Sure, it was simply just another meaningless pre-season game. But don’t tell that to the capacity crowd in attendance.
Even with a number of key players on the sidelines in street clothes, the Colts’ first unit looked impressive in a 37-17 loss to the San Francisco 49ers as they virtually dedicated three quarters of the game to the talent evaluation process and in the process began the exercise of trimming the roster for opening day.
Peyton Manning showed he is now ready for the regular season by quickly completing 8 of 10 passes and directing the Colts to a quick first quarter lead. The first unit defense forced the 49ers to punt twice, and collected both a fumble recovery and an interception. But the second unit performance was indeed a different story as they served up turnovers to the visitors from the Bay area, who quickly turned them into points, and before you could say, “This looks like last year against the Jets” the Colts were in a hole and done for the day in a fashion that at times seemed more by design than by default.
The final three quarters, which featured Curtis Painter at quarterback, had 11 offensive possessions yet could only muster 139 yards and did not go unnoticed by head coach Jim Caldwell. “Today was indeed a tough one for Curtis,” lamented a stoic Caldwell. “While he did not play well, those around him also did not, and that has to change.”
NOTES: 49er Anthony Dixon rushed for 100 yards in 21 carries.
Curtis Painter’s stat line unfortunately included three interceptions, with one of those producing a San Francisco touchdown. The Colts have to be thinking about bringing in an experienced backup quarterback, as Painter is struggling.
Peyton Manning was honored before the game when he received his 2010 MVP trophy. This is the fourth time in his storied career that Manning has won the coveted award.
San Francisco starters Frank Gore, Patrick Willis and Michael Crabtree all sat out for the 49ers. They were not missed as their replacements outplayed the Colts all day.
The Colts travel to Toronto on Aug. 19 to face the Buffalo Bills in their second pre season game. You can watch the telecast locally on WTTV 4 at 7:30 p.m.
Danny Bridges, who thinks the practice of charging full price for pre-season tickets should come to a screeching halt, can be reached at (317) 578-1780 or at Bridgeshd@aol.com.