The Colts play their first “game” of the season at Lucas Oil Stadium Saturday night. The New York Giants come to town and offer an interesting test for the Colts.
Coach Chuck Pagano promised that we’d see a lot more from the starting units which would roughly translate to a full quarter.
There is a lot to look for in any preseason game, but here’s what we’re paying attention to:
- The Offensive Line. What can we expect from this unit? Will they give Andrew Luck protection and Trent Richardson space to run? Rookie Jack Mewhort desperately needs to get snaps, but he was held out of practice this week. Joe Reitz has been solid in camp and could make a push for snaps at Mewhort’s spot. With Khaled Holmes sidelined due to an ankle injury, will Jonotthan Harrison show that he can be an adequate center? Continuity is important here and something resembling a complete offensive line is needed heading into the season.
- Philosophy. Have the Colts really changed their approach to offense or are we just getting a lot of lip service from the coaches? Last season was all about the run game, but that failed horribly and towards the end of the season the offense opened up and Luck cut loose. In camp and against the Jets, we saw the spread, no-huddle attack that moved the ball with ease and played into the teams strengths (Luck).
- Safety. Who lines up at safety for the Colts? LaRon Landry is expected to play, but who will be next to him? This is another position where the Colts would like some continuity. Delano Howell has been held out of practice with a neck injury but has looked solid at times. The Colts also have veteran Mike Adams on the roster as well and its likely that he’ll get the start. With Landry’s injury history, and question marks at the other spot, the other players on the roster will need to produce in these games as they’ll likely see snaps in the regular season.
- Reunion. The Colts and Giants have almost traded players over the past few season. Ahmad Bradshaw came over from the Giants following the 2012 season and Hakeem Nicks this season. Both players were important parts of the Giants Super Bowl runs. After not re-signing Curtis Painter, which for the life of me I cannot figure out why, the Giants picked him up to be Eli Manning‘s backup, also something I cannot figure out (although Colts fans can thank Painter for helping secure the number one pick in 2011 and Luck).
- Injuries. This might end up being a regular thing to watch for since the Colts are perpetually brought down by injuries. After the Jets game, it will be a win if the Colts can just make it to Sunday without putting someone else on IR. The Colts are always at the bottom of the league in terms of games lost to injury and losing guys in the preseason is even worse.