Dissecting the Rams

On a scale of absolute metaphysical certitude, predicting today’s 42-6 win over the Rams ranked somewhere closer to positing that F = mg than guessing that Barack Obama will suddenly resign the presidency so as to fulfill a life long dream of playing minor league baseball. There was never any sane reason to suspect the Colts would do anything but hammer the Rams.  In the end, there isn’t much to do but shrug your shoulders and prepare for the slate of semi-competent to good teams that coming soon…

Reasons To Smile:

  • Three more TDs for #18.  He’s on pace for 40 TDs.  He’s good.
  • 4.0 YPA passing for the Rams (including sacks).
  • 6-0 for the fourth time in five years
  • Jacob Lacey putting the game away.
  • Dwight Freeney continuing to dominate opposing QBs
  • 6.0 YPC for the Colts backs, led by Brown’s sweet run on the stretch play.
  • With the game still in question, Steven Jackson had 8 carries for 20 yards.
  • 4/4 rushing the ball on third and short.
  • Foster and Muir making plays all day.  They were hard to miss out there.

Reasons to Frown:

  • Pierre Garcon had another rough game.  Yes, he did get the big PI call late, but he picked up another penalty, fumbled, and was targeted at least 8 times with only 3 catches for just 24 yards.  Frenchy adds an  element to the passing game, but I think this team will be better when Anthony Gonzalez comes back.
  • After the Colts took a 21-3 lead, Steven Jackson’s next 11 carries went for 106 yards.  Now, my first instinct is that I saw some sloppy play from the corners in run support on some of those plays which is to be expected.  Indy was content to let the Rams run all day, it wasn’t going to help them come back.  Something seems to have clicked, however, because Jackson’s last 4 carries went for 6 yards.  I have a feeling this will be an over played story line this week.
  • Pollack, who had some nice blocks, gave up another hit-as-he-throws on Manning.  Wayne caught the pass, but it could have been a pick 6 easily.
  • Three more zero or negative yard runs for Joe Addai.  Runs for losses are on the O-line.  While this was a good running day for the Colts, the negative plays are still too prevalent.
  • Harlen and Wilcots were a mess.  They babbled through penalties, got things wrong (like Wilcots insisting that Sanders was responsible for safety help on the flea flicker-which he called a play fake-when it looked like Bethea was supposed to be deep), and generally made a mess of the game.
  • Field position.  Indy started at the 10, 22, 4, 14, STL 41, 7, 2, 31, 7, and STL 31.  That’s 6 drives starting inside the 15 yard line.

Best Call:

Throwing the challenge flag on the horrible spot on Addai’s third down run.  I’m not sure why they needed to run the clock down, take a timeout and then throw it, but whatever.  I’m glad it was thrown.

Worst Call:

Punting on fourth and a short one from the 44.  I know it worked out, and Indy gained three yards on the quick exchange, but it was the wrong call anyway.  The Colts were 4/4 on third and short all day.  The odds were very much in their favor if they had gone for it.

Reasons I’m Flyin’:

  • It’s hard to play better than this.
  • Hayden and Sanders were rusty early but they are back, and that’s going to be a very good thing.
  • The defense allowed 6 points.  SIX.  Three of them were basically due to a trick play call (the flea flicker).  The D scored 7.  That’s enough to make me happy any day.
  • This team is just starting to get healthy.  Knock on wood.

Reasons I’m Dyin’:

  • Injuries to Brown and Wayne.  Reggie came back, so that’s good, but still.  Injuries terrify me.  We all know why.
  • Manning’s 300 yard game streak was snapped.  Ok, so I’m not really dying about this, but I had to write something here.

The Bottom Line:

This was a bit of a fluky game.  Indy jumped on the Rams early and then got pinned deep over and over again.  The Horse played it close to the vest and didn’t make mistakes deep in their own territory.  Those kind of turnovers are usually how a weaker team pulls the upset in a game like this.  The Colts were up by so much, so decisively, so early that the game felt like a sleep walk.

It would be easy to jump on the wrong story here and focus on the Rams getting good yardage on the ground (cue Bob Kravitz making a snarky and wrong comment about Ed Johnson being needed…you can bet on it) or the passing game ‘only’ generating 235 yards, but that’s all a distraction.  UPDATE:  Kravitz did just the opposite.  Good on him.

The only story on Sunday was that the Colts have won 15 in a row for a reason: they are an incredible team.  The Rams have lost 17 in a row for a reason:  they are a horrible team.  Today, the incredible pummeled the horrible team.

The Colts are 6-0 (again), and they have three straight tough home games.  The 49ers are slumping, but Houston is not, and New England will be a war.  The meat of the schedule is coming.  This was just the appetizer.

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