New Orleans Saints (2-0) vs Indianapolis Colts (0-2)
Saturday August 23rd - 7pm Kickoff - Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis
Last week’s Results: New Orleans beat Tennessee 31-24 and New York Giants beat Indianapolis 27-26
Series History: The Saints and Colts have met a total of 12 times and the Saints lead the series 7-5. The last two wins by the Saints in this series included the Saints 31-17 win over the Colts in Super Bowl XLIV, and the Saints scored 62 points in a 62-7 win over Indianapolis on October 10, 2011.
Noteworthy: The Saints are 2-0 this preseason while Indianapolis is 0-2. New Orleans beat St. Louis 26-24 in week one of the preseason while the NY Jets beat Indy 13-10.
The Big’s Chief’s 5 things to watch for
1. Will Jairus Byrd get some playing time? I don’t think Byrd has anything to prove, as he has looked very sharp at practice. But a few real game snaps would not hurt.
2. Is the Champ (Bailey) ready to take his first game snap with the Saints defense? Sure, he's going to the Hall of Fame one day, but is Champ Bailey the other starting CB for the Saints this season Maybe we can get a better indication of that this weekend.
3. Can the Saints play a more disciplined game this week? After being flagged a whopping 22 times last week the Saints need to play a game with not near as many flags. 32 flags for 288 yards in two games. What else needs to be said?
4. Return(s) to sender! New Orleans wants to cover kicks at a better rate this season. According to Coach Sean Payton, the Saints were “average” last week in covering kickoffs against the Titans. New Orleans has allowed 299 return yards in two games. Opposing teams are averaging 27 yards per return. That’s not that good!
5. Ground Luck! No quarterback in the NFL was knocked down more last season than the Colts' signal caller. Andrew Luck is without question one of the best QB’s in the league, but he gets knocked around a lot. Will the Saints be able to pressure the talented QB like they have done in their first two games against the Rams and Titans?
Last week, the Saints forced five turnovers and Hokie would like to see the Saints continue that trend. “We know that one of the thing the Saints wanted to work on and improve at this camp was creating turnovers. I want to see if the defense can be as aggressive as they were last week against Tennessee!”
Obviously Hokie also wants to see the Saints play a cleaner game. After the pile of flags against the Titans, Hokie says that playing a more disciplined game will be important as the Saints move closer to the start of the regular season.
Gajan says he wants to continue to see WR Joe Morgan stretch the field and RB Mark Ingram continue to be active. “Joe Morgan has really come on the last two weeks and I think he’s separating himself from some of the others in the group. And Mark Ingram has made plays rushing the football and catching the ball. Can both continue to progress?”
Cajun Cannon’s take
He is the founding father of the Who Dat Nation, and trust me when I tell you that no-one, and I mean no-one takes notes and watches a practice or game as intensely as my lovely co-host Bobby Hebert.
With the third preseason game being the closest thing to a regular season game, Bobby thinks the Saints' starting players will see the most action this week against the Colts. “Coaches generally have an idea in their head about how many snaps they would like the front line players to get.”
Bobby said he would like to see the Saints get off to another good start this week. In their 31-24 win over Tennessee the Saints scored on their first possession, embarking on a 16-play, 80-yard drive that lasted six and a half minutes.
Can the Saints continue to pressure the opposing team’s quarterback? New Orleans has recorded eight sacks for minus -53 yards in their first two games. New Orleans equally had four sacks against the Rams and four more last week versus the Titans. “Consistently getting pressure on the other team’s QB is crucial to the Saints defense. I really like the pressure we have applied the first two games. And now if we can do it again this week that bodes well going into the regular season,” Bobby said.
Bobby also wants to see the Saints force more turnovers. New Orleans enters this weeks game against the Colts +3 in the turnover margin which is tied for first in the league right now. The Saints forced five turnovers last week against Tennessee.