Was I the only one who had flashbacks to last season during this game? The way the Lions controlled the clock, the stuffed runs, the way Peyton had to carry the team. It was scary. Thankfully it is just the preseason and this team should look great in the regular season. If they would lose to the Lions in the regular season I would freak out. I think the Lions are definitely improved and could have a very good offense with Stafford, Jones and Johnson. Their defensive line isn't very good though. In fact, it's pretty terrible. Their defense could keep them from not having a top 5 pick this year. Here are some of my thoughts on the game.
~Peyton Manning looked like I expect him to in the regular season. I love to see Peyton take the Colts down the field to score. It is one of those special things in life.
~I have been very harsh to Curtis Painter. The "Out with the old, in with the new" speak around here has irritated me. Sorgi is a good backup QB and it seems like people are trying to force him out for the new guy. However, Painter was very good today. He made some great throws. Obviously the interception was not his fault. It showed why the Colts drafted him. I still don't see him making the 53 man roster though.
~The running game wasn't good today. It looked like the right side of the line was letting the Lions get to the runner right at the line of scrimmage. Although Charlie Johnson is starting at left tackle, I'm more worried about the left side of the line. Mike Pollak really needs to have a good year or else he will lose his starting job. It's that simple. Charlie Johnson and Jamey Richard both can be very good guards, and Pollak needs to earn his spot.
~John Matthews sucks. He is disgracing the holy number 83. Any number that graced the great Brandon Stokley should only be worn by players who can actually catch a football. I propose that John Matthews is cut and Austin Collie takes the number 83. The number 83 goes to players I like. I do not like Matthews. I like Collie. My favorite Colt ever cannot have his number be worn by someone who cost the Colts a game.
~The pass blocking was very good today for the most part. I'd say it was better than the first two games. The Lions only had two sacks. One was on a great defensive play by Julian Peterson on a stunt blitz. No one was going to stop that. Charlie Johnson looked pretty good today as did Jamey Richard and Kyle DeVan.
~No chance Steve Justice earns a spot on the 53 man roster. DeVan was very good today and of course Jamey Richard and Mike Pollak could play center if necessary. Justice was terrible last year and was a big time miss by Polian.
~I didn't notice Ugoh in this game. I can't say if he played good or bad. Of course not noticing him probably means that he played okay but not great or not terrible. I still want him starting at left tackle. There is no need to leave that kind of talent on the bench to prove a point or what not. If they really wanted to push Ugoh they should have drafted a left tackle early. Good thing the 2010 draft looks like it is loaded at offensive tackle.
~Marcus Howard is fast. His sack on Matt Stafford looks like something he would do to Colt Brennan. If Colt Brennan is ever committed it would definitely be because of Marcus Howard. I wish the 'Skins and the Colts would play in the preseason again.
~Overall the defensive tackles played pretty well. I still think Fili Moala is going to be a great pro. He just needs a little more strength. His burst off of the line is phenomenal and he draws double teams. I would not be opposed to playing him as a nose tackle because of his ability to draw double teams. I'm looking forward to seeing him progress.
~Ed Johnson dressed but didn't play. I firmly believe that it was to prepare for the Jacksonville game. He's suspended for it, so why play him? It's obvious that the Colts couldn't give a crap about preseason. Muir and Antonio Johnson will be the starting defensive tackles for Week One with Moala and Eric Foster getting a lot of playing time. Adrian Grady and Terrance Taylor will also be on the roster. So many defensive tackles, too little roster spaces.
~Why did they re-sign Freddy Keiaho? He can't play middle linebacker as we saw today. It's pretty clear that Ramon Humber and Mike Tauiliili are better players. Tauiliiiiiiili played great today. His goal line stops were things of beauty. To be honest I think this is more of a competition between Humber and the guy with 50 "i"s in his name with the "loser" going on the practice squad. These guys appear to be future Polian gems.
~Jamie Silva is good. He's a mad man out there. He always goes to jack players up. I wouldn't feel great about that when it is Maurice Jones-Drew coming at him, but it is very fun to watch. He's got to make the final roster, doesn't he? I would be very surprised if he got cut. I would much rather see him on the roster over Matt Giordano.
~Jerraud Powers was a nice find by Polian. I'd say that Powers was the most criticized pick on draft day. He was taken a couple of rounds higher than he was projected, but it was worth it if someone else was going to take him. I'm not a fan of small corners and I never will be, but Powers can be the exception to the "Small corners aren't ideal in the Cover-2" rule. Tim Jennings shouldn't make the roster if you ask me. Watching him go up against Calvin Johnson was comical. Tim Jennings looked like he is 16 inches shorter than Megatron Johnson.
~I'm almost certain that Pat McAfee could punt the ball over the Cowboys video board. He looks like a future Pro Bowl punter. He is going to have a great net punting average.
~The return game isn't going to be very good at all. Hopefully they will cover it in the 2010 draft (Perrish Cox!)
New roster prediction after the jump.
QB Curtis Painter
WR Taj Smith
WR Sam Giguere
OL Jaimie Thomas
OL Tom Pestock
DL Rudolph Hardie
LB Ramon Humber
DB Jacob Lacey
I will say that I was struggling with the 53rd spot. It was down to Taj Smith (for special teams purposes), Dan Federkeil, Adrian Grady, Ramon Humber and TJ Rushing, but I went with the player that I thought had the most potential and could make the bigger impact. That was Adrian Grady. Yes, I know that 12 defensive linemen is a lot, but all 12 of those guys are either very good or have the potential to be very good. I have no problem with four wide receivers with Dallas Clark and Jacob Tamme being able to line up at wide receiver. Yes, it is very scary to only have eight offensive linemen, but the dropoff after those eight is tremendous. With Thomas and Pestock on the practice squad and Federkeil most likely being able to be signed at some point (probably after the CFL season if he is cut), I'm not too worried. If four offensive linemen get injured in a single game, then I don't think the Colts were destined to win that game anyways. I feel like these are the 53 best Colts. This should be the roster.