by Kent Sterling
Just keep repeating, “It just doesn’t matter like Bill Murray and the other counselors in “Meatballs.”
The Colts looked awful today against a Buffalo Bills team likely to be among the worth in the NFL
What a difference a year makes. A year ago tomorrow, the Colts throttled the St. Louis Rams 38-3 to usher in a new era in Indianapolis football. Ryan Grigson, Chuck Pagano, and Andrew Luck took their positions and made the new look Rams look a lot like the old look Rams.
Today, everything is new for the Bills, and coming off an 11-5 season and return to the playoffs, the Colts have nothing to prove but a great deal to improve.
The bad news today was that a lot of guys with horseshoes on their hats looked like this might have been their first effort at competitive football. The good news is that 30 of them will never play a meaningful minute for the Colts.
More good news – the Colts went 0-5 in the 2005 preseason, including a loss to the Bills, before running off 13 straight wins to start the season. A year later, the Colts meandered through a 1-3 preseason, and then won the Super Bowl. In fact, from 2005-2010, the Colts posted a posted a 4-22 record. Their regular season record during that six season span was 75-21.
There appears not to be an inverse relationship for the Colts as they also went 1-3 in the 2011 preseason before being an even more putrid 2-14 while earning the #1 pick that netted Andrew Luck.
The preseason sucks for fans, media, and virtually everyone involved because the results have no bearing on what will come in the regular season. There is no way to watch these tests of will (not for the players and coaches, but for the fans who have to tack open their eyes to make it through the entire game) and glean any meaningful information.
Good players look terrible because they know enough to save their bullets for the real action, and bad players look like world beaters because every snap represents another chance to earn what will likely be the best paying gigs of their lives. They knock heads with other longshots trying to impress somebody enough to earn the 53rd spot on the active roster.
The parade of fans into Lucas Oil Stadium for the first preseason game is always amusing. People are hyped for the action until it starts, and then they remember what preseason means and start to look at their watches like they can’t wait to leave.
Good, bad, and ugly are never quite what they appear to be in the preseason. When the fur flies in September, a win today won’t help either the Bills or Colts win games. The best result of a preseason game is health, and the worst is injury.
So today, despite losing by 24 points to a rebuilding franchise, was a good day. There appeared to be a couple of dings, but nothing more significant.
For those of you who enjoy numbers, Andrew Luck completed 4-of-6 passes for 51 yards before calling it a day after two series. Matt Hasselbeck took over and hit 4-of-8 passes for 75 yards, with a touch and pick. T.Y. Hilton caught a 45-yard TD pass from Hasselbeck that showed the fans what we’ve seen for two weeks at Colts camp – that Hilton is no flash in the pan. Chandler Harnish moved in as Colts quarterback early in the second quarter and finished the game. He completed 14-of-33 passes for 109 yards with an interception.
Two defensive players seemed to find themselves in the right place at the right time again and again. Dax Swanson recovered three fumbles, and Delano Howell led the team with 12 tackles – double the next closest Colts defender.
Next up, a trip to the magnificent MetLife Stadium to play the New York Giants a week from tonight at 7p. What we’ll see then will be no more meaningful than what we saw today.