INDIANAPOLIS – Eight starters missing? No problem.
That’s what it looked like watching the Colts starting units operate in four drives apiece on Saturday night.
The Colts starters carved out a 13-0 lead at Lucas Oil Stadium, a margin that would swell to 26-0, before the Giants roared back with four final quarter touchdowns to escape with a 27-26 win.
Chuck Pagano wasted no time in covering some of the most important news of the preseason home opener.
“Good news is no injuries to report,” Pagano said to open his post game presser.
“There was a ton of good things. The first half, you can’t play a better half of football.”
The defense set the tone on Saturday night with a pair of three-and-outs on the Giants first two series.
Thanks to some timely pressures in passing situations, the Colts defense held the Giants scoreless throughout the entire first half.
Eli Manning finished the night just 1-of-7 for six yards and the Giants first team offense settled for four punts on their four series.
On those four drives, the Giants ran 20 plays for 53 yards of total offense. The Giants first team offense had five first downs in their four drives, three of which came via Colts penalties.
“I thought we rose to the challenge and got better on every level,” inside linebacker D’Qwell Jackson, who had a first quarter sack of Manning, said.
“Every unit played decent in the first half.”
Offensively, the Colts first team recovered from an opening three-and-out to score on its next three drives.
Playing against his former team,
“(Nicks) was outstanding,” Pagano said after the game.
“Him and Andrew were in a rhythm. Obviously, we figured he’d play inspired football against a really good football team.”
The Colts offensive line played without starters
Coming into Saturday night, the Giants had been allowing just 22 percent of conversions on third-down in their two preseason games. The Colts were 5-of-10 on the money down in the first half.
Next up for the Colts is another Saturday night preseason contest at Lucas Oil Stadium.
The New Orleans Saints (2-0) come to Indy for an 8:00 p.m. EST kickoff next Saturday. The game will air nationally on CBS with starters expected to play into the second half.
Giants HC Tom Coughlin on the @Colts: “I do know that is a playoff team, a high-caliber team that had an outstanding season a year ago."— Kevin Bowen (@KBowenColts) August 17, 2014