INDIANAPOLIS – The Colts starters got some extended run on Saturday night and continued to impress.
Here’s a notebook run down of the Colts preseason home opener:
Hakeem Nicks Shines Against Former Team
The smile began to form slowly as the question was posed to Hakeem Nicks.
Did this preseason game mean something extra to you?
“…Yeah,” Nicks said with a grin.
“I wanted to work my craft, get better and just grasp more of the offense.”
Safe to say he did just that, along with a little something extra to show his former team.
Nicks caught five passes (on five targets) for 44 yards, and had a 36-yard pass negated thanks to an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty for waving to former teammate Trumaine McBride (something Chuck Pagano was none to pleased with after the game).
When the list of Colts not playing on Saturday night was released, the names
That meant a greater workload for Nicks, and he proved more than capable to handle it.
“(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.”
Thanks to Nicks, the Colts first team offense put together three scoring drives in their four series.
It’s still early, but Saturday night was just another piece of evidence in what this offense could look like in the regular season.
“His run after the catch, great ability, strong hands,” Luck said of Nicks’ strengths. “It’ll be fun for folks to get to watch when everybody’s on the field at the same time.”
LaRon Landry And Vontae Davis Make Their Preseason Debuts
The starting defense was announced individually on Saturday night and the 11 included two key names to an improved unit this year.
Vontae Davis and LaRon Landry made their preseason debuts against the Giants, logging three series of action before the entire starting secondary was pulled.
The two returned to practice just prior to the preseason opener and have seen their reps increase gradually.
That culminated on Saturday with about 15 snaps of game action with the Colts starting defense beginning to take shape.
At safety, Landry played alongside
“It felt good to be back out there together, getting all the guys to build that camaraderie,” Toler said after the game.
“It’s great. Us being vocal as a unit, we are just feeding off one another. One person makes a play, we all make a play.”
Yellow Flags All Over The Turf
Besides not being able to finish off the victory on Saturday night, Chuck Pagano’s biggest displeasure was about his team’s inability to keep from committing penalties.
A total of 26 penalties were called on Saturday (13 for each team) as officials continued to emphasize rule changes for the upcoming season.
Penalty numbers, particularly illegal contact, have been rampant all throughout the preseason and the Colts and Giants got their dose of it this weekend.
Last year the Colts led the NFL in fewest committed penalties, a major reason why they found themselves atop the AFC South.
It will be interesting to watch in the regular season if the game is called as tight as we are seeing it in the preseason.
“We have the NFL officials in so we’ve been harping on it in the whole offseason program and OTAs, minicamp, and all through training camp,” Pagano said after the game. “You can kind of see where the weekend’s going, including our game, as far as the emphasis on illegal contact, offensive P.I., D.P.I., holding, all those things in the back end.
“You’re allowed five yards, and then after five yards you’ve got to get off guys and you can’t have contact. We’ve got to do a better job coaching it.”
Snap Count Look
Each week, we will take a look at some of the more interesting snap counts from the previous game.
-A quartet of offensive starters saw some extended playing time then the others on Saturday night. In the interior,
-With limited depth at the tackle position,
-The starting defense varied in their snap counts with most of them playing around 21-23 snaps.
-LaRon Landy (15 snaps) and Vontae Davis (14 snaps) made their preseason debuts on Saturday night.