Week 17: Andrew Luck is Coming to Town

Well, it is official.

The Indianapolis Colts will pick first in April’s NFL Draft. 

And that means that the Indianapolis Colts will take Andrew Luck.

The Jacksonville Jaguars beat the Colts 19-13 to give the Colts a final record of 2-14, and to end an era.

For 10+ years, the Colts have represented a model franchise.  Consistent super bowl contenders and winning with class.

This year, the wheels fell off without the one who made them contenders in the first place. 

These players played hard today.  They shouldn’t have gone out any other way.  They deserved better from Colts fans.  Most fans were cheering for the Jaguars today.  But I understand why.  I understand that the Colts now can get a guy who is as much of a sure thing as there has ever been.  What a deal for Indy, getting 13 years of hall of fame play from Peyton Manning and then get one of the highest rated prospects ever after only one bad year.

I still think there is a chance Peyton stays.  But that is for later.  Right now, it is time to reflect on what these guys have done.  The window has closed on the greatest era in Colts history.  Sure, Peyton may stay, but is will be different.

So, while you celebrate Andrew Luck, remember to pause and thank these guys who have given the past 10 years to making Indianapolis a football town.  Be thankful for the guys like Jeff Saturday, Reggie Wayne, Dwight Freeney, Robert Mathis, and others.

And when April rolls around, you can be hopefull that the next 10 years are just as good.

Welcome to Indianapolis, Mr. Luck.

And thanks for everything, guys.  Thanks Jeff.  Thanks Reggie.  Thanks Dwight, and thanks Robert.  Thank you all for a great run.

Go Colts.

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Week 16: REGGIE! REGGIE! REGGIE!

Forget Andrew Luck for a minute.

These Colts didn’t quit, they played good defense, and Dan Orlovsky was great when it mattered.

And, what better way for Reggie Wayne to end his Colts career (a lot of people are assuming he doesn’t come back next year) at home by the crowd chanting “Reggie!  Reggie!  Reggie!” with 19 seconds on the clock as the Colts celebrated a stunning win?

Dan Orlovsky was great.  He completed 23 of 41 passes for 244 yards and a touchdown.  He was constantly under duress all night and he showed great pocket presense.  And, when it counted, he made the plays. 

And also, he threw left.

Reggie Wayne was great as well.  8 catches, 106 yards, and a touchdown. 

The defense kept the Colts in the game.  The only touchdown they allowed was when the Texans got the ball at the Colts 17 yard line on the second play of the game.  From then it was a field goal game.  Vinatieri made 4/5 field goals tonight, with his long being 47 yards.  His miss was a 42 yarder. 

If it wasn’t for Arian Foster’s 158 yards on the ground, the Colts stats would look alot better.  But, as we know, the only stat that matters is points.  And the Colts defense only allowed 16. 

And about Andrew Luck… who cares?  Honestly, there was no thought in my mind when Reggie caught that touchdown.  Just pure joy.  Check out what I tweeted right after that:

“REGGIE! REGGIE! REGGIE! TOUCHDOWN COLTS!!! TOUCHDOWN COLTS!!! 19 SECONDS LEFT, COLTS LEAD 19-16!!!!!”
Colts fans, enjoy the win.  There will be plenty of time to sort out the Luck sweepstakes, and if the Colts lose in Jacksonville next week, they lock it up. 
 
But don’t cheer for a loss. 
 
Be loyal.  Believe in Blue.  Go Colts.

Week 15: Yeah, We’re 1-13, but COLTS WIN!!!!!!

Listen, I get that the Colts are 1-13.  But put that aside for a minute and enjoy this win.  Colts fans haven’t experianced this for a long time.

Donald Brown was the big star of the game, although there were many.  Brown rushed 16 times for 161 yards and an 80 yard TD.  That 80 yard TD was the play of the year, no doubt.  It has been a while since I celebrated so much after a play.  But there were many great players today, especially on the defensive side.  Pat Angerer had 12 tackles and a pick, Jacob Lacey had 12 tackles and a 32 yard pick-6, Ernie Sims had 15 tackles and Chris Rucker had 11.

Dan Orlovsky got his first win as a starter today.  So glad for him.  Nobody deserves to go 0-16 once, let alone twice.  Ernie Sims and Orlovsky were both on the 2008 Lions team.  Both showed up today.  Orlovsky only threw for 82 yards, but he was 11/17 with a nice touchdown pass and no picks.  He also threw the key block to spring Donald Brown for his 80 yard TD run. 

As Bill Polian said, Peyton Manning should not overshadow this win.  There is pleanty of time to talk about Peyton and the new reports that came out today.  But right now is time to celebrate a great team win and the Colts first win of the year. 

As Donald Brown said, “We get to go home with a smile for once.”

Good for him.  Good for the team.  Good for the fans. 

Let’s go get another win Thursday, at home against the division champion Texans.

Week 14: Worst Start in Franchise History

The Colts are awful. 

The Ravens are one of the best teams in football, I get it.  But this performance by the Colts was just terrible. 

Bad defense.

Bad offense.

The special teams actually played decent, but that didn’t come close to making up for the mistakes of the other two units. 

Total yardage: Baltimore 358, Indy 167

First downs: Baltimore 24, Indy 12

Time of possession: Baltimore 36:08, Indy 23:52

Yards per play: Baltimore 5.1, Indy 2.9

3rd down: Baltimore 7/13, Indy 2/14

And the stats don’t show how bad the game really was.  The Colts had a 76 yard drive that ended in a touchdown as time expired. 

The Colts are 0-13, tied for the worst start in franchise history.  In 1986 they also started 0-13, but finished the season on a 3 game winning streak.  I don’t see that happening this year.  As Jim Mora would say, “We’re just trying to win a game”.

With this team, that is a very tough task. 

If they don’t step up their play dramatically in the final 3 weeks (all against divisional opponents), they will become the second team in NFL history to finish 0-16, joining the 2008 Detroit Lions.

And the way this team is playing, I would take the ’08 Lions by 2 touchdowns against the ’11 Colts.

And lastly, a huge shout out to Dwight Freeney.  He got his 100th career sack today, becoming the 26th player ever to reach the milestone.  He later got his 101st sack later in the game.

Week 13: Close Only Counts in Horseshoes and Hand Grenades

The game was not supposed to be this close.  The Patriots were 20.5 point favorites – only the 5th time a team had been favored by 20+ points since 2000.

The Colts, against their rival Patriots, gave their all, but fell short 31-24. 

The Colts made a big comeback led by the connection of Dan Orlovsky to Pierre Garcon.  Orlovsky played very well today in his first start for the Colts.  He was 30/37 for 353 yards, 2 TD, and an interception that was on an incredible catch by Jerod Mayo. 

But, not to be a scrooge here, but the things people are saying about Orlovsky after today’s game are eerily similar to what I heard following Painter’s first start….

But, this was a very good game by Orlovksy, and the team looked better than it had in weeks.  Pierre Garcon had 9 catches for 150 yards and 2 TDs, his third 2 TD game this year. 

As Jim Irsay (@JimIrsay) noted after the game, the Colts out rushed and out passed the Patriots. 

“We out rushed them,out passed them..but the turnovers killed us”
If the Colts had stopped Rob Gronkowski, they would have won.  But nobody can stop Gronk.  He caught 2 TDs, rushed for a TD, and recovered an onside kick.
 
One big stat of note: Last week, the Colts converted 11% of their 3rd down attempts.  Today?  67%.  Thats a big improvement.
 
A loss is a loss.  No way around it.  The Colts are 0-12. 
 
But it is days like these where I am proud to wear the blue and white and the horseshoe.  This team gave effort, and I know it gets repetitive to hear about all the effort when they keep losing.  But I fully expected the Colts to get blown out.  And they didn’t. 
 
And for that, they can take a little pride, and get ready for Baltimore next week.

Week 12: Painter Keeps Winless Season Alive

At least the Colts were in it, right?

They got down to the 5 yard line within the final minute, but their chances were ended by Curtis Painter’s second end zone INT of the quarter.

Final score: Panthers 27, Colts 19.

There were actually positives in this game.  Donald Brown ran very well (14-80-1), Reggie Wayne re-emerged (5-122-1) and the Colts recorded 3 sacks (Freeney, Mathis, and Angerer).

Pat McAfee played well, as always.  He punted well, but also saved 2 TDs.  He has saved a ton this year.

But, in perhaps the most obvious example this year, Curtis Painter lost the game.  He was 15 of 29 for 226 yards, 1 TD and 2 INT.  For a short while, I actually thought he might do it.  Then, intercepted in the end zone.  He should not be starting.

And, finally, what a neat moment for both Marvin Harrison and Colts fans at halftime.  Marv was inducted into the Colts’ ring of honor.  Owner Jim Irsay concluded by saying “Canton, Ohio awaits this man”.  He deserves it.

The Colts travel to the rival New England Patriots next week.  The rivalry has lost a lot of its luster, as it is normally Brady-Manning, and it should not be much of a game. 

0-11, folks.  0-11.

Andrew Luck looked good last night…

Bye Week: Colts Won’t Lose this Week!

Well, it is the Colts bye week and for the first weekend of football season, they will not lose.

The Colts, 0-10, came into the season with very high hopes, but they were destroyed when superstar quarterback Peyton Manning missed his first game in his career.  He has not played since.  We will look at some positives (there is not too many), some negatives (there is alot), and look ahead (oh no…).

Positives:

  • Pat McAfee.  He is having a pro bowl year.  He has punted nearly 6 times per game.  Averaging 47.4 yards per punt. 
  • Anthony Castonzo, Ben Ijalana, Delone Carter, Drake Nevis.  In short, the rookies.  Castonzo and Ijalana were playing well before they were injured, as was Nevis.  Carter has had his lumps (fumbles, for instance), but for a rookie, he has played well. 
  • Pat Angerer.  The second year pro has 105 tackles, tops in the NFL.  He has played incredibly well for the Colts, and looks to be their starting MLB for the future. 

Negatives:

  •  Quarterbacking.  Curtis Painter is making Colts fans wish that Kerry Collins was still starting.  And that is saying alot.  The Colts should be preparing Dan Orlovsky to start following the bye.  If nothing else, he knows a thing or two about how to handle going 0-16…
  • Dallas Clark.  His season may be over due to injury, and it has been a bad season.  Clark is second in the NFL in drops with 7.  He only has 28 catches and 2 touchdowns.  I said he was the Colts best player other than Manning…
  • Jim Caldwell.  I feel bad for the guy.  He is a great person, and the Polians have handed him a terrible hand.  But, Caldwell has not done anything to help himself.  He will be the first person gone at the end of the season.
  • The Polians.  They have had terrible drafts in recent years and have built the team very poorly.  Without Manning to cover up, those flaws have been exposed.  While he may not be fired, Bill may retire at the end of the year.  Then it would be up to Jim Irsay to determine whether Chris Polian without his dad is a good enough GM.  I say no.  We will see what Irsay says.  Stay tuned.
  • The Colts are 0-10.

A Look Ahead:

Sunday November 27          Carolina Panthers       

Sunday December 4              @ New England Patriots

Sunday December 11            @ Baltimore Ravens

Sunday December 18            Tennessee Titans

Thursday December 22       Houston Texans

Sunday January 1                  @ Jacksonville Jaguars

The Colts may be able to beat the Panthers, but Cam Newton and Steve Smith is not something I like against this Colts defense.  The next four games will likely be losses.  If the Colts cannot beat Jacksonville at home, can they beat them on the road?

This Colts team is 0-10.  And, at the bye, things are not looking any better. 

It sure will be odd watching December football without the Colts in contention.

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