One of the most underrated Colts over the past year or two has been outside linebacker Erik Walden. He has never really been given a fair chance by many fans since getting a large contract in 2013, but he played well for the team in 2014 and has been one of the standouts in preseason for them. He played well again on Saturday, notching two sacks. He has been the most consistent outside linebacker on the team this preseason, and it's not even close.
The rookie running back out of Yale didn't receive many chances in training camp or in the first two preseasons, but when he got the chances on Saturday, he took advantage of them. His numbers might not be the most impressive (16 yards and a touchdown on 6 carries and 19 yards on three receptions) but the way he played certainly was. Varga never gave up, always fought for yards, and showed tremendous effort. He's a guy that could be in line for a roster spot, so Saturday's game was big for him. And I think he made the most of the opportunities he got.
Last week, the overwhelming concern regarding the offensive line was about the pass protection (and understandably so, considering Andrew Luck is the face of the franchise), but so far in preseason, the run blocking has been the more consistent issue. In both the first and third preseason games the pass blocking has been fine, but the run blocking has been awful. That was the case again on Saturday night, as the interior of the line in particular did not look good.
I still really like Josh Robinson, but Saturday night was not a good game for him. Seeing his first extended work with the first-team offense, he did some good things (like in pass protection when he made a great block on Andrew Luck's touchdown pass), but it was overall a very rough night. He rushed five times for four yards (0.8 yards per rush) and lost a fumble on a play in which he just never grabbed the football on the handoff. The run blocking certainly didn't help Robinson out any, but the back didn't look good. And to add to his rough night? He suffered a concussion at some point during the game as well.
Injuries are a part of the game, but they still stink. The Colts have been fortunate when it comes to injuries so far this year, but there were some notable ones on Saturday - namely, Arthur Jones. On the second play of the game he suffered an ankle injury. We don't know many details yet, but there is reason for concern simply because of the fact that he missed a lot of time last year with an ankle injury. We also mentioned that Josh Robinson suffered a concussion during the game. And then Vick Ballard, who didn't even play, suffered a hamstring injury late in the week in practice that put him out for today's game. As he tries to come back from two consecutive season-ending injuries, he needs to be on the field to earn a roster spot.
Andrew Luck's tackle
On one particular play, Andrew Luck was hit as he was throwing, the pass was a very ugly one, and it was intercepted. The Rams defender then returned it and got by all of the Colts' offensive players except one: Andrew Luck. You normally don't like to see your star quarterback going for a tackle no matter what, but in preseason he should just stay the heck away. But those who know Andrew Luck knew that wasn't going to happen. Luck made the tackle, and it turns out the play was called back due to a defensive penalty on the Rams, but Luck doesn't need to be making those tackles. He never needs to be doing that, but especially not in the preseason.