After a very quiet week on West 56th Street, the Colts traveled to Cincinnati last night to play the Bengals in the final preseason tune-up game. In the end, Dan Orlovsky, of all people, did his Peyton Manning impression to lead the Colts to their first exhibition win in more than two years. As we head into the long stretch before the September 11 regular-season opener in Houston against the Texans, here are some quick thoughts on Thursday’s game.
- Kerry Collins has arm strength, limited mobility and takes hits in the pocket. He’s Kerry Collins.
- The offensive line is far from being a strong point, and both Jeff Linkenbach and Anthony Castonzo got pushed around by the Bengals’ D-line.
- Taj Smith was the statistical star of the day, and he caught the game-winner. However, he dropped a couple of easy ones and his hands continue to be a liability. May be able to stick around on special teams again.
- Curtis Painter was definitely in mid-season form, standing on the sidelines.
- Orlovsky looked pretty good in the late going, but my guess is that this was just a parting gift from the Colts.
- After a decent running game, on both sides, against the Packers, the Colts looked like the Colts against the Bengals. They ran for 45 and gave up 159.
- Locals Chad Spann and Darren Evans both put in decent rushing performances and are making the final RB roster cuts difficult to decide. If only one stays, I prefer Evans, but his style is similar to Delone Carter, so Spann may give the Colts a different look.
- The Indy secondary is still thin and nothing to brag about.
What lies ahead is a period of deep roster cuts (the 53-man deadline is tomorrow) and a race to see if Peyton Manning (and Arian Foster) can get healthy enough to play in Houston. Good luck to the Colts. I’m sure that Chris Johnson is praying for them.