This was a much more exciting game than the first game of the pre-season. We got to see the Colts back at home, we got to see Andrew Luck, and we got to see another, almost impressive, blunder by the Colts.
I'm always more excited to fire off some awards when I have more positive things to say about the team. And I do have some positives this week.
MVP - Andrew Luck
This was an easy pick. In his return to action, Luck led the Colts through the first quarter, and looked extremely sharp. Throw out the fact that Luck was a perfect 8-8 (too much has been made of that) and just look at the throws. Last pre-season, the Colts offense, including Luck, looked out of sync and clunky all pre-season.
There was none of that against the Ravens. Luck was sharp, made great throws and good decisions. He ran when he needed to, and protected himself when he needed to. I did think Luck was a little too cautious scrambling near the goal line on the first drive. But since it's the pre-season, I have no problem about that.
Also Impressive Award - Scott Tolzien and Stephen Morris
The other QBs were also impressive. Tolzien and Morris both tossed a touchdown, and both had a QB rating over 100. A stark improvement from last week in Buffalo. This contributed to the Colts offense, as a whole, looking wildly better this week than it did last week. Morris' two-point conversion non-withstanding.
While I was pleased with the improved QB play, I still don't feel overly comfortable with either of these guys if Luck were to be injured. Then again, Matt Hasselbeck looked awful last pre-season and was serviceable during the season.
Mixed Bag Award - Running Game
Yes, I'm going to keep harping on this. The running game isn't great. Yes, the colts had nearly 100 yards this week, which is a stark improvement over last week. However, there wasn't really a part that you were excited about. Morris had a 26 yard clip which accounted for over 25% of the yardage.
I'm still not sold on Robert Turbin. He doesn't look like a great runner to me. At least he hasn't been impressive through the first two games. Could part of this be because he is running behind a second string line on an offensive line that isn't great to begin with? Yes. Still, I'm not sold on him yet.
Despite one carry, I like what I saw from Frank Gore. In other words, on his one carry he did exactly what the Colts need him to do. Get those third and short first downs.
Tradition Award - White Uniforms
I think I wrote about this last year too, but I'll do it again here. I love that the Colts wear white at home for the first pre-season game. Maybe I just like it because it's something different.
The only time I remember the Colts wearing white, at home, for the pre-season before the Luck era was when the team wore throwbacks and Curtis Painter got the start. Sorry to bring back that memory.
Bungled Play Award - Two-Point Conversion
It wasn't so much a blown play like the "punt" last year, but it was sad nonetheless. The Colts took the lead with a little over 3 minutes to play. However, they promptly gave the lead back on the two point conversion when Morris threw a pick six...or is it a pick two? And yes, that was the difference in the game.
LVP - Penalties
So far in the pre-season, and it was especially on display Saturday night, the Colts appear to remain an undisciplined team. Key penalties in the red zone, and on fourth down, hurt the Colts early in the game. Penalties at key moments have handicapped the Colts in recent years, and that trend has continued this pre-season.
The Colts will be back in action on Saturday, back at home, against the Eagles. At least this season we shouldn't see the trio of Mark Sanchez, Matt Barkley, and Tim Tebow rip apart the Colts secondary in the pre-season.