Preseason Game 1: Ouch

The Indianapolis Colts traveled to St. Louis to take on the Rams and were embarassed, losing 33-10.  Thankfully, the game was only the first preseason game, and while it is never fun to lose, there is no need for concern.  However, this is the best way to gain information and opinions on the guys trying to make the team, along with the new guys.  It is a much better way to judge performance instead of practice.  Here are my thoughts on the good and bad of the game.

The Good:

  • I thought the rookie linemen played well.  LT Anthony Castonzo, RT Ben Ijalana, and DT Drake Nevis all played pretty good.  I was especially impressed with Nevis.  Could be big for Indy if he can make an impact early.
  • Darren Evans had a nice game running the ball (8 carries for 52 yards), as did Delone Carter (6 carries for 29 yards) and Donald Brown( 4 carries for 21 yards).  All had good averages and in the limited time made the most of their opportunities. 
  • Taj Smith looks to be an improved receiver from last year.  Smith caught a 44 yard touchdown pass which was the only score of the game for Indy.  Last year, I doubt he catches it, much less score.
  • That touchdown drive was by far Indy’s best drive of the game.  Dan Orlovsky looked sharp and the run game moved the ball well.  Orlovsky finished it with the 44 yard bomb.
  • Kerry Neal and Phillip Wheeler each had 6 tackles.  Wheeler made a few nice hits tonight as well.
  • Adam Vinatieri made a field goal (what else is new?)
  • Great catch by Pierre Garcon in the 1st quarter for 41 yards on a pretty well thrown ball by Curtis Painter.
  • Javarris James made a good hit on a special teams play.  Think he should have gotten some time at RB, but hopefully he will still make team with special teams
  • The Colts got excellent TE production without Dallas Clark.  Jacob Tamme had 1 catch for 11 yards, Mike McNeil had 3 for 33 and Tyson DeVree had 2 for 42.  Combined, they had 6 catches for 86 yards.
  • Peyton Manning made the trip.  He would not have traveled if his neck was too bad.  I’m even more confident he’s ready to go in Houston.

The Bad :

  • Jerry Hughes.  Jerry Hughes.  Jerry Hughes.  Last year’s 1st round draft pick was awful tonight.  Had been hearing he was having a good camp, but he failed this test.  He got the start for Dwight Freeney and had zero impact.  At halftime, having played the entire first half, he had 0 tackles, 0 sacks, 0 pressures.  He ended up getting a tackle, but it was a pathetic showing from a guy who needs to have a good year.
  • Curtis Painter and every other quarterback who played for Indy.  Painter was picked on a terrible throw, his second throw of the night (his first he overthrew Addai on a short pass).  Painter finished 3/6 with 55 yards and 1 INT.  Dan Orlovsky threw an interception on his first throw of the night.  He finished 4/10 with 111 yards, a touchdown and 2 picks.  Nate Davis was 3/7 with 36 yards, while Mike Hartline was 0/2.  Combined, it was a pathetic 10/25 with 202 yards, a touchdown and 3 INTS. 
  • Colts did not convert a 3rd down until the 3rd quarter.  They were 2/10 on the night.
  • The Colts were 0-1 in the red zone. 
  • Rams kicker Josh Brown was hot.  Hit from 30, 21, 60, and 53 yards
  • Chad Spann will not be on this team long if he keeps playing like he did tonight.  Dropped 2 kickoffs and had only 10 yards on 4 carries.

There is no other way of stating it, even in preseason: this game stunk.  I couldn’t help but think during the game that this is what the Colts will be like once the Manning era comes to an end.  Only it will be the regular season.  All C0lts fans need to savor the time that the greatest quarterback ever plays for our team.  With him, we always have hope.  Without him, well, we get embarassed.  I’m not saying that if Peyton had played we would have won, because we never win in the preseason.  But I am thankful for Peyton Manning. 

The Colts host the Washington Redskins on Friday, August 19 at 7:00 p.m.  Expect more of the same in the win/loss column, but hopefully some more players step up and stand out. 

And, on a final note, my prayers go out to the victims of the tragedy at the Indiana State Fair, and their families.  Terrible what happened there.  When compared to that, football does not matter.

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About Josh Wilson
Follow Josh on twitter @jwilsonWL, on Facebook at the Operation: Freedom page, or you can reach him by email at operation.freedom@yahoo.com.

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