Welcome to week five of the NFL. The Jaguars went down hard today (surprise, surprise). The Texans lost in heartbreaking fashion at Arizona. The Patriots and Ravens fell as well. It has been a good day, thus far. The game is about to start. Time to find my place of zen.
1. The theme song plays. They briefly flash each team’s record on the screen. We know the records are meaningless… but I have a feeling Al and Chris will be mentioning the “winless” Titans non-stop tonight. What other story line is there? I’m ready for a street-brawl kind of game. Should be fun. “Field goals are wins,” says Jeff Fisher. Tony Ugoh will start says Andrea Kramer.
Rushing is a step from a big return. Colts start at the 23. Game starts with a major injury timeout for Craig Stevens of the Titans. Short toss to Clark to get things going. Nothing doing for Addai, Ugoh didn’t hold his block very long. Really nice footwork from Peyton as he buys times and hits Addai for the first down. Addai right for three. Big pressure on second down, Peyton throws it away, takes a big hit. Quick toss to Clark, well short. Punt. Touchback.
2. Swing to Johnson for four. Holding call wipes out a short run for Johnson. Draw to Johnson. 3rd and 8. Blitz. Big first down to Bo Scaife. Simply a huge play early on. FUMBLE. Big hit by Bethea on Crumpler.
3. Colts get good starting position after the fumble. Addai for 6. Offsides. First down. Nearly picked. Gijon was held. Manning throws it away on second down. Ugoh is struggling early. Addai is short on a pass on third down. Looked like a bad spot. Colts will go on fourth. Manning designed rollout out right…. TOUCHDOWN Reggie Wayne. Jim Caldwell passes a crucial test in a big, big way.
4. Screen for 7 yards. CLINT SESSION whacks Chris Johnson. Big guy. Third and two and Kerry Collins throws at Kenny Britt’s ankle. Ugly. Punt. Ball hits Jennings in the back. Titans ball. Just an unforgivable mistake on a fair catch attempt by Rushing. Holding call on a Johnson run. Why don’t the Colts decline it to set up 3rd and long? Weird. 2nd and 14 instead. Terrible coaching decision there. Instead its 3rd and 4 after a completion. Lost four yards on the exchange. Incomplete to Gage. Field Goal. Jennings costs the Colts three points. Colts lead 7 – 3.
5. Colts will start at the 20. Clark down the seem for big money. Brown for 5 yards. Past midfield. Manning hit as he throws, interception. That is all on Tony Ugoh, who is playing a horrible game.
6. Johnson for 4. Bullit makes a great tackle on second down on Johnson. Another holding call. 2nd and 16. False start. 2nd and 21. White for a couple. 3rd and 19. Offsides – declined. Scaife for 17 yards. Field Goal. Colts lead 7 – 6. The defense is playing well, but the Colts have given up 6 points off two turnovers. That’s a recipe for getting beat by a lesser team.
7. FUMBLE by Rushing on the kickoff. His elbow was down. Thank goodness. Addai for a loss of 7.
1. The Colts offensive line of 2008 has decided to make an unwanted appearance. Addai for four yards. Addai for 13 yards. He needed 14. Couple of desperate looking plays there. No time at all. Punt.
2. Titans start at the 32. The old bullshit defensive holding call (on a run). I never see that flag thrown on anyone, but the Colts D. White for six. White for three. 3rd and 1. Deep incomplete for Gage. Weird playcall, unless you plan on going for it on fourth down. Punt.
3. Colts will start at the 20. The offense needs at least one first down to take some pressure off the defense. Wow. Wow. Wow. Horrible play. I won’t waste time describing it, but a block in the back negates it anyway. Brown for 5. 2nd and 14. Short toss to Clark for 5. 3rd and 8. They give Peyton time and he finds Collie for 13 yards. Screen to Collie for 9 is nearly wiped by yet another flag on Garcon. Flag is picked up. Addai for four and a first down. Wayne for 12 along the sidelines. Manning is getting a little time now. Past midfield. Addai for 4 yards. Clark for 7 and first down on a shoestring kinda deal. Tons of pressure, but Manning finds Addai for 6 on a dump. Wayne on a slant to the five. 19 yard gain. Addai inside the one. Substitutions. Touchdown Joseph Addai. The upside of Ugoh? His run blocking is very solid. That time he sticks a trap block to make a huge hole for Joe.
4. Touchback. Big gainer to Nate Washington to midfield. Johnson for 3. Johnson drops a short pass. 3rd and 7. Huge play here. Timeout, Tennessee. Washington picks it up. Way too much time for Collins. Brackett spills Crumpler for a short gain. Two minute warning. 3rd and 10 after Lacey climbs Gage’s back to knock one away in the end zone. JENNINGS. Drops an easy pick after the Colts blitz. Colts lead 14 – 9. A very disappointing 14-9, I might add.
5. Flag on the kickoff. Illegal wedge on Ugoh. So much has one wrong in the first half, and yet the Colts lead. They must be a pretty good team. Vanden Bosch goes at Peyton’s knees. Scary moment. Personal foul. Addai gets out of bounds for six. Finds him again for three yards. Timeout. Big third down. Addai for four and first down. Second timeout. Ball is on the Colts 43. Addai out of bounds for a short gain. Another roughing the passer penalty, this one on Ford. PEYTON TO COLLIE. 39 yard touchdown. 93 yard drive. That was beautiful. Colts lead 21-9.
The Colts get a huge drive just before the half to open up a 12 point lead. You can’t turn the ball over twice, but all things considered I think Jim Caldwell can live with what he saw. The D is hitting. The O is finding ways to move the ball. Joe Addai had 8 catches for 50 yards. Most of them helped Peyton avoid taking a sack. Clark has been a safety valve as well, with six catches for 55 yards. The run game isn’t producing yards, but it is picking up first downs (and a touchdown). Should be an epic second half.
1. Touchback. Titans ball at the 20. Tim Jennings! A huge pick on third and 6. Colts ball.
2. Addai is banged up on a short gain of 3. A big loss if he can’t return. He’s been bailing Manning out all night. Brown snags a pass and picks up a big first down. Collie for 7 yards. Ball on the Tennessee 13. Harper is shaken up. 2nd and 3. Need to cash this in. Pass is tipped at the line. Manning swats it away harmlessly. 3rd and 3. Holy smokes they run it with Brown! We haven’t seen that in a long time. First down. Offsides. 1st and goal from the 5. Brown for 3 yards. Holding on Pollak. 1st and goal from the 15. Screen to Garcon for 10 yards. 2nd and goal from the 6. TOUCHDOWN AUSTIN COLLIE. Looped it over the entire defense and Collie gets his feet in. Colts lead 28-9.
3. Having technical difficulties. Big third and 3 at midfield. Wow. Tons of pressure and Collins throws up a prayer that is answered by Justin Gage. Huge play. Huge. The pressure is starting to get to Collins, though. Johnson for 5. Third and five. Incomplete, good pressure forced a quick throw. Poor throw. Titans go for it on fourth down. Incomplete. Jennings wants a flag. Comical. Colts ball.
4. False start. 1st and 15. Really nice run by Brown for 7 yards. Very patient. Incomplete to Brown. 3rd and 8. Brown for 4 on a pass to the sidelines. Punt. Great punt and even better coverage. Titans will start at the 8.
5. Kenny Britt with a first down past the twenty. Titans need 7 here, and quickly. White for 6. Britt for another first. Titans are driving. 2nd and 2. Big sack by Freeney. BIG DAMN SACK. 3rd and 11. Offsides on Freeney. 3rd and 6. IT HITS LACEY IN THE HANDS. Ugly throw, worse catch by the rookie. Punt. Rushing fair catches at the 25.
6. The Colts are dumping off on almost every play. First to Addai then to Clark. Personal Foul. Facemask. Ball at midfield.
1. The Titans need three touchdowns to take the lead. Too bad the Colts have the ball with only 15:00 to play. Manning deep, overthrown. Addai for six on the draw. 3rd and 3. Just enough time to find Wayne behind the defense for 15 yards and a big third down. Addai loses one yard. Manning rolls out to find Collie along the right sidelines for 5 yards. Third and 6. Delay. Third and 11. Manning buys time and hits Clark for a HUGE FIRST DOWN. Ball is on the 22. Addai is stuffed. Screen to Wayne for four. 3rd and 7. Collie is having a giant night. First down inside the ten. Addai for 3 yards. Clock is really moving now. Timeout. 2nd and goal. Addai for short gain on yet another catch. Wayne drops a touchdown on third down. Crap. Oh well. The Colts lead 31-9 with just 7:32 to play.
2. VY!! VY is in! Jennings drops a pick. If he had mitts, he’d have three tonight. White for 5. Young on a nice scramble for 6 yards. Session is hurt. More VY please. White for 8 yards. 3rd and 3. Session breaks it up. Punt. Rushing tackled immediately at the 21. Willing Manning get his 300 yards?
3. Kind of wish the Colts would punt so we could watch more Vince Young. (I love the clips of the pre-game wildcat warm-up, btw). Brown is stuffed. Manning to Wayne for the first down and 300 yards. Nice. Colts are rolling picking up first downs and generally dominating the Titans. I am impressed. I thought the O-line might be their undoing, but Peyton was very patient and found Addai and Clark over and over. Collie was the game-breaker, though, which was a very pleasant surprise.