INDIANAPOLIS – In what will probably be their final playing time until the regular season opener in two weeks, the Colts starters played into the third quarter on Saturday night.
The 23-17 loss to the Saints gave the Colts some specific things to key on before they return to national television on September 7 in Denver.
Here’s a notebook run down of the Colts third preseason game.
Starters Play Into Third Quarter
In their most extensive dress rehearsal of the preseason, the Colts starters struggled to find the consistency they had played with in the first two weeks.
Both units played into the third quarter and admitted after the game that Saturday night provided several teaching moments for the regular season opener two weeks away.
Luck led six offensive drives (one in the third quarter). Half of those ended in punts, two finished with scores (one touchdown and one field goal) and Luck threw his first interception of the preseason (41 attempts in three games).
“Disappointed in myself. Missed some throws, interception,” Luck said after the game.
“We did some good things as well though. We did get a touchdown drive. The two-minute drive, a lot of good things until we get stuck down at the goal line. We need seven points there. So good to get out, get the work.”
Joining Richardson as a first team running back on Saturday night was
On the other side of the ball, the Saints offense showed why its one of the top units in the league.
Drew Brees made his preseason debut and led a pair of touchdown drives in the opening quarter.
The Colts had their chances to get Brees off the field but several third-and-long conversions kept the 80 plus yard drives alive.
A 20-point first half was not what Pagano had envisioned for his defense, especially with two more elite passing attacks waiting to start the regular season.
“Anytime you go out and give up big plays defensively, you don't tackle well, you don't communicate well, all those type of things, you can't get off the field on third down, against a team like that, give them credit, you're not going to play very well,” Pagano said after the game.
“We just didn't do the fundamental things. We’re more than capable, and we've seen that.”
Second Units Bounce Back
A week after having a fourth quarter to forget, the Colts reserves tried to muster up a comeback of their own on Saturday night.
In just about a quarter and a half of action, several non-starters made impressions in the final game action before 15 players are cut by Tuesday afternoon.
Boom Herron’s impressive preseason continued. The Colts third running back had a 43-yard run to set up the Colts second half touchdown.
Defensively, undrafted defensive lineman
Kerr ran with the first unit at times on Saturday before having his role ramped up in the second half.
The 335-pound nose tackle had three tackles for loss and for the second straight week, Kerr was able to show off his sack dance.
Again, the Colts must have their roster cut to 75 players by Tuesday afternoon before final cuts come Saturday.
Snap Count Look
Each week, we will take a look at some of the more interesting snap counts from the previous game.
-The Colts starters got six drives of action on Saturday night (Andrew Luck played 34 snaps).
-Ahmad Bradshaw saw his first game action in nearly 11 months, playing 17 snaps.
-The defensive starters played seven series (56 snaps).
-The safety battle next to
-LaRon Landy (56 snaps) and