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Takeaways From The Colts' Win Over The Bengals

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Pat Angerer needs to get back to 2011 form after struggling last season with a nagging foot injury. Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images.
Pat Angerer needs to get back to 2011 form after struggling last season with a nagging foot injury. Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images.

The Indianapolis Colts improved in each of their first three preseason games. That trend reversed in the Colts’ final preseason match, as they lost to the Cincinnati Bengals, 27-10.

Here are some takeaways from the game.

-Last week, rookie guard Hugh Thornton made his preseason debut and looked very impressive. This week, rookie center Khaled Holmes did the same. You could tell both Thornton and Holmes were rookies in the limited action they saw in the preseason, but they flashed promise. They certainly look like they’re on their way to becoming better players than center Samson Satele and guard Mike McGlynn, both of whom are largely considered the two worst starters on the offensive line. It looks like their time as starters is limited, as Thornton and Holmes have the potential to replace them.

-I wrote back in May that Kerwynn Williams’ ceiling is to be another Darren Sproles. I didn’t think he would actually turn out to be that, but Williams has flashed such potential in the preseason, especially against the Bengals. He still is very raw; sometimes he gets too east-and-west happy and should just go up field, but given time and proper coaching, Williams appears to have all the tools to be another Sproles. He could be the ultimate rushing, pass-catching and kick return weapon for the Colts.

-Like Williams, rookie outside linebacker Bjoern Werner is flashing his potential, but still looks very much like the rookie he is. He needs to work on defending the run, especially on the weak side, and playing in pass coverage. However, in a year or two, he could be the Colts’ next great pass-rusher.

-Defensive lineman Ricardo Matthews turned in a solid performance. Before the game started, I didn’t think he would make the Colts roster. I still don’t think he quite made it, but with his performance, he’s making the coaches think long and hard before slashing him from the team.

-Pat Angerer looked like he’s still getting back in football shape. He struggled all of last year through a foot injury and only was recently cleared to practice and play. Angerer looked better than his hobbled 2012 self, but he still has a little work to do before he returns to his 2011 form in which he was a very solid inside linebacker.

-Once again, wide receivers not named Wayne, Hilton or Heyward-Bey failed to step up and produce. The wide receiver slots after the top three remain wide open after the preseason. The coaches’ decisions on whom to keep has got to come down to who performed well in training camp, because none of the bottom-of-the-roster guys did anything of note during the games. Either way, the Colts better hope none of their top receivers get hurt, because the depth gets thin really fast after them.