Indianapolis Colts: Five Takeaways From Third NFL Preseason Game

The Indianapolis Colts faced off against the Philadelphia Eagles in their third preseason game of the 2016 NFL season. It was somewhat of a dress rehearsal for the upcoming season, although they didn’t leave all of the starters in for an extended period of time.

Chuck Pagano and the Colts ended up losing the game by a final score of 33-23, although that doesn’t matter in the grand scheme of things.

Even though they lost the game, the Colts showed some things that should excite their fan base. After suffering through an incredibly disappointing season last year, Indianapolis is hoping to compete for a chance to represent the AFC in Super Bowl 51. If they play up to their full potential, there is no question that they are capable of making a run in the postseason.

Last season was a year full of injury troubles, including Andrew Luck missing a good chunk of the season with a lacerated kidney. Health will be a major factor for the Colts once again this season.

All of that being said, what five takeaways can be seen for the Colts from their third preseason game of the season against the Eagles?

[Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images]

Andrew Luck Is Ready for a Breakout Season in 2016

Andrew Luck signed a massive contract extension with the Colts this offseason, as ESPN reported. There is a lot of pressure on his shoulders heading into the 2016 season, with the Colts’ playoff hopes riding on how he performs. Luck completed 13 of his 18 pass attempts for 134 yards, no touchdowns, and no interceptions and further proved that he is ready to have a breakout season in 2016.

Donte Moncrief and Phillip Dorsett Are Poised to Step Up

One of the big question marks for the Colts heading into the season is whether the wide receivers can step up for their star quarterback. Donte Moncrief caught six passes for 58 yards, while Phillip Dorsett caught three passes for 49 yards last night against the Eagles. Both players are ready to step up and be major playmakers for the Indianapolis offense.

Indianapolis Doesn’t Have a True Backup Running Back

Jim Irsay and Ryan Grigson may want to consider adding another running back to secure the backup spot behind Frank Gore. Stevan Ridley was in for a visit with the Colts this week, according to a report from Mike Garafolo of NFL.com. They need to find a player who will be capable of stepping in and playing a big role within the offense should Gore go down with injury.

Nate Irving will play a huge role for the Indianapolis Colts in 2016.
[Photo by Joe Sargent/Getty Images]

Nate Irving Is Capable of Playing a Huge Role Defensively

Indianapolis has always had holes in their defense, but they need a linebacker or two to step up this season. Nate Irving is going to get a lot of playing time this season and he has proved throughout the preseason so far that he is capable of playing a big role. He recorded two tackles to go along with a sack last night.

More Pass Rush Is Needed Defensively

Looking at the defense, the biggest need is in the pass rush. If the Colts want to beat the elite teams in the NFL, they will have to figure out how to put more pressure on opposing quarterbacks. Perhaps Robert Mathis and company can get things figured out, although that doesn’t seem too likely unless a roster move is made.

Expect to see the Colts rest the majority of their key players next week as the regular season is right around the corner. They have their work cut out for them this season. Making a deep postseason run won’t be easy, but the Colts need to focus on winning the much improved AFC South first.

Do you think the Indianapolis Colts should be considered Super Bowl contenders? Will Andrew Luck get his career turned back around this season? Let us know your thoughts in the comment box below!

[Photo by Michael Hickey/Getty Images]