Sep 8, 2013; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Indianapolis Colts cornerback Greg Toler (28) reacts to making an interception against the Oakland Raiders at Lucas Oil Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports
Indianapolis, IN – The Colts made quite a few off-season moves this year, and those players were on display Week 1 vs. the Oakland Raiders. The Colts were able to squeak past the Raiders 21-17 to get the win, but it certainly wasn’t the easy game that most expected to see. Let’s focus on the new Indianapolis Colts and how they performed in their first games as members of the horseshoe.
Ahmad Bradshaw was a late signing in the off-season, but could very well be one of the most important pieces down the stretch of the season for the Colts. He didn’t get as much playing time as many fans wanted to see, but with him coming off of a foot injury, they thought it best to allow him to come back at a slow pace. Bradshaw rushed for 26 yards on seven attempts, and had a 13-yard run that excited Lucas Oil Stadium. There’s no doubt that his explosiveness will be a huge addition once he’s able to get back to full health.
Darrius Heyward-Bey was another late off-season pickup for the Colts’ offense. They were looking for a receiver who would compliment and work with both Reggie Wayne and T.Y. Hilton, and they found the right guy. DHB caught three passes for 33 yards against his former team, and showed that he’s improved his game from his Oakland days. One of his biggest knocks throughout his career has been his tendency to drop passes, but the Colts have been very pleased with his progress, and during games he has shown that he’s improved that area of his game a lot.
Moving to the defensive side of the ball, you have to start with the Colts’ new play-maker. Greg Toler came over from Arizona via free agency this off-season to replace Jerraud Powers, and showed that the Colts made a wise decision by picking off Terrelle Pryor and recording three tackles as well as two defensed passes. He showed the ability to lock down receivers and make plays, and that’s exactly what he was brought in to do.
Yet another player who was brought in during the free agency period is Erik Walden. Walden had a solid game, although there were really no highlight plays from him. He’s known for his pass-rushing ability, but was unable to get to the quarterback against the Raiders. He finished with three tackles, and played a consistently solid all-around game.
LaRon Landry is the final Colts free agency pickup that we will highlight in this article. He was perhaps the biggest addition to the roster this off-season and his signing paid off immediately this afternoon. Landry piled up 15 total tackles and a defensed pass as well. There are not many safeties who are going to make that many tackles in a game, but Landry has shown throughout his career that he’s capable of dominating the defensive side of the football like that on any given night.
Overall the Colts are happy with the win, despite the difficulty, but they’re also extremely excited about how well the new additions worked out. Things will only get better as the new players continue to get adapted to Indianapolis and the system that the Colts run. Look forward to watching these guys again next week!