That's right, groovy guys and gals. It's that time of years again. It's football season... and that means weekly opinionated commentary on my favorite team the Indianapolis Colts, as well as some others.
My job is to tell you about how I think the Colts should have played perfect.
Greg's job is to tell us how much he loves NE, hates Eli Manning and the Giants, and how the best teams were not in the Super Bowl. (Hi Greg.)
Mustang's job is to tell us how much he hates pro sports in a free society and everyone else can just tell us how we are all wrong.
If I don't cover your team this week, I may next week. I can't always do them all, due to time constraints. But you can always feel free to tell us how great or lousy your team did, in the comments. So here goes nothing:
Colts 14 - Jags 12
It's always difficult to gauge the first games of the season, because of the changes made in the off-season and the lack of playing time by the team starters in the pre-season. But knowing how tough division rivals are, it goes without saying that it is usually a hard fought game due to the familiarity factor.
If you are the Colts, that goes double for Jacksonville.
The Jags have had much success running on a usually pathetic Colts run defense. Last year, the Jaguars pounded it down the Colts throats in the first game in Lucas Oil Stadium and embarrassed my team, badly. So naturally, my apprehension was real and not imagined before yesterday's game.
My thoughts were centered on how well the offense could outscore the Jags' defense, thinking that Jacksonville would play ball control on offense, running and eating up clock. But much to my surprise, the Colts' defense rose to the occasion and held RB Maurice Jones-Drew to just under 100 yards rushing and made key stops at critical points in the game. Even without Bob Sanders, they looked as good in the clutch as they were during their Super Bowl run.
The key for them will be to keep this intensity, so when the offense stinks up the field like they did yesterday, they have a chance to win the game.
As I said, the offense was pathetic. Manning looked like he was overthinking and made some mistakes that are usually relegated to rookies, not veterans. Opening drives into the red zone are not made for interceptions, they are meant to score touchdowns.
The other weakness was coaching decisions. Jim Caldwell acted like he didn't have a damned bit of NFL experience on one critical play. He opted to kick a 50-something yard FG, when a punt would have pinned the Jags deep, just like the preceding series did. It failed, and Jax drove for a TD from there. It made no sense, it was obvious the Colts defense was doing the job at that point.
Another call was Manning's fault. It was late in the game on a 4th and (less than) one yard. The Colts had a 2-point lead and the ball, with just over two minutes left in the game. Instead of a QB sneak, he called a running play to the outside. It didn't work and Jacksonville found itself in a familiar position: Down by two points with just under 2:00 left and Scobee warming up to kick a game-winning FG.
This is where the Colts defense was spectacular, This is where the game was won. And it was not a game-winning drive engineered by Peyton, it was a cohesive group of players that rose to the occasion and forced the Jags to turn the ball over on downs with seconds left. All Manning had to do is take knees.
In my mind, the entire defense gets a game ball. I love defensive games.
Broncos 12 - Bengals 7
Two pathetic teams trying to out-pathetic each other, one has to come out the winner. Luck won this one for Denver, which is probably a little better than Oakland, Detroit, and the team they got lucky against today.
I doubt they break even this year.
Falcons 19 - Dolphins 7
Didn't watch it. But Atlanta appears to be poised to have another winning season and one has to have their doubts about Miami. They certainly have a tougher division than the Falcons.
49ers 20 - Cardinals 16
San Francisco will be the NFL's most improved team and may even make the playoffs. I happened uopn the game after watching the Giants-Skins and they looked very impressive in stopping Warner in the last drive of the game, where Warner is so dangerous. And they did it in Arizona.
Giants 23 - Skins 17
This one has to hurt Rocket, our PYY semi-regular who splits his affinity between them and Miami. This looked like a typical division rivalry. But in the end, NY just had too much for their opposition.
Eli Manning looked good and the team played a good well-rounded football game, despite having a less than stellar running game.
How'd your teams do?