Indianapolis, IN - The Indianapolis Colts faced off with the New York Giants tonight in their second preseason game, and dominated the first three quarters of football. Unfortunately, the Giants refused to quit and ended up scoring 27 points in the fourth quarter to defeat the Colts by a final score of 27-26. While the loss was disappointing for Colts fans, the play of the first and second string was what mattered for Indianapolis tonight.
Andrew Luck had a great game for the Colts, completing 12 of his 18 passes for 89 yards and a touchdowns. The Colts also received good games from both Matt Hasselbeck and Chandler Harnish, who threw for 39 and 115 yards respectively, with Hasselbeck also throwing atouchdown. All three quarterbacks showed potential for the future, and Luck looked like he has taken the next step from last season.
Trent Richardson started once again and didn’t perform up to expectations, carrying the football nine times for 21 yards. Zurlon Tipton ended up picking up 17 yards on 8 carries, while Boom Herron carried the ball three times for 10 yards. There are major concerns surrounding the ground game, and Richardson was unable to put those to rest tonight.
Hakeem Nicks came up with a huge game for the Colts, catching five passes for 53 yards, while Griff Whalen also caught five passes for 32 yards. Tony Washington caught a pass for 33 yards, while Weslye Saunders (three for 29) and Da’Rick Rogers (one for 14 and a TD) both made plays as well. It was impressive to see the Colts’ wide receiving corps play to the level that they did this evening without both Reggie Wayne and T.Y. Hilton being on the field.
Indianapolis looked to have the game in the bag heading to the fourth quarter, but imploded completely on themselves. The defense was unable to stop New York’s offense, and Phillip Tanner fumbled the ball at the goal line which ended up being an easy touchdown for the Giants. Ryan Nassib constructed a game-winning drive late in the fourth quarter that was capped off with a four-yard touchdown pass to Corey Washington with just 55 seconds left in the game.
Tonight was a great step forward for the Colts, and they showed a much improved defense to go along with a dangerous offense. It appears that Indianapolis will once again have to rely heavily on their passing game with Richardson continuing to struggle. Ahmad Bradshaw returning could end up being the best thing that happens to the Colts offense, and he could end up taking over the starting role from Richardson unless he begins showing his true potential.
All of that being said, the Colts showed a lot of talent and skill tonight despite coming up short. The defense was the biggest pleasant surprise, and the Colts are in for a big season this year if they can continue that type of production. Offensively, they are just fine and are going to be a very powerful unit that puts up points in bunches. Tonight may be a loss in the scorers book, but the Colts are going to view it as a win for the most part.