Monday, November 12, 2007

Monday Morning Quarterback

Colts Rally Falls Short

A night marked by blown pass patterns and errant throws, it looked like the Colts were about to pull off one of their signature comebacks. But for whatever reason, Adam Vinatieri missed one that he's made hundreds of times before.

The first half was a horrible half for the Colts, but not all that surprising when you consider that three receivers were out, two of them starters. Harrison and Clark are two key receivers that are very important key players that set the tone for the Colts' passing game. One is a deep threat that is usually double covered, freeing up a spot for Clark to get short passes underneath secondary coverage. As it was, Wayne was the only deep threat last night, but with so many bench receivers in the game, the Cots were forced to use him on both sides and in the slot.

The Colts Defense really didn't play all that bad. It was 23-7 at the half, but 13 of those points were a result of the usual special teams' woes that have plagued the Colts. One kickoff return and a punt return, both for TDs, were enough to cost the Colts the game. The defense played very well in the 2nd half, not giving up any more points. But in the end, it was the offense that fell short.

There were some instances, I felt like Manning was trying to do way too much, by forcing throws that a veteran QB has no business trying to throw. Two of his key targets being out is no excuse for poor throws right into the arms of a defender.

Next up is the KC Chiefs, at home. The goal for the Colts right now is to get people healthy again, win the next game, then win their division. Colts fans will likely worry about being two games behind New England for home filed advantage in the playoffs. They cannot worry about that. They have to win their games against the teams they still have to play, including three division games. Keep in mind that the Colts won the Super Bowl last year without a bye week in the playoffs. One game was on the road in front of a hostile crowd in Baltimore.

It's also imperative to consider that many championship teams get into a funk in the middle of the season, the Colts are no exception here. Time to regroup, refocus, and if necessary, work a little harder.


Greg said...

But for whatever reason, Adam Vinatieri missed one that he's made hundreds of times before.

Did he? Looked to me like he might have made it.

And no mention of the refs? What about that call on Utecht at the end of the game?

I'll tell you this, if the Colts have a couple less players hurt on offense, they win the game. And they win despite 2 missed FG's and 6 ints. And a few bad calls by the refs. And a bad timeout by Dungy, apparently just to complain about the first down reversal (which was a borderline call, but still...)

I think that shows you how good the Colts are. And how terrible the Bolts are. Philip Rivers sucks.

I agree the Colts special teams needs some work. They blew it last week against NE as well.

Like you say, it's good to have a few things to work on in the middle of the season. Special teams can realistically improve. Players will recover from injury.

LASunsett said...

//And no mention of the refs?//

They stunk, for sure. But, I still say that if they hadn't given up the KO and punt returns for TDs, Colts win 21-10. If they hadn't given one of them up, it's 21-17.

It's easy to blame the officials when the game is close and played well on both sides, then some hack blows a call when the game is on the line. But when Manning throws more interceptions in one game than all year, some of the responsibility must be given to him. Dungy too, for that TO.

Injuries happen, they always will. I am not too worried about the Colts ability to bounce back.

As for the Bolts, they know in their hearts they should have lost this game. To be shut out in the second half against the Colts is like asking to lose.

The Colts' preparation could have been better. But what do you do when you think Clark is going to be cleared and the MRI says it's not a good idea? Normally those throws could have gone to Gonzo, but as is turned out, he wasn't there either.

I thank you for your outrage, but I learned a long time ago that you cannot blame the refs for everything when it isn't going your way. I think back to the Pats-Raiders playoff game a few years back. Sure, I didn't like that tuck call. But when Oakland failed to convert third downs a million times, that one call wasn't the game.

The Colts need to really work on special teams, if they want to have any realistic chance of competing in the playoffs. It's not necessary they become one of the more solid teams in that area, they just need to not give up the big ones for points. The offense and defense will be just fine, once they've healed.

Ducky's here said...

Colts blow chunks.

Nothing but fodder for the Patriots meatgrinder.

We need another championship this year to go with the Sox.

LASunsett said...

No Ducky, it's not looking good right now for the Colts. They probably have more starters out than any one division in the league right now.

It is looking good for the Pats. If you have been following my football posts, you know that I have told my co-workers that NE is the team to beat.

But, there's a reason why they play the games. If the Colts get healthy again, look out.

You might get a trifecta if the Pats can do it and the Celtics live up to their hype. (BTW, you can have Bird back, anytime.)