Sports

Strachan ends preseason with five catches for 61 yards

Bahamian professional football player Michael “Mike” Strachan has made a strong case for a spot on the Indianapolis Colts roster this preseason, particularly on Friday night, when he caught five balls for 61 yards in a 27-17 victory for the Colts over the Detroit Lions.

Strachan averaged 12.2 yards per catch. His longest catch was for 16 yards. He had the most receptions on the team and the most targets for the game with seven.

With this win at Ford Field in Detroit, Michigan, the Colts finished with a perfect 3-0 win/loss record in National Football League (NFL) preseason action. It was their first undefeated preseason since 1994. Strachan spoke on how he felt coming out of the preseason.

“I felt it was a great camp,” Strachan said. “We all came in, competed and worked hard. We finished strong and went 3-0, so right now we have that momentum moving forward into the regular season.”

Strachan is hoping to have his name on the Colts’ 53-man roster after 4 p.m. tomorrow, which is the deadline for NFL teams. When asked about if he did enough to be one of the 53, Strachan gave a humble response.

“I gave it all that I have, and I am praying for the best,” he said.

In the previous game against the Minnesota Vikings, Strachan finished with two catches for 12 yards. In the first preseason, he caught three balls for 57 yards.

On Friday, the Grand Bahamian made his first catch of the game in the second quarter after managing to get open by the Colts’ 40-yard line. It was his first and longest catch of the day, measuring 16 yards. It came on the left side of the field and from an under-pressure Jacob Eason, giving the Colts a first down. Later in that same drive, Strachan got his team another first down when he caught the ball down the middle of the field for 13 yards before being brought down by the Lions. He moved the chains to the Lions’ 32-yard line at the 12:02 mark of the second quarter on that play.

That drive ended with a field goal for the Colts as they closed the gap on the Lions, trailing 7-6.

Former University of Charleston standout receiver Strachan said that he is still learning.

“I love the playbook and the coaches are doing a great job. They are explaining it really well and detailed. I am learning each day,” Strachan stated.

Strachan played 50 snaps in the game on Friday.

At the half, the Lions led 14-9. The Colts were down 17-9 at the end of the third quarter.

At the 12:34 mark of the fourth quarter, quarterback Brett Hundley threw an incomplete pass to Strachan on a second-and-three. If completed, it could have been Strachan’s first touchdown. The Colts scored a touchdown on the next play and converted the two-point conversion to tie the game at 17.

The 6’5” receiver has shown that he has strength, speed and the ability to be a threat for opposing defenses.

“From a strength standpoint, I just use my size, speed and ability to track down the ball to my advantage. Those are three of the things that I am constantly working on. As for my weaknesses, I would not describe anything as weaknesses – just overall, getting the defense down and reading coverages, which is the one thing that we take care of in the NFL.”

The seventh-round pick in this year’s NFL Draft made his final catch of the game with 2:23 left in the fourth quarter. He took his team into Lions’ territory with an eight-yard catch. It set up a good field position for the Colts. Running back Deon Jackson scampered for a 42-yard touchdown on the next play to put the Colts up 27-17.

“The roster is definitely deep,” Strachan said. “I feel great about this team. We can go all the way. We have the leaders from the owner straight down to the staff and I feel like we can go all the way.”

The Colts showed mental toughness in all three of the preseason games, playing without starting 

quarterback Carson Wentz and wide receiver T.Y. Hilton. It is unclear if Wentz will be ready for the start of the regular season. Hilton is expected to miss an unspecified amount of time with a neck/back injury.

The Colts finished second in the American Football Conference (AFC) South Division last season with an 11-5 record. They advanced to the playoffs but were eliminated in the wild card round by the Buffalo Bills, losing 27-24.

They open the season at home on Sunday, September 12, at the Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis, Indiana, hosting the Seattle Seahawks. The game will be televised live on Fox, starting at 1 p.m.

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Simba French

Simba joined The Nassau Guardian in 2012 as a technical producer for Guardian Radio 96.9 FM. He joined the Editorial Department as a sports reporter in 2018. Simba has covered a wide range of sports stories, including the 2018 CARIFTA in Nassau, Bahamas. Education: College of the Bahamas, BA Media Journalism

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