NFL Indianapolis Colts

Indianapolis Colts 2014 Preseason: 5 Takeaways From Week 3 Loss

Indianapolis Colts 2014 Preseason: 5 Takeaways From Week 3 Loss

Trent Richardson, Indianapolis Colts
Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

The Indianapolis Colts played a very poor game against the New Orleans Saints on Saturday night. The starters were able to close gap going into the half, but the flat start was very concerning. The Colts consider themselves an elite team in the NFL, but a lot needs to improve if they want to develop that reputation.

5. Tackling Needs To Improve

Mark Ingram, New Orleans Saints
Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

5. Tackling Needs To Improve

Mark Ingram, New Orleans Saints
Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

There was numerous times throughout the game where the Colts could have stopped the Saints' offense with good tackling. One play in particular that stood out was when Pierre Thomas took a screen pass for a big gain and three Colts players missed tackles before he got a first down. Sound tackling is the foundation of any great defense, and that needs to be improved going forward.

4. Colts Need Jerrell Freeman Back

D'Qwell Jackson, Indianapolis Colts
Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

4. Colts Need Jerrell Freeman Back

D'Qwell Jackson, Indianapolis Colts
Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

Jerrell Freeman plays well when he is asked to play in coverage and he is the perfect complement to D’Qwell Jackson. The Colts asked Jackson to play in coverage a couple times in the game and the results were not good. Both Jimmy Graham and Marques Colston exposed him for a big play and a touchdown. Freeman didn’t play last night, and it's clear that the Colts' defense needs him in order to be effective.

3. Pep Hamilton Is Moving Toward More Of A Spread Offense

Pep Hamilton, Indianpolis Colts
Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

3. Pep Hamilton Is Moving Toward More Of A Spread Offense

Pep Hamilton, Indianpolis Colts
Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

Last year, Pep Hamilton was determined to run the ball out of power formations and the results were not great. So far in the preseason, the Colts are spreading defenses in order to create space for their running backs. This is also going to give the Colts a lot of flexibility with the passing and running game.

2. Dan Herron Needs Time With The First Team

Dan Herron, Indianapolis Colts
Pat Lovell-USA TODAY Sports

2. Dan Herron Needs Time With The First Team

Dan Herron, Indianapolis Colts
Pat Lovell-USA TODAY Sports

Dan Herron has had a terrific preseason so far with the Colts, and he should be a part of the starting rotation of running backs. His stat line was by far the best among the Colts' offensive players. He rushed eight times for 68 yards and looked to give the Colts' offense a spark in game that they came out flat for.

1. Colts Have A Long Way To Go If They Want To Be A Super Bowl Contender

Andrew Luck, Drew Brees, Indianapolis Colts
Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

1. Colts Have A Long Way To Go If They Want To Be A Super Bowl Contender

Andrew Luck, Drew Brees, Indianapolis Colts
Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

The Colts think of themselves as a Super Bowl contender, but a lot has to improve if they are going to be in that conversation. The defensive line, which has been strong up until this preseason game, got pushed all over the field and they couldn’t stop the run. Andrew Luck made a couple of bad decisions and the offense looked out of sync too. A lot is going to have to change if the Colts are going to make a run at the Super Bowl this year.

Christopher Pimentel is a Indianapolis Colts writer for RantSports.com.  Follow him on Twitter, or add him to your network on Google.