I watched almost the whole preseason game vs the Browns last night, a 27-17 loss. I missed a few minutes in the 2nd quarter, and a few more in the 4th. But I think I saw enough to say what I saw in the game, as well as how much it means to me.
What Stood Out
A few things stood out right off the bat:
- The 1st team offense only needed one series to shake off the rust.
- The secondary looked a bit out of sync, although it was mostly the 2nd team guys, and it worries me not.
- The backup O-lineman looked slow and sloppy, mostly Marshall Newhouse. He can't play tackle. Flynn and Harrell were being pressured, chased, and sacked frequently.
- Grant and Burnett bounced back well following season-ending injuries.
- Alot of rookies and UDFAs looked good, namely Sherrod and Cobb, 1st and 2nd round picks.
So mostly positive things out of the first preseason game. We lost 27-17, but I remember seeing a stat that said the Colts were one of the worst preseason teams in the last 10 years. I'm just glad to see that the first team offense was solid all around, and the first team Front 7 was good as well. The secondary wasn't great, but Shields and Woodson both didn't play, and when Colt McCoy threw a long TD pass, it was with Pat Lee in coverage. Not to mention, Lee's coverage was actually pretty good, he got left all alone and the throw from McCoy was perfect.
What The Game Means
You shouldn't try to take too much out of this game, but it's not meaningless. This was a very short offseason, and it's only the first game of the preseason. This doesn't count, and every single player and coach knows that. Despite the game not counting or really mattering too much, it is settling just to have seen the passing game and the first team O-line working well.
Brandon wrote a story on the Injury report for the game, which linked to this JSonline page. The JS article included statements from McCarthy regarding simple topics.
On the quarterbacks: "I thought the quarterbacks from just a pure management standpoint were excellent. They were able to manage the play call in the huddle, the huddle operations and the adjustments."
Rodgers of course looked excellent (disregarding the first series). That throw to Jennings for the TD was an absolute beauty. Flynn looked pretty decent, his throws were pretty much good, but his TD throw was a lucky one if you saw it. He actually makes a poor decision trying to fit it in to someone, and the ball bounces up and straight to Havner. It was made tougher for him to operate since his offensive line was sloppy and allowed alot of pressure (2 sacks) on him. Harrell's throws were good when he got time in the pocket, but he was chased even more than Flynn. Harrell was pressured alot and fumbles 3 times. Ouch.
Flynn did alot of scrambling Saturday night.
Not a bad showing by the team in it's first preseason game. There was alot of good plays and drives, as well as a few bad ones. There is still work to do, but I'm completely satisfied with how the team looked in the first game.