After an exciting week in which the Colts signed quarterback Kerry Collins as Curtis Painter’s backup and ticked off the entire power structure of the local media machine, Friday night finally brought us some sanity when the Green Bay Packers visited Lucas Oil Stadium for the third pre-season game. While the Colts eventually lost 24-21, Painter actually made us forget about Collins for awhile, and I sure feel a whole lot better about this team than I did a week ago. Quick notes from the game:
- After being very vocal about his support fr Painter over Collins, Reggie Wayne dropped Painter’s first pass from scrimmage, and images of Reggie Miller clutching his neck in MSG danced in my head.
- After a stalled first series, Aaron Rodgers led the Packers to a quick 10-0 lead, as Super Bowl heroes are prone to do.
- Painter became someone we’ve never seen in the latter part of the second quarter, hitting Wayne for a long TD and then engineering a nifty two-minute drill for a scoring strike to Chris Brooks.
- While the Colts got lit up for 300 yards in the air, they held Green Bay to just 45 on the ground. Pre-season or not, that’s outstanding for a team that has been killed on the ground in recent years.
- On the flip side, the Indy rushing attack picked up 112 yards, and it looks like the re-vamped O-line may be coming together.
- Dwight Freeney looked like someone special out there. Why haven’t we heard of HIM before?
- We’ll talk more about winners and losers later, but I wouldn’t be surprised to see Jerry Hughes and Chad Spann gone before next week.
- Jim Caldwell was apparently outsmarted by an off-side kick. Again.
- Several players did not take the field for the Colts, including Austin Collie, Anthony Gonzalez, Antoine Bethea, Mike McNeill, Cody Glenn and Gary Brackett.
All in all, this game was a sigh of relief for Colts fans, and you could see progress just about everywhere. For next week, it’s hard to see the Colts eating the money they just paid Collins and keeping him on the sidelines, but Painter certainly made a case for himself in this game. Maybe the team could hold a Painter-Collins steel cage grudge match during pre-game ceremonies when they go to Cincy. If you watch your Tweets, Jim Irsay might even give you tickets!