INDIANAPOLIS – For the next two weeks, we will dissect the scoring drives for the Colts first team offense.
The starters played into the second quarter on Saturday night and will probably see action in the second half next Saturday night against the Saints.
Here's a look at the Colts three scoring drives from their first team offense.**
Griff Whalen's 5-yard touchdown catch from Andrew LuckThe scene:Tied at 0 with 9:50 left in the first quarter, the Colts took over at their own 40-yard line following another three-and-out forced by the defense.The anatomy of the drive:9 plays, for 51 yards in 3:26.Key play:A 17-yard third-down conversion to Hakeem Nicks was key in the drive but I go back to an earlier play. The Colts were facing a second-and-10 at their own 49-yard line and trying to avoid a second straight three-and-out to start the game. In hurry-up mode, Andrew Luck rolled to his left and found rookie Donte Moncrief settled into the Giants zone for a nine-yard completion, which put the Colts in an extremely advantageous third-and-one situation. Moncrief got plenty of first team work on Saturday night and showed some experience here by making himself available to Luck.The score:** It was a string of five straight completions to end the drive for Luck (two to Nicks for 28 yards). With a second-and-goal from the five-yard line, Luck was in the shotgun with the sure-handed Griff Whalen in the near slot to the left. On the snap, Luck clearly saw that Giants safety Antrel Rolle would be late getting over to Whalen. The former Stanford receiver quickly got inside position and Luck threw a laser to the back hip of Whalen, which was really the only window that was open for the touchdown pass to connect.
Adam Vinatieri's 53-yard field goalThe scene: Leading 7-0 with 6:15 left in the first quarter, the Colts took over on the Giants 36-yard line after recovering a fumble on the ensuing kickoff.The anatomy of the drive: 4 plays, for 1 yard in 0:57.Key play: This clearly wasn't the most effective drive of the night for the Colts but the special teams created the chance. Veteran safety Mike Adams got the start on Saturday night and his biggest impact was seen on this kickoff. Adams forced a fumble of Giants returner Quintin Demps and there was rookie kicker Cody Parkey to pounce on the loose ball.The score: The drive stalled for the Colts and they were in that area of the field where many teams try their luck on fourth-down. Facing a fourth-and-nine, the Colts elected to trot out Adam Vinatieri for the 53-yard attempt. Putting that 29-yard miss from the preseason opener behind him, Vinatieri drilled home the 53-yarder.**
Adam Vinatieri's 43-yard field goalThe scene:Leading 10-0 with 2:20 remaining in the first quarter, the Colts took over at their own nine-yard line.The anatomy of the drive:14 plays, for 66 yards in 6:51.Key play:A couple of five-yard runs by Trent Richardson got things moving into Giants territory midway through the longest drive of the night for the Colts. It was Nicks who once again really sparked things though. On a third-and-three early in the drive, Nicks redeemed himself for an unsportsmanlike penalty by snagging an eight-yard completion. He would add a 17-yarder two plays later, giving the new Colts receiver five catches (in five targets) for 53 yards on the night.The score:** The Colts pushed all the way down to the Giants 25-yard line before the drive stalled on a fourth-and-three. Vinatieri connected from 43 yards out and ended the evening two-for-two on field goals. All in all, considering you were missing four offensive starters, the Colts first team offense has to be pleased with three scoring drives in four series during the second preseason action of 2014.
Photos from the first preseason home game of the 2014 season