The Indianapolis Colts’ (0-2) preseason hits game three as the Colts host the New Orleans Saints (2-0) this Saturday evening.
Saturday’s game is in prime-time and will be nationally televised by CBS, making it accessible for Colts fans all over the nation. This team’s starting units will likely be the toughest that the Colts have faced so far and will provide a real test on both sides of the ball.
Saturday August 23, 8:00 p.m. EST
Lucas Oil Stadium, Indianapolis, IN
Here’s a few things to watch for during Saturday’s contest:
- Is the Defense for Real?: The Colts’ starting defense has been top notch against opponents so far in the preseason, only allowing a combined 10 points in two games against starting offenses. The defense was on fire against the Giants, forcing Eli Manning into bad decisions and allowing just one short pass. The running game was bottled up for the most part and the defense looked vital and refreshed. However, the real test will be facing a quality New Orleans offense. Jimmy Graham has been doing well this preseason and his dominance likely will continue against the Colts, no matter who is throwing him the football. The running game has also been stellar, which will provide a test for the stout front seven. There’s a good chance that the Saints will torch the Colts starting defense, but if the first unit can hold their ground on Saturday, fans can start to believe that this defense is real.
- Will Andrew Luck Thrive Again?: If there’s anything that the Saints are not happy about this preseason, it’s the defense’s inability to stop the opposing quarterback. Jake Locker looked like an old pro throwing the football against them last week and Luck will likely have similar success in the passing game. He’s been pinpoint accurate all preseason and Saturday’s matchup seems to only assist him in putting up solid preseason numbers. He’ll also have some targets back on offense that he had to play without last week.
- Trent Richardson: My goodness, is this guy going to break out soon? Colts fans are tired of waiting for the former first-rounder to show signs of life. However, Richardson’s mediocre play in the preseason doesn’t bode well for his regular season production numbers. He does look more fluid and knows what he’s doing in the offense, but needs to find his niche in the offense. The Colts will try to give Richardson more shotgun and draw runs where he has found limited success thus far in the preseason.
- Chandler Harnish: The Colts would love nothing more than to sign Chandler Harnish to a long-term deal after the season’s end as Andrew Luck’s backup with Matt Hasselbeck‘s inevitable departure. He’s a solid quarterback, knows the ropes to the Colts’ offense and would be serviceable if Luck ever did go down. However, his performance against the Giants has people wondering whether he’s really a qualified guy for the position. He led the offense to multiple consecutive three-and-outs and looked lost on several key third-down throws. He’ll get time to show his worth on Saturday and let’s hope he makes the best of it.
- LaRon Landry and Vontae Davis: In relation to the first point, the defense will finally get a chance to shine for what it really is and Davis and Landry will be a big part of that. In their preseason debut against the Giants, neither player got the chance to show off because of the Colts’ dominance in the trenches and Eli Manning’s poor play. Against a Saints offense that is sure to be crisper and more refined, the play of the veteran safety and cornerback will surely be tested.
A few notes: