The Indianapolis Colts lost to the Philadelphia Eagles on Saturday night 33-23, and it wasn't the best game for the Colts. Their starters struggled and it really wasn't until Stephen Morris and the third-stringers came in that the offense really got going.
So while there weren't a ton of positives from the game, there's still plenty we can learn - including from the snap counts. That much is obvious just from looking at the roster cuts, as many of the players the Colts have cut already played very few snaps in the preseason. So let's take a look at the snap counts from Saturday's game and see what we can learn.
|Mitchel Van Dyk||T||19||28%|
- Denzelle Good played the most snaps of any offensive player, which is understandable. In the third preseason game the starters get quite a bit of action, and since Good is making the move to guard as a second-year player he could use as much work as possible.
- Once again Erik Swoope was the clear-cut favorite to be the number three tight end, and he's done nothing to diminish that. At this point, it basically seems guaranteed that Swoope will be the third tight end behind Dwayne Allen and Jack Doyle to start the season, and that's likely part of the reason for the team waiving Mike Miller and Konrad Reuland in the first roster cutdown.
- While the third preseason game is the hardest one to learn from when it comes to depth players, it's still interesting to note that MeKale McKay saw more snaps than Quan Bray and Chester Rogers and just a few less than Tevaun Smith, though all were pretty close. I don't think that means that McKay is ahead of either Bray or Rogers, however, and it still seems like Bray will be the return man and that it will come down to either Smith or Rogers as the fourth wideout, but McKay is still hanging around with an outside shot.
- Speaking of wide receiver, Donte Moncrief saw a lot of reps on Saturday night, while Phillip Dorsett and T.Y. Hilton both played quite a bit as well. I think most people realize it, but those three guys all have the potential to be playmakers and productive wideouts in the offense. Moncrief caught six passes for 58 yards; Dorsett caught three passes for 49 yards; and Hilton caught three passes for 38 yards. Getting all three on the field together could be a dangerous combination for the Colts.
- Josh Ferguson saw just six snaps on Saturday night, and I don't quite know what to make of it. He's been no worse than third on the running back depth chart in any of the three preseason games (he started the first one and was the third back to enter in each of the last two games), so he's been seeing reps with the first and second team units. At the same time, however, he went from playing 24 and 27 snaps in the first two games to playing just six on Saturday night. And lest you think it was simply because the Colts played their starters more, Frank Gore saw seven snaps and Robert Turbin saw 17. Turbin, Jordan Todman, Trey Williams, and Gore all saw more snaps than Ferguson did on Saturday night. Again, I don't know what to make of it, but it's probably not a great sign for Ferguson's chances at making the 53-man roster.
- Frankie Williams played an overwhelming majority of the snaps on Saturday night, as he played for most of the game. The second-most snaps for a defensive player was by Christopher Milton, who is also a cornerback. This should be absolutely no surprise - with six corners sitting out and another injured early in the game, the Colts are stretched very, very thin at the position. That gives guys like Williams and Milton a chance to perform in the preseason, and they both have a realistic shot at making the roster considering the injury situation.
- If you want to get a feel for the Colts' inside linebacker depth, look no further than these snap counts to give you an idea. In each of the last two weeks, Josh McNary and Antonio Morrison have led the way in terms of playing time at inside linebacker, and in week one the only inside backer with more reps was Edwin Jackson (more on him in just a minute). And honestly, neither McNary nor Morrison has done anything that says they shouldn't be one of the backup linebackers behind D'Qwell Jackson and Nate Irving (while Sio Moore is injured).
- Speaking of Edwin Jackson, his snaps have dropped off massively since his first game, and I can't understand why. In week one of the preseason, he played 39 snaps - and in doing so led the team in tackles and special teams tackles. Last week, he played just 12 snaps, and this week he only played four. The Colts spoke very highly of him in the offseason, in training camp, and in preseason, so it's very strange why he's not playing much since he's a guy who was fighting to make the roster.
- T.Y. McGill's snaps have also decreased, as he played 43 snaps in week one, 25 last week, and then just ten this week. That can't be due to performance, as he's been arguably the team's best player in training camp and preseason. It could be - and I'm speculating here - that the Colts have seen enough from him and therefore want to keep him fresh, but in the third preseason game it doesn't make a ton of sense to do that with a depth player.
- Once again, these snap counts can help you see players who might be cut. On the offensive side of the ball, neither Danny Anthrop nor Mike Miller played many snaps and both were cut. Chase Price, who was cut as well, didn't play on offense and only saw one special team snap, while Justin Berger and Josh Stangby didn't play at all. On defense, Junior Sylvestre played just two snaps on Saturday and was then cut on Sunday, and Ricky Lumpkin, Alden Darby, Delvon Simmons, and Winston Rose were all near the bottom of the snap counts as well.
(Note: This is not the complete list; rather, this is a list of only those players who saw 30% or more of the special teams snaps on Saturday night).
- For the third straight week, Trevor Bates led the way in special teams snap counts for the Colts. For a depth player like Bates, that's huge. If he can play on special teams and do well, it will help his chances at making the roster, especially since he's done a solid job at outside linebacker. If for no other reason, I think the fact that he's playing a ton on special teams indicates that the Colts might be keeping him around.