For a second week in a row, the Indianapolis Colts looked outmatched. The first team defense allowed the Cowboys to run all over them. This is particularly frustrating given that the unit’s strong point and the primary focus that Chuck Pagano has had for his defense is to “stop the run.”
On the other side of the football, the first team offense was generally sloppy once again. The offensive line continues to struggle and Scott Tolzien only made handful of promising throws. Neither Frank Gore nor Robert Turbin were able to get much going.
On the plus side, the defense forced two turnovers early in the game, including a forced fumble caused by Barkevious Mingo that was swooped up by Lavar Edwards for a score. Another fumble was forced by John Simon — the second turnover he has had a hand in over the first two preseason games.
Also, offensively running back Marlon Mack made a very strong first impression. Mack carried the ball 5 times for 45 yards, including a long run of 23 yards. He caught 2 passes for 14 yards as well. That is 59 yards on 7 touches, for a total of 8.43 yards per touch.
Quarterback Stephen Morris was again overlooked until the fourth quarter. He used the opportunity to make bottom of the roster players, including those who are very unlikely to make the roster, look very good. Morris was 11/15 for 111 yards and a touchdown in the fourth quarter. He threw 3 passes to JoJo Natson for 60 yards. Two of his passes were to Fred Brown for 33 yards and a touchdown.
As he did a season ago, Morris made playing quarterback in the NFL preseason look easy. He is calm in the pocket. He is smart when he chooses to dump the ball off to running backs leaking out of the backfield. He is accurate and throws the ball confidently.
Your guess is as good as mine how he hasn’t earned the chance to get the bulk of the snaps before the regular season. He has shown the ability to lead the offense and give the Colts a chance to win.
On defense, T.J. Green got the opportunity to get snaps at safety and cornerback. At corner, Green did good and bad things. He made staying with receivers on the boundaries look easy. He had the same problem as Quincy Wilson a week ago by not getting his head around in tight coverage, but it’s fair to say that he showed that there might be something to giving him the chance to make the transition.
Also, outside of Dante Blackmon, those who are deeper on the corner depth chart were atrocious. No player was more abused in the secondary than Tevin Mitchell for a second straight week.
Deeper reviews of the game, including breaking down the film, is yet to come. Keep your eye out for the Stampede Blue Colts Cast as well, as Matt Danely will break down the game.