I'm not going to lie. I'm actually very pleasantly surprised by how well the Indianapolis Colts played tonight in their third preseason game of 2011 against the defending champion Green Bay Packers. Last year this time, the Pack hung 59 points on the Colts in a game that was, for all intents and purposes, a precursor for the season for both teams.
This year, let's hope this game is not foreshadowing, because Indy had an 8 point lead with roughly two minutes to go in the game only to choke it away behind the stupidity of Chip Vaughn and the awful pass-rushing skills of Jerry Hughes.
But, rather than focus on the final two minutes, let's focus on the positives:
Curtis Painter bounced back. He was his usual pathetic self in the first quarter, and then in the second made several big throws that gave the Colts a 14-10 lead at halftime.
- The run defense was superb. The Packers were limited to 45 total rushing yards in the game.
- The right side of the o-line was impressive. Several big holes opened up on that side, especially early.
- Colts running game, especially Joseph Addai and Delone Carter, looked damn good. Team earned 112 rushing yards on the night.
- Tommie Harris got a sack.
- Dwight Freeney is unblockable.
- Reggie Wayne looks healthy.
- Ernie Sims looks like a starter at WILL.
- Jamaal Anderson made some nice plays against the run.
- David Gilreath and Joe Lefeged impressed as punt and kick returners, respectively.
- Javarris James ran well, and was a beast covering punts.
- Philip Wheeler looked good as a stand-up pass rusher.
All-in-all, this is one of those preseason games where the score really is meaningless. The Colts, without Peyton Manning, held their own against the world champs. Not bad.
That said, Chip Vaughn will get cut on Tuesday, and Jerry Hughes should probably join him. Oh, and the onside kick at the end really made Jim Caldwell look bad. The Colts clearly weren't ready for it, even though everyone and their mother knew Green Bay would do that with 35 seconds left. You'd think at, after the Super Bowl in 2010, Caldwell would have learned. Guess not.
Go Colts! P.S., Jim Caldwell can't coach.