After a shaky performance against the Bills last week, can the Colts show improvement against the Lions? Here’s what needs to happen in Game Two of the Colts’ Preseason.
It’s no secret the Colts did not look fantastic versus the Bills last week in the season’s opening preseason game. The team showed up and looked lackluster in all three facets of the game. The wide receivers struggled, and the defense was rather porous. Now, all of that aside, the Colts have been carving up the Lions in joint practice, and fans should be looking forward to seeing this game.
The Elephant In The Room For The Colts Ahead Of Game Two
Frank Reich will be sitting the vast majority of starters for this game, which is a shame considering what was put on film last week. Last week the offense struggled to put up points against the Bills’ second team, and one of the biggest reasons was the struggles of the wide receivers. The Bills’ defensive backs were stuck to our receivers like white on rice.
The throwing windows were small, and our big physical receivers were unable to box out defenders for contested catches. Some good news though; throughout the joint practices with the Lions this week, the receivers have been cooking the Lions’ defensive backs, and if they’re able to replicate this in-game that’ll be great.
Christian Benford shuts down Michael Pittman. The sixth rounder continues to impress 🔥 pic.twitter.com/qLmXJVnRNk — NFL Rookie Watch (@NFLRookieWatxh) August 13, 2022
The Colts Should Be Aggressive On Defense In Game Two
Another great thing to see would be some pass rush from the defense. Hopefully, if the back-ups such as Kameron Cline, show up and bully around the Lions’ offensive line, the team should be very happy. If the pass rush doesn’t get to the Lions’ quarterback, the team will be carved up just like Case Keenum carved the Colts up last week.
Pass rush and pass coverage go hand-in-hand. If the pass rush isn’t there, there’s more time for receivers to get separation and if the pass coverage isn’t there, there’s less time to get after the quarterback. Last week was a solid mixture of the Colts not being great at either. The defense really needs to see press-man coverage defense with aggressive corners that Gus Bradley is known for. Otherwise, this is a very scary scenario for the Colts as they’ve just replaced Matt Eberflus with Matt Eberflus.
Despite Case Keenum’s performance, the Colts were able to keep the Bills from converting many third downs, but that’s what the offense needs to show. With or without Jonathan Taylor. The Colts need to convert on third down way more consistently. Only converting six of 16 on third down isn’t going to do anything but lose games for Indianapolis and if Matt Ryan goes down with an injury, the team is in trouble.
Nick Foles was unable to push the ball downfield last week and that is something he must do more against the Lions.
Nick Foles put on a #Colts jersey and became Carson Wentz. Damn. pic.twitter.com/8qjPPXincC — Indy Source (@SourceIndiana) August 13, 2022
A Battle Of Back-Ups Is Something To Watch For Colts This Week
Nick Foles is reportedly slated to only play the first quarter in the upcoming preseason game. If he plays like he did last week, he should be on the roster chopping block. Foles needs to be more accurate and show the team he can hit receivers past the five-yard marker and not be a turnover machine. Sam Ehlinger is set to play the second quarter and more than likely play well into the third. Ehlinger needs to continue to flash; plain and simple. Ehlinger played very well last week and just needs to improve on that. He was accurate, he was mobile, he created, and he was a downright play-maker.
CTDOLT pic.twitter.com/WSFiOFZAZv — James Burnes (@JamesBurnes8) August 13, 2022
Anything could happen in the upcoming game, but these are the things I’m personally looking for. I realize these are “just the back-ups” but roster depth is extremely important, as the Titans showed everyone last year. So far, the Colts have looked great in the joint practices and I hope they look great in-game as well. All of this should be taken with the largest grain of salt though as this is still the Lions we’re playing against and have been practicing against.