Encouraging Signs, but Colts Fall to Bears, 11-23


While there were encouraging signs in last night’s preseason game, the Indianapolis Colts ultimately fell to the Chicago Bears 11-23 at Lucas Oil Stadium.

Prized veteran free agent signing Frank Gore made his debut for the Colts, getting the start and rushing for 10 yards on 2 carries (5.0 ypc average).

Aug 22, 2015; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Indianapolis Colts quarterback Andrew Luck (12) celebrates with tight end Jack Doyle (84) after scoring a touchdown against the Chicago Bears at Lucas Oil Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

The team scored their first and only touchdown of the game, when early in the 2nd quarter, Andrew Luck scrambled from the left side for a 5-yard touchdown run on a 3rd and 1 play. The scoring drive was set up earlier by a deep 45-yard T.Y. Hilton reception, who also made his preseason debut.

It’s worth noting that the touchdown was further capped off when Luck successfully threw to Andre Johnson for a well-executed 2 point conversion attempt.

While Luck was ultimately sharp, going 5 for 9 for 71 passing yards and a passer rating of 81.2 in three offensive series, his pass protection simply has to improve. He was sacked by Bears pass rusher Pernell McPhee for a loss of 9 yards on the team’s first drive, as the latter blew past right tackle Jack Mewhort. However, Luck also suffered two other hits in his 1st 5 pass attempts.

Otherwise, Adam Vinatieri hit a 25 yard field goal to end the second half, and that’s all the points the Colts mustered the rest of the way.

With questionable protection himself, backup quarterback Matt Hasselbeck wasn’t particularly effective with the 2nd-team offense, as he was 6 for 9 for 59 passing yards, an interception, and a fumble lost with a passer rating of just 45.4. The veteran quarterback was intercepted on a deep pass to Donte Moncrief on his 1st drive by the Bears Terrance Mitchell in the 2nd quarter and suffered a strip-sack in the 3rd quarter by pass rusher Sam Acho.

Aug 22, 2015; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Indianapolis Colts quarterback Andrew Luck (12) is sacked by Chicago Bears linebacker Pernel McPhee (92) at Lucas Oil Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

However, there were still some bright spots. In relief, rookie running back Josh Robinson continued his impressive preseason campaign, as he had 13 carries for 61 total rushing yards, resulting in a healthy 4.7 yards per carry average. For those keeping track, that’s 99 total rushing yards on 21 carries (4.7 ypc avg) in his two preseason games combined.

Perhaps, the best moment of the night came early in the 2nd quarter, when running back Vick Ballard received his 1st carry after essentially two seasons removed from football because of injuries. While Ballard only had 2 carries for 4 total rush yards (2.0 ypc average), his return meant much more than that for a player who has worked tremendously hard in getting back to the field.

Defensively, Colts cornerback Sheldon Price made a nice play, when he intercepted Bears backup quarterback Jimmy Clausen late in the 2nd quarter to set-up Vinatieri’s field goal. Erik Walden had the only sack of the night for the Colts, as he managed to successfully take down Jay Cutler in the middle of the 1st quarter on a 2nd and 7 intended pass attempt.

Rookie wideout Phillip Dorsett left in the 3rd quarter with a bruised knee, but should be fine going forward, as he’s officially listed as “day-to-day”.

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