Colts at Rams: What to Watch For
By Evan Reller
The Indianapolis Colts head west to face the St. Louis Rams Saturday night in Week 3 of the Preseason. We’ll see the starters for at least the majority of the first half as team’s tend to almost treat the third preseason game of the year like it is in fact a real football game.
The Colts currently sit at 0-2, but it hardly matters since the games don’t count for anything. They do have a number of players with lingering injuries who likely won’t play on Saturday. Coach Chuck Pagano recently spoke about home much he intends to play the starters, but was cryptic about the actual details.
It is reasonable to say that Andrew Luck and the starting offensive line will play for at least a half (or possibly less if they happen to have an inordinate number of possessions). I would expect players like Frank Gore, Andre Johnson, and T.Y. Hilton to play a more limited number of snaps.
Here’s what fans should be on the lookout for:
The Colts got a boost earlier this week whenRobert Mathis
returned to practice. He won’t play in the preseason, but it is a step in the right direction.
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For now, his job is being done byTrent Cole
, and he’s been pretty good through two games (earning a +2.7 from PFF in that category). Overall, the Colts have done a decent job pressuring opposing QBs, generating 29 pressures and four sacks. If the Colts can manage to rush the passer with just four players successfully, it will go a long way towards improving the run defense and this unit overall. Blitzing often leaves players out of position when it comes to a run play, something the Colts had to rely on heavily last season. With better individual pass rushers, this decreases the reliance on blitzing (remember how often theTony Dungy
Colts blitzed? Me neither, they never did it because they had Mathis andDwight Freeney
). Pay attention to how Cole andJonathan Newsome
play, as well asErik Walden
. They haven’t been blitzing as much in the preseason and hopefully that will continue going forward.
Make sure to follow us during the game for live updates and reactions.