A combination of work and procrastination (FTW!) have sidetracked me from my weekly observations from the week that was. But as they say, better late than never rigbt?
1.) I think Manning's sub-par performance on sunday was a result of a culmination of factors. First, lets give credit to the Bronco defense. After getting pummeled in the first half, they settled down and made several plays by generating a lot of pressure and batting balls down when they were in receivers hands. Speaking of receivers, that brings up the second factor, CATCH THE DAMN BALL! In addition to Bronco DB's batting down passes, there were a number of easy ones that were inexcusable. Garcon looked like the frenchy of old in weeks 6-10(?) coupled with Clark dropping a couple that he normally makes. Im not saying some of those mishaps werent on Peyton himself (two of those INT were just awful throws/reads by him), but several of those incompletions were due to the aforementioned reasons stated above.
2.) I think the Colts abandoned the run to early. Why several of the second half series' were pass, pass, pass, punt, ill never understand. Kuharsky wrote that Manning struggled most when the Broncos were using 5 DB's. That means the broncos were in nickle and that means there was only 6 in the box. Denver was practically screaming for indy to run the ball. Its not like the Colts struggled to do that in the first half so why not try it in the second? I know Joseph Addai got nicked, but give Hart some experience. Chad Simpson has been known to break a few big ones. Why not hand the ball to him? You cant just throw on every down. Thats not winning football.
3.) I think this secondary is going to be awesome in the playoffs. We already saw a glimpse of that sunday when the Colts had Hayden, Powers, and Lacey on the field with Jennings being limited to a dime role. The Broncos were completely ineffective running and throwing in the first half. There were a few nicks to a few players, but as someone posted, Powers said he was fine on his facebook page and I assume the same is true for the Lacey and Bullitt as well. When you look at the other Bronco receivers sans Marshall, you will see all of them were virtually ineffective. Health is the only thing that could detract this defense from being dominant *knock on wood".
4.) I think (more like hope actually) Moala can "get it" the way Booger did towards the end of the season during his first year. We have seen Moala play more and more and although he hasnt mad much of an impact at all, he is starting to make a few more plays here and there each week. If he can get it going in time for the playoffs and play to the expectations all of us had the minute he was drafted, this defensive line is going to a hell of a force.
5.) Perhaps I already stated this already, but I think the Colts should go for it. To me undefeated is not defined by 16-0, but 19-0. Going undefeated in the regular season only means that you went undefeated for a portion of the season. not the whole shebang. Im not suggesting the Colts shouldn't rest players, but I think the starting offense should at least get some work in during these last three weeks since thats more of a timing and rhythm thing than defense is. Personally I think that is all the Colts will need to knock off there final three opponents. I wont be disappointed if the Colts drop a game in these last three weeks, all I care about is another Lombardi Trophy by the start of February, but the thought of being known as the greatest team ever is truly something special.