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Upon Further Review: Colts vs. Jets

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Stampede Blue's Josh Wilson went back and looked at the film, and here are his additional notes and insights that he saw from the Colts first preseason game against the Jets.

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The Indianapolis Colts kicked off their 2014 season with their preseason opener against the New York Jets on Thursday night, and even though it was a 13-10 loss for the Colts, there were a lot of positives from the game.

I gave some initial thoughts about the game shortly after it concluded, and that will be the same thing I'll do all season long.  I'll just throw my notes out there and let you all discuss, the same thing I did last year.  But this year, I'm also going to be doing a series of notes with some more observations and thoughts from the game after looking at film.  Sometimes this will include full-out film breakdowns, sometimes it will just include notes, sometimes it will include other things.  This is where I'll lay out additional observations and notes, and I think it's even more helpful in the preseason too because there's so much that's easy to miss initially.

Without further ado, here's what I jotted down in my notebook after re-watching the film:

  • Firstly, I don't know what it tells about me that I went back and examined the film from a preseason game, but it probably signifies that I'm a nerd or something like that.
  • The tight ends (Dwayne Allen and Coby Fleener) on the seam route is going to be open quite a bit this year for the Colts.
  • Hakeem Nicks ran a great route to get a first down on the 3rd-and-11.  It was a comeback down the right sideline and the way he ran it kept the corner heading downfield.  Nicks made the route look like he was going further then turned around on the comeback.  It was an open first down catch.
  • The underneath crossing route to T.Y. Hilton is going to be open a lot this year.  The Colts ran it twice Thursday night and I'd expect them to run it often this year.
  • When the first team offensive line was in, they looked good - I was really, really impressed.  The Colts tried to take some of the pressure off of Khaled Holmes and Jack Mewhort by their blocking schemes and having them double a guy, but even when they didn't, I thought that both Holmes and Mewhort looked good - especially in pass protection.
  • Speaking of Jack Mewhort, he had an up and down debut.  He looked good on the first drive in pass protection, but other than that he had some rough plays.  Particularly when pulling and blocking in space, Mewhort struggled.  There's a lot to be encouraged by with Mewhort's debut, but at the same time there were clearly struggles that remind us what it will be like starting a rookie.
  • Dwayne Allen's impact in this offense is going to be huge.  We all knew that already, but we saw it on the field Thursday night.  He was out on a couple pass patterns, blocking as a tight end, and then playing in the backfield with Andrew Luck protecting for him.  On one particular play, on 3rd-and-6, Allen was in the backfield and made a tremendous blitz pickup to give Luck enough time to convert.  His versatility in the offense is going to help a ton.
  • Initially, I thought that Trent Richardson looked much better Thursday night.  After re-watching the game, though, I don't think we really saw much improvement at all out of Richardson.  His first two runs were exactly what he needs to do, and they were good runs.  But looking back, I think those runs were a result of good blocking.  Once Khaled Holmes went out, Richardson's three runs didn't go anywhere.  I'm not saying Holmes is the sole reason for Richardson's two good runs Thursday night, but I think the offensive line was.  In other words - I'm still waiting to see that improvement from Richardson that we need to see.
  • Jonotthan Harrison had the two bad snaps, we all saw that.  But how'd he do as a blocker otherwise?  I think he was average.  He had some bad blocks but also had some solid ones.  If he can get the bad snaps controlled, I think he'll look much better, but the blocking still isn't anything special and there were a number of bad ones Thursday night.
  • I didn't notice it Thursday night, but D'Qwell Jackson had a very good game.  He had some great pass rushes on blitzes in the middle of the line, made some nice run stops, and shed some blocks nicely.  We all know what kind of player Jackson is due to his number of years in the league, but I was very impressed with him in the preseason opener.
  • I already noted it so I'll keep it brief here, but Bjoern Werner had a very encouraging and impressive preseason debut.  Some very nice pass rushes and pressure.  It's clear, though, that dropping him into coverage and stuff like that isn't the best route for the Colts to go, though - and they need him as a pass rusher.
  • Erik Walden still can't set the edge.  I thought he made some nice plays that were encouraging - but yeah, he still can't set the edge against mobile quarterbacks.  He took himself out of several plays.
  • Josh Chapman had a good game at nose tackle.  He did make a couple of the plays, but most importantly he did what a nose tackle should do and engaged the linemen - and he didn't get pushed around while doing so.  I thought Chapman was very encouraging.
  • Expect the Colts to blitz a lot in the first four weeks without Robert Mathis, and that's exactly what they did Thursday night.  Whether it was the linebackers, the corners, or the safeties, the Colts used them all.  Corner Marcus Burley and safety Colt Anderson both had nice blitzes, along with others.
  • If Matt Hasselbeck made a good throw down the left sideline, Donte Moncrief would have had his first career NFL touchdown.  As it was, however, Hasselbeck under threw the pass and it fell incomplete.
  • That throw aside, Hasselbeck was impressive Thursday night and showed once again why he's still one of the league's best backup quarterbacks.
  • Henoc Muamba had a great game at inside linebacker.  He was all over the field and made several of plays.
  • I mentioned in my initial notes recap how Delano Howell played a lot, and indeed he did - just not as much as I initially thought.  He did start the game and he was in there in the third quarter, but the Colts were rotating their safeties all game so Howell wasn't in there all the time.  Delano Howell, Colt Anderson, Mike Adams, and Sergio Brown all rotated in there.
  • Cam Johnson and Andy Studebaker were two other linebackers who had impressive games on Thursday.  Both of them are on the bubble probably, so it was a good performance by those two.
  • On passing downs during the first four games of the season, I wouldn't be surprised if Bjoern Werner and Jonathan Newsome were the two outside linebackers.
  • Zurlon Tipton looked good in his few plays with the second team, but with the third team he wasn't that impressive.  Hopefully, he gets more opportunities to show what he can do with the second team.
  • Ricky Jean Francois actually made some nice plays, too.
  • Hey Griff Whalen, just don't field that punt.  Just let it go, please.  Thanks.
  • Josh Gordy had a nice game at corner with the first team.  He's not going to win a starting spot or anything, but he'll provide good depth.
  • I thought Jonotthan Harrison was better than FN Lutz, at least.
  • Qua Cox's game overall wasn't impressive.  He made one nice play, but overall it wasn't impressive.
  • Jonathon Sharpe looked sharp (get it) and made some nice plays, as did Phillip Hunt.  Both of them were signed just as bodies with all the injuries at the linebacker spot, but they made some nice plays.
  • Johnny Adams came very close to blocking that last kick by the Jets.  Very close.
Any other observations you had from the game?  Thoughts about mine?  Drop them in the comments!