After reviewing the preseason game last night against the Cleveland Browns, I came away with great positive feedback. The Colts beat the Browns 27-6 as our defense took a great leap in coverage and tackling.
When watching our defense last night, our secondary was on fire most of the time. Landry, Toler, Davis, and Bethea seem to play very well together. Landry made a few very nice tackles during the game. On one play, Trent Richardson broke through the left of our defensive line for 15 yards, until Landry made a very nice diving tackle to lay him out. Richardson could have gained many more yards, but Landry’s closing speed impressed. Another great play came from Toler as he stripped the ball from Greg Little and recovered the fumble. His teammates and coaches rave about the intensity he brings to the game. "The coaches give me a little leeway with the way we play the defense," Toler said after the game. "I just try to get in there and make plays. That was one of the plays I had to learn from and keep my eye on the receiver and make the play." Robert Mathis also chimed in on the great play by the secondary this week. "We have a secondary to be reckoned with," Robert Mathis said. "I think we can have one of the best secondary’s in the league. We just have to go out there and leave it on the field." Another player that I have to talk about is Caesar Rayford. He has been great this whole preseason and continued his play this week. He contributed 2 sacks and a forced fumble as he just lit up the Brown’s second and third stringers. He will make the Colts final roster for sure, as he holds the most sacks in the preseason so far. What is kind of ironic is that our emphasis this offseason was to improve our pass rush, but it seems to be that our secondary benefited the most.
Pagano stated last night, "Luck runs too much." He may have a point, but Luck runs at the right times he needs to. The coaching staff does not want Luck to rely on his athleticism to gain yards and move the chains, which is understandable. The emphasis is to create an offensive line to give Luck plenty of time to pick the defense apart. We saw glimpses of that last night as Luck hit Wayne and DHB many times down the middle of the field. Now can the offensive line still give him more time? Of course. Hopefully they can gel quickly like our secondary has. Thornton played very well for his NFL debut last night, holding his own against a very good Brown’s defensive seven. I hope that he stays healthy and somewhere down the course of the season, starts for us.
Andrew Luck & Receivers:
For Andrew Luck, he was 16/25 for 164 yards with 2 touchdowns and 1 interception that should have been caught by Havili. His QBR last night was 92.8 as he completed 64 percent of his passes. He has been on fire this preseason, which shouldn’t surprise many. Reggie Wayne played outstanding as always with 7 catches for 79 yards, DHB made a couple very nice plays in space as he had 3 catches for 33 yards, and Hilton caught yet another touchdown. Grif Whalen played very well after he recovered from his injury. He caught 4 passes for 57 yards from Matt Hasselbeck. I hope that he can either practice with Andrew Luck or play in the 4th preseason game with Luck, so we can see their chemistry together. He will be a very nice 4th or 5th stringer this year.
The Colts ran for 149 yards against the Browns. Our longest run of the day was 27 yards from Williams. Williams had an up and down night as he would make a great play, then a horrible one. One player that I am concerned about is Vick Ballard. He didn’t play his best game as he ran for 33 yards on only 10 attempts, averaging 3.3 yards per carry. Everyone else on the team averaged more yards per carry than he did. Hopefully he can pull it together by the time the games really do matter.
Players Who Impressed:
Players Who Didn't Impress:
The win or loss may not matter in these preseason games, but the play by the team certainly does. Hope you enjoy..