The Colts’ are finally back playing football. Now it’s not really meaningful football but it is football nonetheless. The main goal of preseason isn’t too light up the scoreboard or dominate opponents (although it would be nice) but to escape the games injury free and have some roster bubble guys prove their worth while the starters shake off the off-season rust. There was a lot of good in the Colts 19-17 win Thursday night along with a lot of bad. There was also quite a bit of ugly last night as well (looking at you Mark Glowinski). So without further ado lets jump into the Good, the Bad, and the Glowinski of last night’s preseason match-up:
Yes this is not a drill, the savior at QB, the neck beard himself is back playing in a football game. How hard has it been listening to National media this offseason harping on how “Andrew Luck will never play again” or how he hasn’t thrown a ball in 180 days or whatever they would say? Luck came out last night and proved to all the doubters that he’s coming to play this season.
The highlight of the game for Luck wasn’t a dazzling deep bomb or a rifle over the middle but when he immediately popped up after a hit by Seattle’s LB Bobby Wagner in the first quarter. While we all held our breath as he took that hit, Luck jumped up with a big smile on his face. He’s back everybody.
The depth at defensive line looked impressive. Now the starters are a completely different story as Russell Wilson was moving the ball with ease when he was in the game but the 2nd and 3rd string defensive lineman were really getting some pressure in the second half. Anchored by strong play from veteran John Simon who looks surprisingly comfortable in his new 4-3 end position and Hassan Ridgeway who was all over the place last night, the reserves on the line were constantly creating pressure. That will be a huge plus for the Colts this year if they can have a good rotation up front that can create pressure especially coming off of a season where almost all of the pressure was created solely by Jabaal Sheard.
They got the win. Why does this matter, it’s just the preseason? Well for starters, they actually took a lead into the fourth quarter and were able to hold onto it. That has to be another sigh of relief for Colts fans who watched last year’s team turn 9 halftime leads into a measly 4 win season. Although the offense was very vanilla and has yet to really put in any real wrinkles that we’ll see in the regular season, it was nice seeing the team move the ball and get the win. It also has to be a big morale boost for the players who were on last years team to come away with a win.
Other players who stood out to me/who I want to see more of: RBs Jordan Wilkins and Marlon Mack, WRs KJ Brent and Kasen Williams, LBs Skai Moore and Matthew Adams, OL Joe Haeg and Quenton Nelson, CB Nate Hairston.
Although the team did come away with the win, the first team defense wasn’t really a reason why. The lack of corner talent was evident from the word go as Seattle’s receivers were effortlessly getting open. The starters along the defensive line struggled to get any pressure or contain Russell Wilson. The linebackers were missing tackles. Outside of a couple of bright spots like Skai Moore rotating in and Nate Hairston’s nice interception, the defense looks like it has a ways to go. Obviously we don’t want to overreact to a preseason game but we knew going into this year that the defense was a work in progress. Still though, hopefully we see some improvement in second preseason game.
Some rookies had their fair share of struggles. I don’t really want to harp too much on this as they are rookies getting acclimated to the NFL game but some of them definitely struggled last night. Nyheim Hines had a rough night returning punts as he muffed two in the fourth quarter along with having another fumble being saved by the refs calling his forward progress stopped. 2nd round guard Braden Smith had some trouble last night in pass protection. Seahawks rookie Rasheem Green blew past him in the 3rd quarter for an easy sack. WRs Deon Cain and Daurice Fountain didn’t necessarily hurt themselves with poor play but both not being on the field last night paved the way for guys like KJ Brent and Kasen Williams to look pretty good. Overall though, these rookies will get better. This was their first game and we should all expect improvement going forward.
Some other players who had poor games/who I don’t want to see more of: S Shamarko Thomas, RB Christine Michael, OT J’Marcus Webb, LB Antonio Morrison
Now obviously after last night’s game I have to name this category this way for the rest of the season. Right? I’ll leave that up to you all in the comments but that QB/Center exchange between 4th string Quarterback Brad Kaaya and 3rd string Center Mark Glowinski was pinnacle preseason football. In three consecutive snaps in the fourth quarter, the two could not figure out how to successfully get the ball into the quarterback’s hands. The third and final snap in this laughable series of events saw a ball sail past Kaaya’s hands which led to a mad scramble around the goal line and a touchdown for Seattle’s defensive tackle Joey Ivie. It was so bad that Joe Haeg, who started the game at tackle, had to finish the game at center so the offense could actually run a play. So yeah, that was some ugly right there. Honorable mention to Shamarko Thomas and that ejection deserving hit though. What the heck was he doing on that play? Just a boneheaded mistake by him.