The Indianapolis Colts' starters could play as long as a half in their preseason game against the New York Giants on Sunday night. How long quarterback Andrew Luck & Co. play will likely be determined by the number of snaps he takes. Sustain a couple of long drives, and Luck’s night could be over earlier than expected.
Here are three things I’ll be paying attention to during the game.
The receiver. Darrius Heyward-Bey was on the field for 17 plays and was the target for one pass in the preseason opener against Buffalo last weekend. It’s time for him to make his presence felt, especially since he’ll play longer against the Giants. Second-year player T.Y. Hilton won’t have a problem stepping into the No. 2 receiver spot if Heyward-Bey can't get a firm grip on it.
Protection. Luck was sacked once because of a cadence mishap during his 10 snaps against the Bills. It’s only the preseason, but there’s no better time than the present for the Colts to start working on cutting Luck’s 41 sacks from last season in half. The Giants had five sacks against the Pittsburgh Steelers last weekend.
More of a balance on offense. That’s what the Colts say they want to do, at least. Offensive coordinator Pep Hamilton mentioned last week that they want to be a run-first offense. Hopefully, the numbers balance out better against the Giants than they did against the Bills. The Colts had 65 plays, and only 14 of them were handoffs to running backs.