Colts rookie QB Richardson has mixed performance in preseason victory over Eagles

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Indianapolis rookie quarterback Anthony Richardson displayed flashes of promise but also showed that there's much work to do, helping the Colts beat the Philadelphia Eagles 27-13 on Thursday night in the preseason finale for each team.

Named the starter after the preseason opener at Buffalo, Richardson completed 6 of 17 passes for 78 yards and ran five times for 38 yards in the first half. The 6-foot-4 passer was the No. 4 overall pick out of Florida.

New Colts coach Shane Steichen helped Philadelphia’s Jalen Hurts transform from a second-round pick with questions into one of the NFL’s elite quarterbacks during the last two seasons as the Eagles’ offensive coordinator. He will try to do the same with Richardson in in Indianapolis.

“I thought he did a solid job,” Steichen said. “He did some really good things and some things we have to clean up as well.”

On the fourth drive for the Colts (2-1), Richardson showed flashes of greatness, hitting Kylen Granson in traffic for 17 yards.

“He put it only where Granson could catch it," Steichen said. "It was a heck of a throw.”

He twice avoided sacks later in the drive. Richardson also was off target on several throws, most of which sailed high, in the opening half.

“I did see a couple of missed throws, a couple of drops from the team,” Richardson said. “We're going to continue to build on it. Keep taking shots. Try to find ways to click on all cylinders.”

Richardson also agitated Eagles fans by celebrating a touchdown by flapping his arms like a bird.

“I was just having fun,” he said. “I hope nobody takes it the wrong way.”

Neither Hurts nor any starters on offense or defense saw action for defending NFC champion Philadelphia. Eagles backup quarterback Marcus Mariota completed 1 of 2 passes for 21 yards in one series.

The Eagles (1-2) thought they had upgraded at backup quarterback when they signed Mariota in the offseason. But the former No. 2 overall pick struggled in the club’s second preseason game against Cleveland. Similar to his play against the Browns, Mariota’s first pass against the Colts was high. But then he fired on target to Deon Cain for a 21-yard completion on his second attempt of Philadelphia’s game-opening scoring drive that ended with Trey Sermon’s 1-yard TD run.

That was it for Mariota, who finished the preseason 17 for 30 for 164 yards with an interception and four sacks.

Rookie sixth-round pick Tanner McKee, the likely No. 3 quarterback for Philadelphia, was 19 for 34 for 158 yards.

Unlike Mariota and McKee, many of the players playing for the Eagles on Thursday won't be part of the 53-man roster that has to be finalized by Tuesday.

“It's not as hard on me as the guys getting that news,” Eagles coach Nick Sirianni said. “Most of these guys that we're going to have to cut have contributed to the culture of the Philadelphia Eagles for the past four months. That's always the tough part. We know we have some special guys in that locker room and not all of those guys are going to be a part of the 2023 season.”


The Colts still didn’t have star running back Jonathan Taylor, who is involved in a standoff with the club about a contract extension, but he did make the trip to Philadelphia. After missing six games due to injury last season, the league’s 2021 rushing champ had offseason ankle surgery and has not participated in training camp while on the physically unable to perform list. He's scheduled to make $4.3 million this year in the final season of his rookie deal and has sought an extension with the Colts or a trade.


Eagles kicker Jake Elliott made field goals of 59 and 52 yards in the first half.


Prior to the game, the Eagles signed backup offensive lineman Fred Johnson to a two-year contract. The 6-foot-7, 326-pound tackle has played in 28 career games with the Bengals and Buccaneers.


Colts: Offensive lineman Danny Pinter (left ankle) was carted off the field after getting injured on the first play of the second half. … LB Shaquille Leonard (concussion) did not make the trip to Philadelphia.


Colts: Open regular season Sept. 10 at home against Jacksonville.

Eagles: Begin NFC title defense at New England on Sept. 10.


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