I'm not going to invest a lot of energy in recapping any preseason game, but least of all the first game of the year when Peyton Manning didn't play. The worst thing anyone can do with last night's 33-10 shellacking at the hands of the Rams is think too much about it. We say it every year, but preseason games are meaningless. They portend nothing. They have the illusion of importance because they look like football, but they are not actually football. Fans are amped up for the season so they WANT the games to mean something. There is no such thing as momentum coming from the preseason. None of the talking head nonsense about confidence means anything. I consider preseason games a waste of time. I believe there should be only two of them. I don't think any conclusions can be drawn from them.
Here are my quick hit observations:
- Yes the Colts got waxed. If they played a regular season game without Manning or Freeney, do you think they'd not get destroyed?
- Chad Spann had a rough night fielding the kickoffs. The first muff was understandable as it was a tough bouncer, but the second should have been fielded cleanly. He showed a great burst of speed, and looked outstanding running the ball in the second half. He has a good burst. I hope the muff doesn't cost him a roster spot, because I think he showed more ability last night than James showed last year.
- Painter was Painter, but it's clear he's far and away the leader for the backup job. It's true he hasn't shown much, but Orlovsky was awful. His second interception should have been a touchdown to Taj Smith, but he threw a horrid pass short and wide of his man. The fact is that as bad as Painter is, he was the best option last year and likely remains the best option this year. It's utterly irrelevant to how the Colts will play this year.
- Hughes had a quiet night, though I did note that he was facing double teams early. On one play I saw him use a spin move of Saffold only to be stymied by a second blocker. He has to do more.
- The offensive line was a mess. Castonzo and Ijalana had their moments both good and bad.
- Drake Nevis is going to be a player. His play could well turn out to be the only truly significant revelation from last night.
- Pierre Garcon can really make some grabs, can't he? Outside of 'health', I believe his development into an elite receiver could be the most important issue for the Colts this year.
- Indy has some running back talent. All the backs looked good...when they weren't hit in the backfield.
That's it. I know it's not much, but to dignify preseason football with over analysis is a mistake. This is one of those times when less is more. Over analyzing last night's game is a mistake and it will confuse and obscure the truth more than it will illuminate it. For those who didn't see the game, it will be on NFL Network tonight.