, I kid, but seriously, we'll see Curtis Painter for the Giants on Sunday.
Also, Colts running back Ahmad Bradshaw makes his first return to New York to play his former team, who he won two Super Bowls with, although Bradshaw will not play. Giants safety Sergio Brown, defensive back David Caldwell, and wide receiver Kris Adams have all spent time with Indy in the past few seasons as well (Adams will not play as he was lost for the season with a leg injury in the first preseason game and was waived-injured on Monday).
Who Won't Play?
Perhaps the most important thing you need to know going into Sunday's game is who won't be playing. While we won't really know that until the inactives are announced on game day, Chuck Pagano did rule out Khaled Holmes, Hugh Thornton, Pat Angerer, and Ahmad Bradshaw out on Thursday, and he said that if LaRon Landry didn't practice Thursday then he probably wouldn't play Sunday. Landry didn't practice Thursday, so don't expect to see him this Sunday against the Giants either.