INDIANAPOLIS – The curtain on Lucas Oil Stadium is about to be drawn for the 2014 campaign.
The Colts will kickoff their home slate of games this season with a 7:00 p.m. kickoff on Saturday night against the New York Giants.
What should fans be looking for when the Colts take on the Giants in Week Two of the preseason?
1. LaRon Landry's Debut
-Fans better be in their seats on time come Saturday night. Landry might only play a series or two but it will be a welcomed sight seeing No. 30's full-throttle style back in the lineup. With at least a handful of safeties getting major first team reps during Training Camp, Landry is now in the fold. Having a game-changing safety in Landry this season would go a long way in the Colts defense improving in 2014.
2. Jonotthan Harrison-Round Two
-When the Colts first team offense takes the field on Saturday night, an undrafted free agent will be snapping the ball to Andrew Luck. Harrison gets another taste of NFL action, this time in a starting role, in place of Khaled Holmes. Admitted nerves last week will hopefully be gone for the Florida product. Protection for Luck was solid in the 12-play opening drive during the preseason opener. Will that continue with more playing time for the starters on the horizon?
3. Red Zone Success
-It's impossible to judge starters on just a dozen plays. The Colts starting offense did convert a pair of third-downs in the preseason opener but stalled in the red zone after an errant snap from Harrison. It would be beneficial for the starting offense to get another chance or two in that area against the Giants, in what will be their second-to-last game action of the preseason.
4. Ahmad, Reggie, Robert
-Those veterans seem to be the hot names in whether or not they will make their preseason debuts on Saturday night. Chuck Pagano has already said that Landry and Vontae Davis will hit the playing field. Bradshaw, Wayne and Mathis should see some action during the preseason. The question is whether or not that comes this Saturday or the following week against the Saints.
5. Fast Start
-With the Colts starters expected to play an entire quarter, how quickly that unit starts will be something to watch. Last year, the Colts scored just 70 first quarter points (28 points fewer than any other quarter). That averages out to a little more than four points per game in the opening frame. Putting some long scoring drives together early would help the Colts in trying to stay ahead of schedule and not having to force Andrew Luck to orchestrate comeback after comeback.
6. Third Down
-This will be the third preseason game for the Giants so thier sample size is a bit bigger than most teams. The Giants defense has held opponents to just a 22.2 percent (6-of-27) conversion rate in their first two preseason games. Obviously, third-down success is a key for the Colts offense so that should be a good test on Saturday night.
7. Corner Group Healthy
-Along with Landry, Vontae Davis will also make his preseason debut against the Giants. This will mark the first time we've seen Davis, Greg Toler and Darius Butler together and healthy since that Denver game last October. With the regular season opener about three weeks away, the makeup of the defense is starting to come together.