Week 2 of the pre-season for the Indianapolis Colts was mostly filled with ups. The run defense, the receivers and some more.
Let’s start with the defense:
The front 7 was tearing it up against the New York Giants’ offense. Bjoern Werner looked fantastic: athletic in coverage with great awareness, and looked good in pass rush and run pursuit as well.
If Werner can play this way in the regular season, there’s no way the Colts staff can’t start him over Erik Walden once Robert Mathis returns. But there’s still a while till they have to even consider such a situation.
The rest of the front line of the defense looked fantastic, the defensive line was stout against the defense and the blitzes dialed up by Greg Manusky were working like a charm.
New addition D’Qwell Jackson had yet another solid outing in week 2 and I expect this trend to continue into the season.
And at the bottom of the roster, Loucheiz Purifoy and Marcus Burley are clearly the two players competing for the final cornerback spot, and I expect Purifoy to win the position in the end.
The main factor for this is his special teams play, both covering and returning. He made a nice hit in coverage and had two big time returns as well. Look for him to separate himself from the others through special teams play.
Offensively, the MVP of the night goes to Hakeem Nicks, he really showed up to play against his former team. The only hiccup he had was picking up an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty after a big gain on third down. He can’t be making such bone headed decisions once the real season starts.
Besides that, Andrew Luck looked fantastic as usual and fringe players such as Griff Whalen, Da’Rick Rogers and Dan Herron all had solid outings as well.
The only hiccup of the night, besides the third string defense who gave up 27 points in one quarter, was the run blocking and Trent Richardson.
Lance Louis and Jonotthan Harrison were starting in place of Jack Mewhort and Khaled Holmes. And although they held it together decently in pass protection, the run blocking seemed to be lacking for the most part once again.
Richardson was the one who suffered the most because of this fact, but he didn’t always look the best himself either. He needs to run with confidence and decisiveness more consistently. The 2014 season will be his last chance to shine and he really needs to prove he can carry a teams’ ground game.
All of this plus the fact that the Colts came away from the game without a serious injury, means the horse shoe were real winners after week two of the pre-season. Let’s just hope this trends continue into the regular season. Go Colts!