February 1, 2019 at 1:37 am #2455
2018 NFL Preseason Game 2: Baltimore Ravens vs. Indianapolis Colts Open Thread After a chippy end to joint practices http://www.coltscheapshop.com , the Baltimore Ravens and Indianapolis Colts will suit up for their second preseason game tonight at 8 PM ET. This will be the first opportunity for many of the young players on both rosters to play a game against opponents they have already had a chance to play against. This should help coaches get a read on how well their players adjust.Andrew Luck is expected to play into the second quarter tonight. He will likely be given the opportunity to expand the playbook a bit in his second outing and there is a reasonable chance that he takes his first deep shot against the Ravens as well. Some of that will be up to an offensive line that is still undergoing a lot of change. Anthony Castonzo will not start at left tackle and rookie Braden Smith may get the nod at right tackle. Let’s face it, the most important thing for Luck is to be smart about how he takes care of himself and to not allow rookies and second string players at tackle cause any setbacks in his progress for a return to regular season action.Keep an eye on the following players on each side of the ball to see if they can put their stamp on a roster spot and push for considerable playing time in 2018.DEFENSEHassan Ridgeway is likely on the roster bubble for a defensive line that is undergoing a lot of change. Last week, he made a statement by abusing Seattle’s third and fourth string line, generating pressure and tallying multiple sacks. Can he keep it up this week? Will he get a chance earlier in the game? Rookie linebackers Darius Leonard and Skai Moore will get their second chance at making an impression on Colts fans. Leonard has already earned a reputation for being a very athletic linebacker, unlike any in Indianapolis for some time. Moore has brought his ball-hawking persona along with him from college and made life difficult in the center of the field in training camp. Will they show meaningful progress from the first preseason game to the next?What can Quincy Wilson do to stand out from his competition? Somehow Kenny Moore, Nate Hairston, and Pierre Desir appear to be ahead of him on the depth chart. This has to motivate Wilson, right?OFFENSEHow will Braden Smith perform in his second game? He will likely get a chance to play at tackle and guard again so he will be worth monitoring at both positions. His development could be crucial this year as the right tackle spot is up in the air and he needs to push for starting reps given his high draft position.How much earlier will Jordan Wilkins get to play? If he gets to play with the first team offensive line, will he look even better than he did against Seattle? There is a real chance that Wilkins can push his way up on the depth chart before Week 1. There is even a chance he could push his way to the top of the depth chart before Robert Turbin returns from his suspension in Week 5. Which pass-catcher will step forward? Deon Cain was lost to a season-ending ACL injury and K.J. Brent suffered an injury during training camp practice. This puts more pressure on a group that already had a lot of question-marks. Can Kasen Williams take advantage of his opportunity? Will Reece Fountain make his presence felt?SIGN UP FOR STAMPEDE BLUE FAN PULSEWe are considered the voice of the fan here at Stampede Blue and we talk every day about how the Indianapolis Colts are doing–whether they’ll win their upcoming game or how Colts fans feel about that awful call from the referees. Now we’re starting a new polling project that will pull together the insights of the most *plugged-in* Colts fans. If that describes you, then SIGN UP HERE to join me and other *knowledgeable* fans (including some other Stampede Blue contributors) on our new project called SB Nation FanPulse.If you sign up, you’ll be among a hand-selected group from Stampede Blue who answers quick polls each week developed by SB Nation. We want to build the definitive poll of *informed* Colts fans, and that includes you. Your votes will be anonymous–though if you join, you’re welcome to tell anyone you like. The results of each poll will be published by Stampede Blue, and may end up on SBNation.com also along with the results from other team sites.Ready to sign up as an Stampede Blue FanPulse participant? CLICK HERE.Game Time8:00 PM ET on Monday August 20th, 2018LocationLucas Oil Stadium – Indianapolis, IndianaTV ChannelESPNRadioWFNI (107.5FM/1070 The Fan) and WLHK (Country 97.1 Hank FM) — Bob Lamey, Jim Sorgi, Matt Taylor (sideline)TV National Broadcast MapSee which games will be shown in your area, from 506Sports.com.WeatherLooks like rain, likely a roof closed kind of game.Referee AssignmentAlex KempKemp is in his first year as a referee, after being promoted from line judge following the retirement of Ed Hochuli and Jeff Tripplette.“Enemy” BlogBaltimore BeatdownTwitterFollow @StampedeBlue for the complete Colts coverage on Twitter before, during, and after every game.FacebookLike Stampede Blue on Facebook!PodcastFor all your Colts-related talk and information Indianapolis Colts T-Shirt , subscribe, download, and review the Stampede Blue Colts Cast on iTunes, Stitcher, or BlogTalkRadio. Don’t forget to subscribe to our YouTube Channel! The Houston Texans waited 10 months to celebrate a victory.So when Sunday’s wild game ended, they let it all out.Players mobbed kicker Ka’imi Fairbairn after he made a 37-yard field goal in overtime, jumping up and down before leaving Indianapolis with a wild 37-34 victory to end the league’s longest losing streak at nine.”We’re all happy about it, no doubt,” linebacker Whitney Mercilus said. “We finally got a ‘W’ after being 0-3 for a while. So, I think things are starting to click. Starting to play some complementary football. And so, that’s where this momentum is.”It’s wasn’t just three games.Houston (1-3) hadn’t won since Nov. 19, hadn’t won on the road since Sept. 14, 2017, and couldn’t even beat the Colts last season without Andrew Luck.This season, the frustration grew as they lost at New England by seven, at Tennessee by three and at home to the New York Giants by five. Then Sunday, they blew a 28-7 lead to Luck’s Colts and two more chances to win — on Fairbairn’s 59-yard field goal on the second-to-last play and on their first possession of overtime when a strong drive stalled and Fairbairn made a 29-yard field goal to tie the score at 31 with 1:50 to play.And just when it appeared Houston’s winless streak might continue, the Colts went for the win on fourth-and-4 from their 43-yard line. The Texans got the stop they needed and three plays later, Fairbairn made the winning kick — after Indy called timeout just before he missed the kick wide right.”It took longer than it needed to,” defensive end J.J. Watt said after recording two more sacks to give him 80 in his career. “Very, very tiring, but we found a way. It’s a wild game, there at the end and there was a whole lot going on. Man Indianapolis Colts Hats , I respect their decision to go for it there at the end, go for the win instead of the tie.”Indy (1-3) has lost two straight and all three losses came with the Colts having chances to take the lead in the final 2 minutes.They’ve just kept coming up short.”We’ve got to execute. I’ve got to play better,” Luck said. “I’ve got to throw a better ball. We all know where we have to improve.”IN SYNCDeshaun Watson and his receivers certainly were in sync Sunday.Watson was 29 of 42 with 375 yards, two touchdowns and one interception. He also ran six times for 41 yards and his first rushing TD of the season.Hopkins caught 10 passes for 169 yards and one score while Keke Coutee broke Andre Johnson’s franchise record for receptions in an NFL debut. Coutee caught 11 passes for 109 yards. Johnson caught six passes in his first game.SHORT-TERM PROBLEMThe Colts initially lined up for their fourth-down play to try and draw Houston offside. When they didn’t, Indy called timeout and coach Frank Reich made the decision to go for the first down and the win with a short, seemingly safe pass on fourth-and-4.But Luck was missing his favorite target, T.Y. Hilton, who was out with a hamstring injury, and his pass was too low for Chester Rogers.The bigger problem is that Indy now visits New England on Thursday, presumably without Hilton.”Probably not, probably not good, I mean with the hamstring on a short week,” Reich said.DEFNSIVE TURNAROUNDHouston’s trademark defense also appears to have been rejuvenated. The Texans finished with four sacks against Luck and forced him to fumble twice, recovering one. Jadeveon Clowney scored his second career touchdown by recovering a fumble in the end zone on a botched snap from center Ryan Kelly.Indy had only 107 yards in the first half, 40 coming on Hilton’s first catch.While Luck led the Colts back from a 28-7 deficit to force overtime and Indy took a 34-31 lead on Adam Vinatieri’s 44-yard field goal, the defense stiffened one last time when Houston needed it most.MILESTONE DAYVinatieri became the NFL’s career leader in field goals when he made a 42-yarder with 2 seconds left in the first half to make it 21-10. Hall of Famer Morten Andersen held the previous mark at 565.Vinatieri extended the record to 567 with his overtime field goal and now heads back to New England, where he started his career, needing one field-goal attempt to move past Gary Anderson for No. 2 all-time. He also needs 26 points to break Morten Andersen’s career scoring record (2,544).But he would have preferred extending his league record for victories (226).”It’s weird, you know, you come off a loss and it doesn’t feel quite the same way,” he said. “I’m sure I’ll look back at in years to come and it will be pretty special.”
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