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Seven Things To Watch For: Colts/Ravens Edition

Intro: The Colts (1-0) will take on the Ravens (1-0) in their preseason home opener on Saturday night, at 7:00 p.m. Here are seven things to look for when the Colts play their starters a bit more in Week Two of the preseason.


INDIANAPOLIS – A nationally televised audience will be watching the Colts and Ravens kick off on Saturday night at 7:00 p.m.

Outside of Andrew Luck's return, there are several storylines to watch in Week Two of the preseason.

What should fans be looking for when the Colts take the field in front of their fans on Saturday night?

1. Luck's Return

-Nov. 8, 2015. That's the last time Andrew Luck played in an NFL game. Yes, it's just the preseason, and Luck won't be on the field for longer than a half on Saturday night, but he will be taking snaps in a live setting. This is a major step for Luck in his return and another step towards truly encompassing himself in Rob Chudzinski's offense.

2. Starting Evaluation

-Chuck Pagano said earlier this week that he would like to see his starters play for about a quarter/quarter and a half this Saturday. Of course, you will have some older starters trickle out of the lineup before the first quarter ends. Others, like Ryan Kelly and T.J. Green, will play closer to a half. For the offense, this unit is very, very healthy when it comes to their starting 11 and the backup depth at the skill positions.

3. Gore, Mathis Seeing Action?

-Robert Mathis is expected to see his first action of the preseason on Saturday night. Frank Gore has also expressed a desire to play. Last year it was Week Two of the preseason when Gore got his only carries in August. If Gore does play, don't expect him out there for long. Gore has had nine total carries in the past three preseasons.

4. "Grind Week"

-That is the phrase Denzelle Good used to describe this week of practice for the Colts. Joe Philbin and Rob Chudzinski wanted the physicality ramped up in the trenches, after the run game struggled in Buffalo. This is a clear key this week and has been stressed from coaches and players all throughout the offense.

5. Pass Rushers Emerging

-Both Earl Okine (in the pass game) and Curt Maggitt (in the run game) made impressions in Week One of the preseason. With the defense involving more calls within their system this week, Chuck Pagano is looking for a little more from those young pass rushers.

6. Finding Another Receiver?

-When the second half (maybe even the second quarter) rolls around on Saturday, this storyline will rise up a bit. The Colts are looking for a couple of inexperienced wide receivers to take the open spots behind T.Y. Hilton, Donte Moncrief and Phillip Dorsett. Return man Quan Bray is a favorite for one of those two positions, considering what he did on special teams last year.

7. Secondary Youth Needed

-The cornerback and safety positions have dealt with their various injuries this offseason. The cornerback group especially could use some youngsters to emerge. Lately, Tevin Mitchel and D'Joun Smith have been limited in practice. The Colts would love to see those two, both 2015 draft picks, in game action.

Thursday morning practice getting ready for the Ravens.

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