The Indianapolis Colts took their first road trip of the year to face the Dallas Cowboys in the second preseason game. After a rough start, where the Cowboys took the opening drive down the field for an easy touchdown the Colts settled in and made it a football game. It was back and forth throughout, with the Cowboys ultimately winning by a final score of 24-19. Despite the loss, there were some bright spots for the Colts, these are the five players that stood out and deserve more playing time next week against the Pittsburgh Steelers.
Stephen Morris - Quarterback
Stat line: 11-15, 111 yards, 1 touchdown, 0 interceptions.
If you watched the game Morris was the best quarterback on the field for the Colts by far. He opened up the game with a poorly thrown pass, but was able to maintain composure and deliver strikes the rest of the game. He also lead the team down the field for the offense’s only touchdown of the game.
In the post game press conference, head coach Chuck Pagano admitted to the media that Morris has forced the team to take a longer look at the quarterback situation. With that being said he did not guarantee that Morris will see any time with the starting unit.
Marlon Mack - Runningback
Stat line: 5 carries, 45 yards, 9.0 yards per carry. 2 receptions, 14 yards.
Marlon Mack saw his first bit of preseason action this week and did not disappoint. From his opening carry of the game he brought energy and thump to finish his runs, and showed agility making defenders miss. It was no coincidence when he entered the game in the second quarter that Scott Tolzien began to find a rhythm and complete play-action passes after the Cowboys had to respect the running game.
In a tweet from Stephen Holder he mentioned that he got an impression from coach Pagano that we will see more of Mack in the next preseason game. It’s too early to make any bold predictions on Mack but he appears to have a wide range of skills at running back that the Colts haven’t had in a long time.
JoJo Natson - Wide receiver
Stat line: 3 receptions, 60 yards. 1 Rush, 7 yards. 1 kick return, 25 yards. 1 punt return, 7 yards.
JoJo Natson has continued to open eyeballs in the second preseason game. He originally seemed like a long shot to make the roster, but he just keeps making plays. With Natson making plays offensively and on special teams Quan Bray could be out of a roster spot.
Natson has potential to be a dynamic player and must continue to do well in the remaining two preseason games to make the roster. It shouldn’t be hard for Colts management to look past his size if he is performing well for the team.
John Simon - Linebacker
Stat line: 1 forced fumble
John Simon has appeared to be a quality signing thus far in the preseason. Following an interception against the Detroit Lions last week he forced a fumble on what appeared to be a sure-fire touchdown drive by the Cowboys. Simon not only created a turnover on that drive, but also set the edge and helped completely blow up a run.
The Colts defense was terrible last season at creating turnovers. It’s a nice bit of fresh air to see a player create a turnover in each of his games he’s played. Fans and the team alike can only hope that he can take this game-changing ability into the regular season.
Quincy Wilson - Cornerback
Stat line: 1 pass deflection
Quincy Wilson was injured in the game, and according to Stephen Holder, it doesn’t appear to be serious.
I just got out the locker room. Lots going on. Here goes.... Quincy Wilson banged his knee. Swollen but not serious. He's limping a little.— Stephen Holder (@HolderStephen) August 20, 2017
This is good news for the Colts, as Wilson was playing well. He seemed to have good positioning on receivers, and he made a nice pass deflection. Wilson is a rookie, but has come a long way from off-season reports where he was out of shape. Continued work and development of Wilson will be crucial moving forward as Vontae Davis is in his contract year and isn’t getting any younger.
The Colts played much better in this game against the Cowboys, compared to their performance last week against the Lions. With that being said it was still an ugly game by the offense, outside of two solid drives led by Stephen Morris, the team didn’t move the ball that well.
Stay tuned to Stampede Blue for further game analysis.