October 30, 2014

Colts v. Bengals: What I’m Watching

Well, despite the increasing (and delicious) capacity of the internet to circumvent NFL blackouts, I will probably be listening to tonight’s game, not watching it. In spite of his goofiness — and often because of it — Dave Lapham brings a lot to a radio broadcast. And it is a good excuse to watch the tape delay.

The final score of this game is meaningless, since it will be a battle between 3rd stingers and soon-to-be ex-NFL players, and especially since the Colts have not won a preseason game since Peyton Manning was riding a Big Wheel. But there is still plenty to glean from the game. Here is what I will be interested in seeing/hearing from tonight’s game.

Will Andy have a solid start? Contrary to tradition, I assume that the first team (sans Ced, of course) will play 2-3 series tonight. They need the work. If they do, Andy has to take care of the ball. No disasters, no turnovers like early in each of the first 3 games. I don’t want to write again that Andy “settled in”. I want him dialed in from the start.

Is there much offensive line depth? I’m good with Collins (who ought to be starting) and Boling. The other backups have been somewhere between bad and putrid, a big reason why no points have been scored by a backup QB in 3 games. I sure hope that there are upgrades to Jean-Gilles and Roland on the waiver wire Saturday. Correction: I sure hope the Bengals pull the trigger on upgrades to Jean-Gilles and Roland from the waiver wire on Saturday.

Can Jay Finley shine? It is a shame that injury has kept him from having a good camp battle with Cedric Peerman. They will have to squeeze a full preseason’s worth of battles into tonight’s game. Peerman would seem to have the inside track, so Finley will have to shine to overtake him.

Who steps up at corner? This position is one key injury away from being a mess. Hall, Clements and Jennings are in. Many have inked in Trent as well. That leaves one or maybe two spots up for grabs between Murray, Jones, Wade and Ghee. The Colts should give these guys a healthy test, since they need to get Kerry Collins going. Will one of these guys grab the spot? Or will the coaches be left sifting through a ton of bad film to choose the least-bad option? I prefer the former.

Has Gibril Wilson come back enough to stick? Crocker, Nelson, Mays and Sands should all be safe. I hope to see Wilson put some good plays together and make the team after being shelved all last season. If he can get it going again, he would be a solid first substitute to spell a starter.