Huge win for the Colts today against Jacksonville. Here are a few thoughts on the contest:
- For a game played in the twenties this was all about the offenses. Neither team showed any ability to stop the other team. I knew the Colts would find a way to pull it out, but I also never felt that the Indy D could stop Jacksonville after the first quarter.
- It was raining like crazy outside. This would have been a nasty day in an outdoor stadium.
Manning has his groove back. Besides the frustrating interception (is running on third and short too much to ask?) he played out of his mind. Jacksonville’s D ain’t what it used to be.
- Tony Dungy saved the game with his aggressive of use instant replay. He gets a lot of crap for not throwing the red flag more often, but today his decisions led to two touchdowns.
- I don’t know what we’ll do if Jack Del Rio ever leaves this division. His bumbling antics never tire out.
- Penalties killed the Jags again today. At last count they had 8 penalties to the Colts’ 2. You can always count on a brainless personal foul from Jacksonville.
- Tough game for Joseph Addai today. As usual there wasn’t much room to run the ball. The bigger surprise was that he had no catches. The Colts made an earnest attempt to run left around Tony Ugoh, but the Jags seemed to have it figured out. They never really tried to run the ball between the tackles. Fortunately it didn’t matter on a day where the Jacksonville secondary was abysmal.
- The story of the game was the ineffective play of the defensive line. They started the game with a huge forced fumble, and had a couple sacks along the way, but for the most part there was no pressure on Garrard. The rib injury to Raheem Brock left three rookies to fend for themselves at DT. It was not pretty. It was the worst the entire unit has looked all season. 25 is the most points they have allowed in 2007. I don’t think it was a coincidence that the Colts secondary looked worse than ordinary. They refused to play man to man despite fact they were getting picked apart by Garrard.
- The fans of Indianapolis regressed today. Who were the geniuses doing the wave in the fourth quarter while the Colts were on offense holding on to a slim lead? That was pathetic.
- Overall it was a huge win highlighted by clutch performances by Reggie Wayne and Peyton Manning. Still, this game may leave some fans with tempered expectations for the rest of the season. The importance of the loss of Dwight Freeney is still sinking in. The Colts may have to fall back on their old philosophy of If you can’t stop ‘em then outscore ‘em. That never seemed to work in the playoffs.
DZ Comments: This was a rough day for me because a last minute illness left me sprawled on the couch in misery instead of at the dome where I should have been. I can’t believe I had to miss that game. Here’s my additional thoughts:
- The D line was scary bad today. Lots of hits behind or at the line, but few tackles. Brock was really starting to roll and losing him could be a death blow. There was simply no pressure from anyone but Mathis. What rush there was, Garrard rolled away from (with the exception of the blitz). Meeks made a huge mistake staying in zone coverage today. Garrard played great.
- Gary Brackett makes the pro bowl or they should shut the game down. What a great play to force the big pick.
- The pick by Peyton was inexcusable. RUN THE EFFING BALL FOR ONCE.
- It was great to see our old buddy CJ show up so large early in the game. I swear man, it’s called blocking, not paddy cake. Still, despite early struggles, he looked better as the game went along.
- The Jags are not a well coached team. Bad decisions and bad penalties killed them today. How great was the classic Jags formula: Del Rio makes mistakes + Scobee misses a FG=Colts win. It never gets old.
- Thanks for the props on Eyes this week. LUKE LAWTON. Where else can you get such insight. (ok, so I didn’t exactly say that he’d catch the game winning TD, but whatever. It was still clutch).
- Did anyone else catch the quote on the ESPN pregame where one of the Jags (was it Spicer?) saying that when Manning “gets the happy feet, he’s a below average QB”. Yeah, nice job Jags. Next time, talk less, win more.
- On my loooong drive home, I endured 45 minutes of Sean Salisbury KILLING Eli Manning, only to have him drive them into a win. Hilarious.
- The AFC Playoff picture is pretty simple. Jags, Titans and Browns are the only WC contenders. No division is close. Wow. So much for head scratching tie breakers this year.
- Even I was confused by a pass to Devin Aromashodu. Have it all really come to this?
- Most encouraging report of the day: ESPN reported that Dungy said that Marvin will not play until ‘the doctors can convince me he can’t further damage himself for future games OR it’s a game we have to win’. That’s a rough quote, but certainly seems like Marvin WILL be available for the playoffs.
- Reggie Wayne is worth EVERY DOLLAR of that big contract. Still I was cringing on the deep ball. Another drop would have sent me into spasms.
- Kenton Keith is in danger of dropping passes clean into oblivion. Buy some stickum, kid.
- Leave it to us to be upbeat after losses like NE and SD, but critical and worried after a win like this. Welcome to our neurosis. Jump on in, the water’s fine.