Colts Fall at Green Bay
ADDAI SPARKS OFFENSE, BIG PLAYS
The Colts' offense totaled seven plays, six passing and one rushing, for over 20 yards against the Packers in Thursday night's loss in the third preseason game at Green Bay.
Running back Joseph Addai, who scored rushing touchdowns in each of the Colts' first two preseason games, sparked the offense with two big plays, first in the rushing game, and then in the passing game.
On the opening play of the game, Addai started left, then made a cut back to the right—picking up six yards before stopping short to avoid two Green Bay defenders—and then continued downfield for a 49-yard pickup. That set up a Peyton Manning 18-yard strike to wide receiver Pierre Garcon for an early 7-0 lead on a two-play drive that took 22 seconds.
"It was a good play and how we wanted to come out," Garcon told Colts Radio. "We wanted to come out with a lot of momentum and come out fast and come out strong. It was good to make some big plays."
Addai also contributed in the passing game. On a 3rd-and-11 late in the first quarter, Manning was flushed out of the pocket and found a crossing Addai in the middle of the field for a 33-yard pickup to keep the Colts' drive alive. That set up a Manning-to-Reggie Wayne touchdown from 10 yards out as Indianapolis took a 17-7 lead on the second play of the second quarter.
Addai finished with 100 yards from scrimmage. He totaled seven carries for 60 yards, an 8.6-yard per rush average, and two catches for 40 yards.
Wayne, who led Colts receivers with seven catches for 96 yards and a score, accounted for two deep pass plays, including a 36-yard pass in the second quarter from Manning that dropped perfectly over a Packers defender into the receiver's outstretched hands down the left sideline. Wayne also brought in a 35-yard pass in the first quarter.
Garcon (24 yards), tight end Colin Cloherty (30 yards) and wide receiver Taj Smith (27 yards) made up the rest of the big offensive plays for the Colts.
ANGERER SEES ACTION
Colts middle linebacker and 2010 second-round draft choice Pat Angerer continued to impress Thursday night while seeing extensive playing time after replacing starter Gary Brackett, who left in the first quarter with an injury.
The first-year linebacker from Iowa made the most of his opportunity with the defensive first unit, but did see some things he can improve.
"(Getting that time) helps a lot (because) I get to gauge where I am at conditioning-wise," Angerer told Colts Radio. "It is nice to get in there with the first team and see how they do things. I need to be a better leader and be a little louder and make sure everybody is on the same page. That will come."
Angerer, who entering Thursday night led all Colts' defenders with 13 tackles in two preseason games, nearly equaled that amount with 10 tackles and a quarterback hit in this third preseason game against the Packers.
But not everything went they way he would have preferred.
"I did some stupid stuff at times, but every time you go out there you look to improve," Angerer said. "I made some mistakes, but (you) learn from them.
"Obviously, the best way to learn is to actually go out there and work and see it. You can watch it on tape and all of that stuff, but until you are actually out there, that is when you actually get better. We will watch the tape and I'm sure I made a bunch of mistakes, and I look to improve from it."
SANDERS RETURNS TO FORM
Showing signs that earned him the 2007 NFL Defensive Player-of-the-Year honors, Colts seventh-year veteran safety Bob Sanders made his presence felt against the Green Bay Packers in Thursday night's preseason game.
In the first half alone, Sanders tallied five tackles and one forced fumble.
"Bob stepped in and did a nice job," Head Coach Jim Caldwell said. "He is finding his way back to his usual form. He had a pretty good number of plays in there as well."
During the second quarter, Sanders made two plays that epitomized what many have come to expect from the two-time Pro Bowler.
Packers running back Ryan Grant broke through the initial wall of Colts defenders and Sanders met him with a thunderous hit. The blow stood Grant up and Sanders finished the tackle, stopping a potential long gain for the Packers back.
On the very next play, Sanders hit Grant again, this time Sanders' helmet hitting the ball, forcing a fumble that the Colts narrowly missed recovering.
COLTS FIRST-ROUND PICK HUGHES HONORED
Earlier on Thursday, Colts first-round draft pick and former TCU defensive end Jerry Hughes was honored as the 2009-10 Mountain West Conference Male Athlete-of-the-Year.
In 2009, Hughes had 16.5 tackles for loss, including 11.5 sacks, as part of a career-best 58 stops in anchoring the nation's top-ranked defense. In his final collegiate season, Hughes led TCU to a 12-1 record, No. 6 national ranking and the program's first BCS appearance with a trip to the Tostitos Fiesta Bowl.
In collecting the award, Hughes became just the second two-time consensus All-American in TCU history. He won the Lott Trophy and Ted Hendricks Award, while being a finalist for the Bronko Nagurski Trophy, Rotary Lombardi Award and Lowe's Senior CLASS Award.
In addition to being an exceptional athlete, Hughes graduated in four years with a degree in communications. He recorded a 4.0 grade-point average in the Spring 2010 semester.