Posted on August 27, 2017, by Travis Pulver
Fans of the Indianapolis Colts have come to grips with the realization that they may not see Andrew Luck for a few weeks. With how the offense has looked under Scott Tolzien, the outlook for ‘Life without Luck’ has been dark, to say the least. None of the other guys have been better, and since Jim Irsay is not willing to pay the price for a vet, it’s Tolzien or bust to start the season.
With the Steelers on deck for Saturday night’s game, the offense wasn’t expected to look much better. But then the craziest thing happened—it did.
Between Tolzien, Stephen Morris, and Phillip Walker the Colts quarterbacks were 20-28 for 257 yards and one interception. Yeah, a touchdown or two would have been nice, but one thing at a time. For now, Colts fans can be proud their team finally generated some offense.
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Okay, so it was just another preseason game that means nothing. But with how the Colts have looked on both sides of the ball the last two games, it’s reason for hope.
- For those that care about the score, the Colts won the game, 19-15
- Tolzien’s stat line got a nice boost from a 55-yard catch and run by Donte Moncrief—that was mostly Moncrief – but it was still Tozien’s best performance of the preseason. His passes were on target. The offense actually looked good.
“There’s going to be times when you’re not clicking or not starting games fast,” Tolzien said after the game (ESPN). “You can’t let that keep you down. If you do that, you’ll just bury yourself. It’s good that we had a better start tonight.”
- The interception on the second drive was not very good, but the way the defense responded was (three and out; -4 yards).
- The Colts not only improved on offense, but they had a marked improvement on defense as well. The defense caused turnovers (a fumble and interception), recorded three sacks, and kept Ben Roethlisberger from getting in the end zone.
- Whatever was said to the offensive line must have worked. The unit actually gave Tolzien and Morris time to throw. Tolzien wasn’t sacked once while Stephen Morris was. It is still way too soon to proclaim the offensive line fixed like Irsay did earlier this summer. But the unit took a big step in the right direction.
- The Steelers will have to hope there isn’t any rust on Le’Veon Bell when he finally joins the team. Yeah, James Conner has shown some promise and didn’t have a bad night (four carries for 26 yards). But Knile Davis (seven carries for 21 yards) was not impressive. While Terrell Watson was not terrible (40 yards on eight carries), he’ll be back on the scout team by the end of next week
- Landry Jones is not the man of the future in Pittsburgh. This fact has pretty much already been established, but it was hard to shake the thought while watching this game. Either that or the Indianapolis defense miraculously became good (doubtful).
- Is Martavis Bryant someone people should be excited about playing? He doesn’t seem too adept at breaking tackles (five receptions for 23 yards). Again, after watching the Colts play the first two weeks, it is hard to believe that it was because the Colts were so good at tackling.
- The interception by Christopher Milton in the end zone late in the fourth quarter was a thing of beauty. Maybe the Colts defense doesn’t suck after all.
As far as regular season tune ups go, this was not a good one for the Steelers. The defense is going to be fine, but it would have been nice to see a little more from the offense. Then again, they only used Big Ben for two series. So, maybe it wasn’t that bad.
Indianapolis should be happy. After two horrible games, they played a good one. The defense looked determined to be better, and the offense looked competent. It will be interesting to see what the Colts do in the fourth and final preseason game. Normally, the first team sits on the bench, but they could use a little more work.
The Steelers will wrap up their preseason against the Carolina Panthers next Thursday (kickoff at 7:30 PM ET). Indianapolis will take on the Cincinnati Bengals (also Thursday but with kickoff at 7 PM ET).