Main Takeaways: Preseason Week 4

CINCINNATI, OH - SEPTEMBER 01: Stephen Morris /

The Colts battled the Bengals in the final week of the preseason on Thursday night, which led to a Colts victory. Tonight’s game was the final audition to see who would likely start next week against the Rams at quarterback. With Vontae Davis and Ryan Kelly also hurt, there were also auditions for the starting role at their respective positions until they return from injury.

PITTSBURGH, PA – AUGUST 26: Stephen Morris
PITTSBURGH, PA – AUGUST 26: Stephen Morris /

The Good

  • The Colts forced and recovered two fumbles in the first half.  They have forced a turnover in ever game this preseason.  That is a positive trend  going to the regular season for this retooled defense.
  • Pagano went for it on 4th down twice during their first drive. The first time was a successful conversion pass to Quan Bray. However, the second attempt featured Scott Tolzien getting eaten alive by the Bengals defenders. I approve of Pagano’s moxie given the fact that Morris and Tolzien are competing to start Week 1 against the Rams.
  • Stephen Morris had a beautiful 51 yard throw to JoJo Natson. I’ve said it before, but Morris is the more exciting, talented option at quarterback if Luck misses some time. He is mobile, not afraid to throw, and can stretch the field.
  • The Colts defense fell into their old habits of bending but not breaking. They allowed big plays to get the Bengals into Indianapolis territory ,but the defense remained strong and allowed only two field goals in the second quarter.
  • Barkevious Mingo had a sack and played very well. He is a freak athlete that showed flashes of why the Browns drafted him so high in 2013
PITTSBURGH, PA – AUGUST 26: Scott Tolzien
PITTSBURGH, PA – AUGUST 26: Scott Tolzien /

The Bad

  • Scott Tolzien maintained his momentum from the game against the Steelers last week to this week. Other than Morris’s single nice pass, Tolzien outperformed him today. I think Tolzien has won the quarterback battle and will start Week 1.
  • The Indianapolis pass rush was still an issue throughout the first half. They allowed big third down conversions that were thankfully bailed out by a pair of Bengals turnovers.
INDIANAPOLIS, IN – AUGUST 13: Phillip Walker
INDIANAPOLIS, IN – AUGUST 13: Phillip Walker /

The Ugly

  • The Colts offense went nowhere early with Philip Walker. The offense stalled completely, and Walker looked lost looking down the field.
  • JoJo Natson put the ball on the turf three times tonight. He plays hard, but you can’t make those errors this late into the preseason.

Now that the preseason is over, the next game for the Colts is an afternoon clash against the Los Angeles Rams. Andrew Luck will likely be on the bench, so it’ll either be the Scott Tolzien or Stephen Morris show for Indianapolis in Week 1.