Christmas comes but once a year, and so does my desire to write as many Christmas-themed articles as possible.
Today seems like as good of a time as ever to start.
So here are the first three (of 12) things the Colts could give me over the next three weeks as they prepare for the playoffs, and beyond.
But it's in Christmas format, because there's no such thing as too much Christmas. I will fight you.
On the first day of Christmas, Andrew Luck gave to me:
a more experienced pre-snap read
Luck has to be better before the snap with the talent around him, whether we're talking his receivers or the ductaped cardboard box Ryan Grigson calls an offensive line.
I wrote about this for Bleacher Report briefly last week in regards to identifying blitzes and audibling to hot reads, and it bears mentioning here. This past week, Luck failed to recognize this blitz from the slot cornerback on third down, and it cost the Colts.
The corner comes in unblocked, and Luck is forced to get the ball off to a covered Coby Fleener short of the first down. Luck is smart enough to be better at this than he has been. I don't know exactly how much freedom Luck has at the line, but he needs to identify these kinds of things for the Colts to be able to succeed with their current active roster.
On the second day of Christmas, the O-Line gave to me,
and some ti-ime to make the right read
So, Andrew Luck had the highest passer rating of his career on Sunday.
It wasn't his best game. Heck, it really wasn't even a very good game by his standards (Hey, passer rating is a flawed statistic).
But it was drastically better than how he's played over the last four weeks or so, for the most part. A big part of that was the offensive line, which was miles better against Cincinnati than it has been for the majority of the season. Luck was pressured on just 20.8% of his passing snaps on Sunday, compared to 38.4% for the season.
As a result, he was able to read the field and find open receivers, like his 29-yard gem to LaVon Brazill.
He still doesn't seem quite right, but a better line will help him get back in a groove, and will keep me from yelling at the TV as much.
On the third day of Christmas, Pep Hamilton gave to me:
three tight ends,
never to see
the field at the same time agaaaaiiinn
Against the Bengals, the Colts rocked the personnel group with the following players multiple times: Coby Fleener, Jack Doyle and Weslye Saunders.
That's dumb. The only time this should be a thing is in jumbo sets when you want flexibility to pass.
The Colts didn't line up in a jumbo set.
The Colts lined up with all three tight ends split out as wide receivers. *head explodes*
Look, the Colts got eight yards out of the play, as the cornerback on Doyle mis-read Coby Fleener's route, but let's not pretend like this is going to be a viable solution going forward. You got your eight yards out of a terrible idea, don't push your luck.
I can think of seven reasons why Saunders and Doyle should ever be on the field at the same time, and six of them involve deadly illnesses to the receiving corp.
Pep has three weeks to find something that will help the Colts be offensively consistent in the playoffs. Spread formations with three tight ends probably isn't the secret weapon they're looking for.
What do you want for #ColtsChristmas? Let me know in the comment section or on Twitter what I should feature over the next few weeks as things the Colts should do to prepare for the playoffs.