Tonight, the Indianapolis Colts take on the New Orleans Saints. Here are five things to be watching during the game:
Is the Defense for Real?
Here's what I wrote earlier this week:
"Colts fans are (rightfully) very hopeful and cautiously excited about this defense, especially after their performance in the first two games. "We're better probably right now today than we've been at any point," Chuck Pagano said about his defense and the talent they have, further adding to the excitement and optimism. The front seven looks very good, and then the secondary has talent if they can put it together. But it's one thing to do it against the Jets and the Giants - it's a whole different level when playing Drew Brees, Jimmy Graham, and the New Orleans Saints. The Colts will get that opportunity on Saturday night, and it should provide a great test and a measuring stick for just how good this defense is."
Along the same lines of the defense, Mike Adams will be starting at safety for the second game in the row. But here's the thing - with Delano Howell out for an unknown period of time (but probably for a while), Adams will very likely be starting at safety for the foreseeable future. And going up against Drew Brees tonight should be a good test for the secondary, including for Adams. We know pretty much what to expect from the veteran, but how is he fitting in with the secondary and the other players, and how does he look? That's something to pay attention to tonight.
Of course, this one only applies if Reggie Wayne indeed plays, but if he does, it will be the first time we see him back on the game field since he tore his ACL. He looked great in training camp, and it'll be great to see him on the field if he plays. How much will he play? How will the offense look with him in? How big of a role will he have? Does his knee look as good in the course of a game as it did in camp? If Reggie Wayne plays, there's a lot to look for. There might be a slight inkling that he'll play, but again, we don't know yet. This, however, from local radio host Jon Michael Vincent (JMV) not too long ago:
I'm hearing 10-12 plays for 87 tonight vs the #saints #colts— JMV1070 (@JMV1070) August 23, 2014
This is the third game, and this is the third time Trent Richardson has been on this list. Why? Simply because we still don't know what to make of him. He's had a couple of very nice runs this preseason, but they've been few and far between. Overall, he hasn't been impressive and has yet to show the improvement that we hoped he would. He'll get the most work tonight of any preseason game and this will likely be the last time we see him until week one. He'll definitely be a point of interest tonight.
The Offensive Line!
So far, the line has given Andrew Luck enough time to throw the ball this preseason. Will that continue? Will Jack Mewhort play tonight (I doubt it, but we'll see). How does Jonotthan Harrison look after an impressive performance last week? Can they continue to keep Andrew Luck upright? Can they pave more lanes for Trent Richardson? And, of course, they'll get extended work tonight too, so it'll be important to watch - even if two starters might not be playing.
What are you excited to watch tonight from the Colts, whether it be a specific player or an entire unit?