The Indianapolis Colts starting offense has been great so far in the preseason. They have only punted on one drive, they’ve had no turnovers and they were always put in a position to score points. Usually, in the third preseason game, the starters play close to a half of football. Also, some coaches use this chance to start to game plan for the first time all year to see how certain players can adapt to how the coaches want them to play on a week-to-week basis.
The Colts’ offense is going to have their hands full with the New Orleans Saints defense that is very underrated. Colts fans should pay attention to how Andrew Luck is going to deal with the aggressive blitzing nature of the Saints defense. It is going to be up to Luck to adjust the protection at the line and put the offense in the best position to succeed.
At the running back position, a lot of people are concerned with Trent Richardson’s numbers. But numbers really don’t mean much in the preseason. Personally, I thought Richardson has run well. The numbers don’t reflect it, but sometimes he was put in a bad position. Colts fans shouldn’t expect to see Ahmad Bradshaw this week, so it is going to be up to Richardson to fill the void at the running back position. In the preseason, it appears that Richardson has had success out of the spread formations. When he has a full back in front of him, teams tend to stack the box and he doesn’t have room to move.
It would be interesting to see Pep Hamilton use more spread formations that feature Dwayne Allen to get Richardson more space to run while not giving up anything in terms of blocking.
With the wide receivers it is still up in the air whether Reggie Wayne is going to play this week. He has stated all week that he wants to play, but the final call is going to come from head coach Chuck Pagano. Hakeem Nicks had a great preseason game against the New York Giants last week and Colts fans should be on the lookout to see if he can continue that production. Finally, T.Y. Hilton is an absolute stud. He is the Colts best receiving option and should not be taken off the field. One of the most underrated parts of Hilton’s game is that he has great football I.Q. When he plays in the slot, he can give Luck a nice hot read option that can really rack up the yards after the catch. This is going to be important against the Saints, who love to blitz and put their cornerbacks on an island.
The offensive line is going to be in for a tough game because of the Saints aggressive blitz schemes. Luck is going to have to do a lot of the heavy lifting in terms of figuring out the pass protections, so it’s going to be up to them to play with good technique and give Luck a chance to throw the ball. They are probably going to be missing rookie Jack Mewhort and Khaled Holmes is not expected to play. The Colts are very thin along the offensive line, so this is going to be the best chance for those depth players to put something good on tape and give the coaches confidence moving forward.
I have said time and time again that the final score in a preseason game does not matter. Colts fans should pay attention to how well the starters play in the preseason. They are going to be facing one of the top teams in the NFL and if they can play well against them, that is going to go a long way to a successful season.