Well the’re half way done and looking very average.
Ok colts fans let’s not lose faith yet, the playoffs are the goal, and a very achievable goal at that. And, YES, I’m talking playoffs, because that’s the only reason to be playing at all.
The first half of the season has been highlighted by penalties, injuries and inconsistent play. The second half will get better and here’s why.
The Offensive line’s play will improve, they played better last week. Manning had more time to make his reads and the passing game is starting to come around. Ugoh is back at LT and Johnson is moving to guard. Give Ugoh and Johnson a week or two to adjust to the personel changes and moving positions, and the colts will be able to run up the middle and over the left side. I know Charlie Johnson seems to be the favorite whipping boy, but, he was a decent back up at LT and will be a good starting guard. Playing Left Tackle is a lot harder then playing Left Guard, he’ll be fine, and it won’t hurt that he is lining up next to Jeff Saturday.
The Offensive lines improvement will affect the rest of the offense, the passing game is going to improve. Giving Peyton enough time to make his reads will help with the timing issues he has had with his receivers. Harrison and Wayne should both benefit from the improved line play. Gonzo is starting to rise up and be counted, forcing the defenses to cover those three receivers and Dallas Clark, should spread the defense out wich will make it easier for the line to open up some running lanes for the backs. Rhodes and Addai will be fine, just give the line a week or two to develop some cohesion.
Now the Defense, I think there is light at the end of the tunnel, it’s just pretty dim right now. Injuries just seem to keep mounting up. One positive is the Linebackers and the Defensive line (what’s left of it) is mostly healthy. The Defensive Backs are a different story, it seems they get a guy back and lose two. Hughes, Jennings and Ratliff are all going to have to step it up. Jennings is starting at CB and Hughes at the nickel, with Ratliff backing up those guys. It’s not all bad, Jennings has some starting time in the nickel and Hughes started in the nickel last year, and Ratliff seem to play pretty well against the Patsies. I think those guys will be ok.
The Coaches are certainly trying to mix it up this year, they have blitzed more this year, then any other, Dungy coached, year that I can remember. I have also noticed that they have had 4 linebackers and 8 men in the box, against some the power running teams. The coaches are trying to utilize their speed. I think the Linebacker play has improved through out the season. I still think Sessions will be a better WILL then SAM, but, he has improved. Having Haggler back won’t hurt either. Over all, the Linebacker play still needs to improve, if they want to make it to the playoffs.
One question on the Defensive Line, where’s Daniel Muir? Well, he’s not ready yet. Hopefully he will be ready soon. I got to believe that he can play the NT position as well a 265lbs rookie. One reason he may not have suited up this week is no one is afraid of the Patsies running game. His development is pivotal to any type of playoff run the team may have. Once they have the ability to stop the run, using the base defense, the momentum that will be created will carry over to the pass rush.
Props to Mr. Bake on his take of Ramsey and Muir being stop gap guys, he was certainly right on Ramsey, hopefully wrong on Muir.
The last thing is the penalties, they did well against the Patsies, hopefully that trend will continue.