I'd be lying if I didn't admit that my Patriots homer of a brain is getting a slight bit of satisfaction from this. A little schadenfreude, if you will. The record probably should be 2-5 given Houston's QB Sage Rosenfels gift wrapped that game with his silliness. On the flip side, it takes a good team to take advantage of opportunities when they present themselves. Also, if Sage didn't hand the game over, we would never have seen Reggie Wayne's insane catch; a thing of beauty to any football fan.
What strikes me as nuts is how strong out of the gate this team is. The stats on this are pretty self explanatory:
|Season||8 game Record||Season Record|
In the Manning era, only 1 season, ONE, was sub .500 for the first half of the year and that was Peyton's first year holding the reins. It would be easy to say recent fans have been spoiled, but this has been a darn good run for a long time, 9 years long.
All the more reason why a 3-4 start in 2008 is so strange, and so painful. Now, I wouldn't be doing my job if I didn't formulate some sort of opinion as to this weirdness we call the 2008 Colts season. Defensively, things are ok with the Horse running at 15th for total yards, neck-and-neck with the 14th ranked Patriots, btw. Not bad. Where things get a little wonky is in offensive yards per game: 21st. Interestingly enough, passing yards per game is 9th, but the real difference maker is rushing: dead last at 32nd for rushing yards per game.
I am not at all surprised to see passing at 9th. Granted, compared to years past, 9th is incredibly mediocre, but I do believe Manning's injury and subsequent repair has something to do with this. No proof, but you just can't have that serious a surgery, miss the whole preseason, and expect to come back on fire. To my eye, the communication with Manning and his receivers is off and this may not be all on his shoulders, either. Some of those incompletions were mitten handed receivers.
One of the biggest issues is the running game. As shake has written, Dominic Rhodes is good, but he ain't no Joseph Addai. The sooner Addai is back and behind a healthy Jeff Saturday, the better for the Colts and the more nervous this Patriots fan will be. Oh, and Sanders is back, too. Crap.