The Indianapolis Colts face the Philadelphia Eagles this Saturday in the third week of the preseason. What should Colts fans look for in this particular exhibition game?
The Indianapolis Colts look to bounce back from a disastrous 2015 campaign in which they won just eight games and missed out on the playoffs for just the second time in two years.
After a strong showing from quarterback Andrew Luck last week against the Baltimore Ravens, the 26-year-old signal-caller looks to carry on the momentum as he attempts to rebound from his injury-riddled season in 2015.
Let’s take a look at some things to watch for against the Eagles on Saturday.
Can Luck Keep Up the Good Play?
Andrew Luck returned to the field last Saturday for the first time after suffering his season-ending kidney injury against the Denver Broncos midway through last year. In his first game back, Luck went 8-for-8 with 71 yards passing through two series of play. He would have likely had two touchdowns to add to his impressive night, but they were both negated by penalties. With an improved offensive line, it will be interesting to see how things shape up and how much time that Luck has in the pocket to make smart decisions.
Can the Defense Stop the Run?
Ever since head coach Chuck Pagano was hired in the spring of 2012, he preached of his defense being able to stop the run. Since then, the defense has been…well…very mediocre at best in not allowing opposing offenses run all over them. Against the Ravens last Saturday, the Colts allowed 120 rushing yards on 30 carries on defense. The Buffalo Bills rushed for 126 yards on 28 carries against the Colts in the first exhibition game for both teams. While these numbers may be inflated due to the fact that the defensive starters don’t play more than a few series, it’s still an alarming statistic for a team that is always looking to improve their run defense.
Who Will Step Up in the Receiving Core?
The Colts have T.Y. Hilton, Donte Moncrief and Phillip Dorsett as their first three receivers. After that, it’s a free-for-all. Traditionally, the team has kept five receivers on the roster — so two more roster spots are up for grabs. Rookie Chester Rogers has enjoyed a successful preseason with the Colts thus far, hauling in 7 receptions for 94 yards through the first two games of the preseason. Look for Quan Bray and Tevaun Smith to battle it out for the Colts’ fifth spot on the roster.
With the starters likely playing the entire first half against the Eagles, it will be interesting to see how some of the starting units perform.
The Colts take on the Eagles tonight at Lucas Oil Stadium at 7 p.m. ET.
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