This week's article is very frustrating to write. I hate losing. I hate watching my teams lose. I especially hate watching my team lose because they play like absolute crap. Of course, I'm talking about the Colts Defense...
Hey guys, you made this guy look like Tom Freakin Brady..
For all the Jaguars fans, I tip my hat to your team, despite as much as it pains me. Your guys came to play and won the game. At the end of the day, regardless of the reason, your team got the W. Congrats.
As for this week's game rating, I'll give it a very weak C+. The only reason I can't rate it lower is because the Colts Offense looked great and the special teams looked good. The defense however.... man....throwing chairs is only a start..
- Manning - Once again, the greatest QB in the game shows you exactly why he's a 4-time MVP. Only 2 minutes on the clock? No problem. 3 time outs? Don't need em... The guy continues to redefine the position at QB. He broke into 3rd all-time place in passing yards in the NFL during this game, breaking John Elway's record. Manning also moved into 2nd place all-time with QB to TE touchdowns with Dallas Clark. One more TD pass to Clark will tie the all-time record of 45. Manning and Wayne also moved into elite categories in this game by breaking the tie with Unitas and Berry of 65 TD's. As of now, the Manning/Wayne combo now stand at 5th all-time in the QB to WR touchdown category.
- Offensive line - You guys actually looked like a cohesive unit yesterday. There were holes to run in, and despite the running game not being dominant, we generally made 4 yards per run. It's nothing to get all choked up over, but definitely a step in the right direction. Addai looked solid as usual. In fact, I'm very impressed with his running this year.
Blair White - Yet again, you show up and perform well. Good routes, great effort, and regardless of what the stats say, you made an impact.
- Special teams - the returns actually looked quite good. I hope the injury to Moore was merely a nasty hit and nothing serious. Even with Tryon returning kicks, we were consistently getting out to the 30. It's a good step up over last year regardless.
- Dropped Passes - For all the flack that Garcon has caught over his dropped passes, where's the outcry about Clark and Wayne? These guys have all been dropping passes. And no, I'm not the only one who's calling them out on this.
- Referees - Yet again, the zebras screw our players out of penalties. Yes, it sounds like a fan crying over spilled milk, but I can provide evidence of penalties that were missed and not called. On the Jaguars first drive to score, Brackett was held from behind as he tried to run to the ball. Instead of a holding penalty, it's a TD. For those who still have the game TiVo'd or DVR'd, watch that play. You'll see what I'm talking about. We've also caught several players wrapping Freeney/Mathis in a semi-choke hold with their arms around the neck from behind. This is holding. It is almost NEVER called against teams playing these guys. There is also of course the cut block that wasn't called against the Broncos last week as well. Ridiculous.
The Colts defense. You can only spin a broken record so many ways before it's time to replace it. We've complained about this aspect for years, but playmakers like Freeney, Mathis, Booger McFarland, and Bob Sanders have always managed to postpone radical changes on defense. It's hard to argue with success when the Colts defense is on.
However, I'm not a defensive coordinator. I don't get to see all the practices and video tape. I only get access to what I record or watch on TV. What I'm watching on TV is pathetic. I'm seeing an offense designed to run stack the line with 8-9 guys, then watch our defense blitz with 7 guys. First off, you already lost because you have no second level there to make tackles. More importantly, your out-manned so you can't even prevent a solid gain. This has happened in both the Texans and Jaguars games. For those who have the tapes, go back and watch. In almost every instance where the Jags stacked the line, the Colts would make the tackle anywhere from 5-7 yards down field. It was only when the Jags were in 3rd and long that the game shifted to the Colts favor. Is this every time? No....but it has happened enough to let other teams game plan it....
Reggie Wayne - The next time you are wrapped at the ankles, you go to the ground. Turnovers like the one you created are absolutely unacceptable. The extra yard for the first down while nice wasn't needed. Yes, you are an All-Pro and a SB champion, that still doesn't excuse a rookie mistake out of you.
Peyton's first interception - The Jaguars make a habit of picking off Manning, and this game provided a highlight reel of a pick. I had to rewind it a few times to see if he actually caught it, but even if he didn't, there was not enough evidence to over turn. Still, it was a good pass, and an even better defensive hit/pick by the Jaguars defense.
Brody Eldridge - Tough break on your first TD chance, but know that you did everything right. Good route, good effort, you simply got blasted by an even better hit.
Jim Caldwell - YOU NEVER take a timeout in that situation. You force OT, you DO ANY THING but stop the clock on a team's final possession. The only reason you made that boneheaded call is because it wasn't a Drew Brees or a Tom Brady on the field. I don't care one freaking bit about percentages or opportunities. Your defense couldn't stop a grandma with a walker all day, what makes you think giving the offense more time will help?
Larry Coyer - What in the HELL kind of defense did you call? How in the @#!@$ do you allow a WR to be open 20 yards down field? There is absolutely ZERO reasons that should have happened. I'm willing to give you a pass, but man, you better fix these stupid break downs in coverage or you might as well pack your bags. This is the NOT FOR LONG league, and it's a good thing to remember.
Comments on the Colts lack of pressure the last 2 weeks are a bit overblown. Why you ask? The Colts played 2 teams that for most of their recent successes, are run first teams. They generally line up 6-7 guys at the line. They generally chip the Colts DE's at the line with help. Also add-in the lack of holding calls that are being missed, and there's just about all you need to know. Whining about the 3 blind zebras doesn't make it any better, but hey, the Colts had chances and missed.
Ultimately, I'm livid about the Colts blowing this. This was a team that we should have put away. Unfortunately, very bad mistakes by the defense and a few turnovers blew it for us. It's not the end of the season. We still have plenty of time to correct it and move forward. We're still one of the better teams in the league, let alone the AFC. However, we have got to start playing complete games on both sides of the ball.
As always, thanks for reading and your opinions....
Also, please check out my 18 game season FanPost and share your thoughts as well!