W2W4: Indianapolis Colts

August, 23, 2014
Aug 23
8:00
AM ET
The Indianapolis Colts (0-2) and New Orleans Saints (2-0) play a preseason game Saturday night at Lucas Oil Stadium.


1. Defense to be tested: The Colts' starting defense only gave up 53 yards on 20 plays to the New York Giants in the Aug. 16 preseason game. The Saints aren't the Giants. Saints quarterback Drew Brees, who will be making his preseason debut, will test the Colts secondary because they have one of the better offenses in the league. The Saints have scored 57 points in their first two preseason games. Brees' favorite target is tight end Jimmy Graham. The Colts, especially outside linebacker Bjoern Werner, will have to be able to put some pressure on Brees and the secondary will have to be solid without picking up penalties. The Colts were called for five illegal contact penalties against the Giants. Linebacker Kelvin Sheppard said the way the officials are calling penalties outside of the 5-yard contact zone favors players like Graham because he's strong, tall and fast.

2. The running game: Trent Richardson will be in the weekly W2W4 until he finds his rhythm and the results start showing up. That hasn't happened yet. Richardson's only averaging 2.4 yards a carry in the preseason, with his long being eight yards twice. Keep in mind that he's only had 14 attempts in the preseason. You will probably have a better feel for where Richardson is after the game because the starters will likely play into the third quarter. Ahmad Bradshaw should make his preseason debut after spending part of training camp wearing a red non-contact jersey in practice. There's little question about Bradshaw being able to produce. His issue is whether he can stay healthy. Bradshaw missed the final 13 games of the 2013 season with a neck injury.

3. Reggie Wayne: Will he or won't he play? That's the question with Wayne, who has yet to play in the preseason. He said he wanted his first tackle since Week 7 last season to be in an exhibition, not on Sept. 7 when the Colts face the Broncos for real. Coach Chuck Pagano called him a game-time decision earlier in the week. Wayne doesn't need to play a full half like the rest of the starters. Play a series or two where quarterback Andrew Luck targets him a couple of times, get tackled and sit out the rest of the game. Then the mental and physical obstacle of getting tackled will be out the way and Wayne can focus on the Broncos because he won't play in the preseason finale against Cincinnati on Aug. 28.

Mike Wells

ESPN Indianapolis Colts reporter

SPONSORED HEADLINES

Comments

Use a Facebook account to add a comment, subject to Facebook's Terms of Service and Privacy Policy. Your Facebook name, photo & other personal information you make public on Facebook will appear with your comment, and may be used on ESPN's media platforms. Learn more.