Well, it didn’t start off too bad for the Colts, but the backups came in and got absolutely crushed. The Colts took a 13-6 lead in the 2nd quarter, and it was all Buffalo after that. The Bills outscored the Colts 38-7 from about the middle of the second quarter to the end of the game.
The Colts didn’t fare poorly in every facet of the game, especially a diving grab by T.Y. Hilton that got fans excited about his potential, but it was a pretty dull effort all-around. Here are some things you probably want to know about:
1. Andrew Luck was solid
Luck completed 4/6 passes for 51 yards, including a 23 yard toss to breakout candidate Coby Fleener. Dwayne Allen didn’t play, freeing up Fleener to take all the first team reps.
Luck has made great strides at training camp, and six passes sounds about right for his workload in the first preseason game. Luck should be expected to play most of the first half in the team’s second preseason game next week, but it’s hard to say anything definitive about any of the starters after week one of the pre-season, especially your quarterback.
2. T.Y. Hilton…
Matthew Hasselbeck probably didn’t think he could over-throw T.Y. Hilton at this stage in his career, and despite his best attempt, he really couldn’t.
Hilton made a Willie Mays style diving grab to catch a Hasselbeck bomb, and slid into the end zone for six. It’s probably the most effort you’re going to see a potential star player give in the whole pre-season, but Hilton is still fighting for the Colts’ #2 receiver job. I wouldn’t be surprised if the coaching staff gives it to him, not only based on that catch, but his rookie season and training camp as well.
3. Delano Howell had a good game
The Colts are collecting the Stanford class of 2012, which really isn’t a bad idea at all. With Andrew Luck already established as the franchise player, Coby Fleener breaking out, and Griff Whalen collecting all the training camp headlines, it was safety Delano Howell’s chance to turn some heads.
The former Buffalo Bills practice squad member who was signed by Indy last season had 11 tackles and a pass broken up in extensive action. The Colts have injuries and suspensions looming at safety, so Howell’s performance was a welcome sight and a good chance for him to prove that he can add some depth in the secondary.
4. The Lone Sack
OLB Caesar Rayford, formerly of the Utah Blaze, had the team’s only sack on Sunday. He also had a roughing the passer penalty. Needless to say, it was a dull day for the Colts’ pass rush.
5. In a related note
First round pick Bjoern Werner did not play, and while fans were disappointed, it’s important that he gets back to full health and joins the team when he’s ready rather than play when he’s not at 100 percent.
Follow me on Twitter! @SayreColts