Ok, so let’s speak of it one more time…

So here’s a quick postmortem of one of the least satisfying wins in recent history. These observations are in no particular order.

  • The day actually turned out great for the Colts, as they now are assured of a playoff spot by going 3-1. They may not need that extra loss, but it’s nice to have it in the back pocket.
  • The Jets got a a lot of pub for whipping the Titans, and then stank at home. I think the moral of this story is the Titans aren’t as good as people think they are.
  • Oddly enough, Manning came out of his worst game in solid shape in the MVP race. All the other major QB candidates had really bad games AND lost. Brees is done for sure, as two picks in the final 2:30 cost his team the game. Favre was exposed, and Warner sucked on national TV (sort of). Manning didn’t play well today (although the game looks different if Wayne hangs onto that TD pass), but ultimately his one turnover (not three as reported some places-the hail mary was irrelevant and the Colts actually recovered his fumble). In the end winning matters. Basically the whole race is more screwed than ever as the Skins lost too, which dings the Portis campaign. It may come down to Eli by default, though I haven’t heard anyone mention him. Maybe APete goes nuts tonight.
  • This team needs Jeff Saturday on the field. Richard played fine, but couldn’t handle his matchups on too many plays. Still, no sacks today, so he didn’t fail miserably.
  • Anyone notice that I haven’t said one negative word about Charlie Johnson in weeks?
  • We missed the passes to the RBs today. Addai had to stay in on blitz pick up (which he did wonderfully). I don’t know if that was scheme related or because the Colts didn’t trust Richard.
  • I said at the time that passing on the FG was a mistake at half time, and I was right. The weather made this game nearly impossible to score in, and you can’t turn your back on points. Those three points would have changed the complexion of the second half.
  • Whipping boys Session and Jennings both had very nice games. The Colts pass D held Cleveland under THREE YARDS A PASS. That’s insane.
  • Freeney and Mathis. Nothing else needs to be said.
  • The Browns are awful. Derek Anderson’s trade value is at the same level as the Loch Ness Monster…they don’t exist. If this game had been played on a calm day, it’s not even close. Outdoor football in bad weather isn’t fun. It’s pointless.
  • The Cleveland DBs made a couple of nice plays in this game. It almost was the only aspect of the game they played well in. Actually the LBs closed the holes pretty will on our running backs. There was space at the line, but it disappeared at the next level.
  • Ultimately, the Colts are still an average team on the field that has some kind of special ‘it quality’. Every week either Manning saves us, or Mathis/Freeney does. Those three players are operating at an other-wordly level that seems to make the difference in close games. This team is 8-4, but won’t truly roll until it gets Saturday and Sanders back. On top of that, now we have worry about Brackett and Dawson. Fun.
  • Once Indy took the lead, we all knew there was no chance in hell for the Browns to score. Anderson was awful. He made exactly one really nice throw all day.

Ultimately, winning beats the hell out of losing. Imagine how we’d feel today if that had gone against us.
Links:
Don Banks this is a good kind of win.
CHFF says the D is a winner.
I don’t think he put it right, but this season at least, Perloff is right. Manning’s three worst games were the wind games at GB, Tennessee, and Cleveland. It’s not the elements, it’s the wind. Manning’s won plenty of bad weather games, but he struggles to run this offense this year in the wind. The lack of a consistent run game is part of the reason.
PK elevates Manning to the top spot. When you look at his list, how can you argue?

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