2014 DRAFT GUIDE
Five things to know from Browns-Colts

By MICHAEL MAROT - AP Sports Writer
    2013-08-25 03:16

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) - The Indianapolis Colts put it all together, and the Cleveland Browns couldn't get anything right.

Andrew Luck threw two touchdown passes and was in complete command of the offense and Indianapolis' starting defense stymied Cleveland's offense. Even the Colts' often maligned special teams had some big plays in a 27-6 victory over the Browns on Saturday night.

Here are five things we learned from the teams' preseason game:

1. DEFENSIVE IMPROVEMENT: Indianapolis spent a lot of money in free agency to upgrade the defense, and it's starting to pay big dividends. Indy has now gone two consecutive games without giving up a touchdown, and the Browns couldn't even get into the red zone. The Colts' starters dominated - yielding only four first downs and allowing Cleveland to run only three plays in Indy territory, one being a punt, before departing in the third quarter. Yes, it's only the preseason but after an opening-game debacle in which some of the Colts' starters didn't even play and most left in the first quarter, the Colts are finally showing signs this defense could be as good as coach Chuck Pagano has advertised.

2. BROWN OUT: Brandon Weeden and the Browns had put together two impressive performances against the Rams and Lions. Then everything went wrong. The Browns' quarterbacks were harassed all night. Cleveland's running backs struggled after Trent Richardson left. The receivers dropped passes and penalties stalled drives. After scoring 51 points in the first two games, the Browns struggled mightily in the one preseason game that might be most telling measuring stick. Coach Rob Chudzinski said the game showed Cleveland needs to be more consistent, but it also must be far more productive on both sides of the ball.

3. ARE YOU FELING LUCKY?: The critics contended Indianapolis was lucky to pick the right season for a collapse, lucky to win so many close games a year ago, and lucky again last week when a deflected pass went for a touchdown against the Giants. Perhaps so. But quarterback Andrew Luck showed Saturday that there's more to Indy's comeback story than just good bounces and good fortune. He was in complete command of the offense against the Browns, going 16 of 25 for 164 yards with two TDs and one interception. He ran four times for 20 yards and led the Colts to three scores on three of the seven drives he played. It probably would have been four of seven, had Stanley Havili not bobbled a pass which wound up as an interception at the Cleveland 2-yard line.

4. HELP WANTED: Richardson could be headed toward a big second season for the Browns. He still needs help. With Montario Hardesty (thumb, knee) and Dion Lewis (broken leg) both out, the Browns were looking for somebody, anybody to become a solid complementary back. They're still looking. While Richardson ran seven times for a respectable 31 yards, Jamaine Cook, Brandon Jackson, Chris Ogbonnaya and Weeden combined for nine carries and 28 yards, a paltry 3.1 yards per carry. While Richardson is built to shoulder the load, the Browns need to find more helpers before the season opener.

5. SUGAR RAYFORD: Caesar Rayford has certainly turned heads this preseason. The 6-foot-7 linebacker has spent the last few years playing in the Arena Football and Canadian Football Leagues, but this preseason, the 27-year-old rookie has wowed Colts coaches. He had three more tackles Saturday, and his two sacks allowed him to keep the team lead with five. Rayford has had at least one sack in each preseason game and has shown no indication he's about to slow down. There's little doubt he'll be on the roster after the first cut down, and the way he's playing, he might earn one of the coveted spots on the 53-man roster, too.

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AP NFL website: www.pro32.ap.org

Fantasy Football Player Notes RSS FeedPLAYER NOTES

Alameda Ta'amuDec 21 07:42p

The Arizona Cardinals have declared DL Alameda Ta'amu, OG Anthony Steen, WR Brittan Golden, SS Chris D. Clemons, QB Drew Stanton, OG Jonathan Cooper, DL Kareem Martin inactive for Week 16.

Chris MatthewsDec 21 07:32p

The Seattle Seahawks have declared WR Chris Matthews, DL Demarcus Dobbs, WR Kevin Norwood, C Max Unger, OT Russell Okung, TE Tony Moeaki, DL Travian Robertson inactive for Week 16.

Ahmad DixonDec 21 11:52a

The Minnesota Vikings have declared SS Ahmad Dixon, LB Anthony Barr, OT Carter Bykowski, OG Charlie Johnson, TE Kyle Rudolph, CB Shaun Prater, FB Zach Line inactive for Week 16.

Devier PoseyDec 21 11:52a

The Houston Texans have declared WR DeVier Posey, TE Garrett Graham, LB Jason Ankrah, S Josh Aubrey, LB Mike Mohamed, QB Tom Savage, OG Xavier Su'a-Filo inactive for Week 16.

A.J. KleinDec 21 11:52a

The Carolina Panthers have declared LB A.J. Klein, OG Amini Silatolu, CB Carrington Byndom, OT David Foucault, RB DeAngelo Williams, DL Kyle Love, SS Robert Lester inactive for Week 16.

Charles GodfreyDec 21 11:52a

The Atlanta Falcons have declared CB Charles Godfrey, LB James Anderson, OG Jon Asamoah, CB Ricardo Allen, QB Sean Renfree, DL Stansly Maponga, LB Tyler Starr inactive for Week 16.

Jamarca SanfordDec 21 11:52a

The New Orleans Saints have declared SS Jamarca Sanford, DL Lawrence Virgil, LB Moise Fokou, WR Seantavius Jones, CB Stanley Jean-Baptiste, OT Terron Armstead, RB Travaris Cadet inactive for Week 16.

Justin BrownDec 21 11:52a

The Pittsburgh Steelers have declared OG Chris Hubbard, DL Clifton Geathers, CB Ike Taylor, WR Justin Brown, QB Landry Jones, TE Matt Spaeth, SS Troy Polamalu inactive for Week 16.

Clifton GeathersDec 21 11:52a

The Pittsburgh Steelers have declared OG Chris Hubbard, DL Clifton Geathers, CB Ike Taylor, WR Justin Brown, QB Landry Jones, TE Matt Spaeth, SS Troy Polamalu inactive for Week 16.

Carl BradfordDec 21 11:42a

The Green Bay Packers have declared DL Bruce Gaston, LB Carl Bradford, CB Davon House, C Garth Gerhart, WR Jeff Janis, TE Justin Perillo, QB Scott Tolzien inactive for Week 16.

Chris McCainDec 21 11:42a

The Miami Dolphins have declared LB Chris McCain, OT Dallas Thomas, RB Daniel Thomas, CB Don Jones, WR Matt Hazel, OG Nate Garner, WR Rishard Matthews inactive for Week 16.

Arthur BrownDec 21 11:42a

The Baltimore Ravens have declared LB Arthur Brown, DL Casey Walker, CB Chris Greenwood, C Gino Gradkowski, WR Michael Campanaro, OG Ryan Jensen, DL Terrence Cody inactive for Week 16.

Aaron MurrayDec 21 11:42a

The Kansas City Chiefs have declared QB Aaron Murray, RB Charcandrick West, WR Donnie Avery, C Eric Kush, OT Laurent Duvernay-Tardif, CB Marcus Cooper, DL Nick X. Williams inactive for Week 16.

Gary BarnidgeDec 21 11:42a

The Cleveland Browns have declared OT Andrew McDonald, TE Gary Barnidge, RB Glenn Winston, CB Joe Haden, DB K'Waun Williams, WR Rodney Smith, OT Vinston Painter inactive for Week 16.

Chris ConteDec 21 11:42a

The Chicago Bears have declared FS Chris Conte, QB David Fales, OG Kyle Long, PK Robbie Gould, CB Terrance Mitchell, DL Trevor Scott, DL Will Sutton inactive for Week 16.

Dakota DozierDec 21 11:33a

The New York Jets have declared OL Dakota Dozier, SS Jaiquawn Jarrett, QB Matt Simms, FS Rontez Miles, DL T.J. Barnes, WR Walter Powell, OG Wesley Johnson inactive for Week 16.

Alfonzo DennardDec 21 11:33a

The New England Patriots have declared CB Alfonzo Dennard, OG Dan Connolly, RB James White, OT Jordan Devey, WR Julian Edelman, CB Kyle Arrington, RB LeGarrette Blount inactive for Week 16.

Anthony CollinsDec 21 11:32a

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have declared OT Anthony Collins, FB Evan Rodriguez, CB Isaiah Frey, DL Lawrence Sidbury, RB Mike James, WR Robert Herron, WR Solomon Patton inactive for Week 16.

Kelvin BenjaminDec 21 11:22a

Carolina Panthers WR Kelvin Benjamin won't face Cleveland Browns CB Joe Haden (shoulder) Sunday, Dec. 21, who is out with a shoulder injury.

Joe HadenDec 21 11:22a

Cleveland Browns CB Joe Haden (shoulder) is out Sunday, Dec. 21.

Julio JonesDec 21 11:22a

Atlanta Falcons WR Julio Jones (hip) is active Sunday, Dec. 21.

Jay CutlerDec 21 10:22a

Chicago Bears QB Jay Cutler is receiving trade interest from the Tennessee Titans. If the Titans landed him, it would alter the 2015 NFL Draft board dramatically.

T Y HiltonDec 21 10:22a

Indianapolis Colts WR T.Y. Hilton (hamstring) is a long shot to play Sunday, Dec. 21. However, he's going to try to suit up.

DeMarco MurrayDec 21 10:12a

Dallas Cowboys RB DeMarco Murray (hand) will play Sunday, Dec. 21, but the team is nervous how well he'll hold up in pass protection. If the team qualifies for [ More ]

Zach ErtzDec 20 07:42p

Philadelphia Eagles TE Zach Ertz had 15 catches for 115 yards Saturday, Dec. 20. Both of which are career highs.

Philip RiversDec 20 07:22p

San Diego Chargers QB Philip Rivers (back) is active Saturday, Dec. 20, for Week 16.

Ryan MathewsDec 20 07:22p

San Diego Chargers RB Ryan Mathews (ankle) is inactive Saturday, Dec. 20, for Week 16.

Ryan MathewsDec 20 07:12p

The San Diego Chargers have declared LB Cordarro Law, DL Damion Square, CB Greg Ducre, WR Keenan Allen, P Mike Scifres, DL Ryan Carrethers, RB Ryan Mathews inactive for Week 16.

Carlos HydeDec 20 07:12p

San Francisco 49ers RB Carlos Hyde (ankle) is inactive Saturday, Dec. 20.

Ahmad BrooksDec 20 07:02p

The San Francisco 49ers have declared LB Ahmad Brooks, OG Andrew Tiller, RB Carlos Hyde, OG Joe Looney, QB Josh X. Johnson, WR Stevie Johnson, CB Tramaine Brock inactive for Week 16.

DeAndre HopkinsDec 20 06:42p

Houston Texans WR DeAndre Hopkins (ankle) will be a game-time decision Sunday, Dec. 21, after not practicing all week.

Julian EdelmanDec 20 06:02p

New England Patriots WR Julian Edelman (concussion) has been ruled out for Week 16. Edelman didn't receive final clearance from the concussion protocol to play Sunday, Dec. 21.

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