Welcome back to the Devil's Take for Week 15. As some of you are probably aware, this has been missing in action for a few weeks. Well, no more.... And on to the show!
As most of you know, I typically put up a picture of a player who played fantastic the day after our latest game in my column. Normally, that would mean Donald Brown would be here. However, I cannot bring myself to do that today. Austin Collie is my featured player today. Not only was his first half explosion instrumental in helping to setup our offense, his return fueled a portion of the team's overall demeanor. His loss to injury again was awful, and our prayers go out to his family.
Austin Collie did more work in one half than some guys did all day, recording 8 catches for 87 yards and 2 TDs. Even after leaving the game with what is believed to be another concussion, he still managed to lead the Colts in receiving at the end of the game. While I hope the Colts shut him down to get him healthy for next year, this guy is a real player, and the Colts are very blessed and fortunate to have him in uniform.
Get healthy, and we'll see you next year man. We cannot wait to see what you can be capable of in a fully healthy offense.
Colts grade for Week 15: A-
Our head writer, BigBlueShoe, felt this was the Colts best overall performance of the year. I disagree. Not only did they continually shoot themselves in the foot with stupid penalties, the inconsistencies on offense really hurt this team. In fact, if not for a Donald Brown run, the Colts offense failed to do much more than get in FG range the rest of the game. Yes, this was by far the best overall defensive showing of the year. The defense lowered the pad level and flat out trucked some boys. However, the rest of the game was average at best and really showed that this team is going to have to play a step above this to finish out the season.
Rushing Offense: Great at the big play, zero consistency.
Passing Offense: Guys, catch the flippin ball. Enough with the bonehead drops.
Defense: The keg is on me guys. You flat out owned the Jaguars for the entire game. Your offense left you in a bad way late in the game, but you pulled it out.
Special Teams: Outside of Tyjuan Hagler's game saving TD, this unit was a disgrace. First you whiff on a punt, and then you give up on the play and let the game get close. The kickoffs, as someone else mentioned, were not very spectacular, and the punts were also bleh... I don't even include Vinatieri in this because the guy has no control over any of that..
I could spend a good 3 hours complaining about this game and so forth. Instead, I'll make a nice lil recap for you all to pick apart.
How could I not give it to this guy? The guy has caught crap from just about every Colts fan on the boards. The guy goes out and drops a monster game on the Jaguars, just when the Colts really needed it. How big was his day? Let me really put it in perspective for you:
14 rushes - 129 yards
1 TD - 9.2 yards per carry average
2 rushes exceeding 40 yards - 43 and 49 yards
2nd Colts running back to exceed 100 yards rushing in the last 3 years, and only the 3rd overall 100 yard rushing day for a Colts running back since 2007.
Now many people are like WOW, it's about time! The cold reality is that this guy has been capable of this since day one. The problem? The Colts offensive line is so pathetically bad at running the ball. The facts are the facts are the facts. The Colts have sucked at running the ball since Tarik Glenn retired. That's pretty much the reality. In 2006, the Colts managed to produce almost 1800 yards on the ground despite splitting the duties between Rhodes and rookie Addai. They would average 110 yards per game and Addai would manage to become the first RB to run for 1000 yards despite never starting a game.
Up until the game against the Titans (which was game 13 for the Colts) we had not yet broken the 1000 yard rushing mark for the season. Even now, we're sitting at the bottom of the league despite 2 games this year that our running game managed to produce over 150 yards rushing.
I want each and everyone of you to understand why the Colts have struggled all year. The run blocking of the Colts offensive line is flat out atrocious. That's it. Forget the injuries, forget the different players, it all comes down to the inability to run the ball effectively. The Colts all year have consistently had plays where they would get a positive run, and follow it up with a negative run. Outside of 3 games this year, the Colts have been incapable of getting a positive yard on a 2nd and 3 or a 3rd and 2 running the ball. This has resulted in a lot of 3 and outs, turnovers, and overall bad play calling.
Still not buying it? Here's the nail in the coffin...
Despite the runs by Donald Brown of 43 and 49 yards, he would only total 37 yards on 12 rushes. The rest of the Colts RB's, would total 28 yards on 10 rushes. 22 rushes for 65 yards. That is why the Colts have been stopped so many times this year. You could have had Adrian Peterson out there as a RB and he would have looked bad too. Virtually every 1 yard gain or zero yard gain came between the tackles.
This guy had better be out of a job after this season. He leads the league in false starts for the Colts, and almost all of them have come at home. It's ridiculous. Add to this the amount of abuse he's gotten owned on this year and it's just time to call it a day. If he's worthwhile at all at moving to Guard, I'd be willing to listen. However, the guy flat out cannot play as a premier tackle in this league any longer.
Normally, I trash the officials because 9 times out of 10, there are really terrible foul calls that are missed, the ticky tacky fouls get called, and generally the Colts get screwed because of the failures. This by no means says that the other team gets a break, but it always seems the Colts get screwed when the game is on the line. However, in this game, we would have a couple of great calls, followed up by a couple of questionable calls, as well as a missed call of epic proportions.
Great call - the block in the back by the Jaguars that resulted in the Colts recovering possession. This could have easily been missed, and I think that several crews in the NFL would have missed it. I saw the play and was instantly expecting the Colts to get hosed. Instead, the refs talked it over, and got the absolute right call.
Great call - the chop block early in the 4th quarter on 4th down by the Jaguars. I do not know how many times these types of blocks get overlooked but they more often than not aide the offensive team considerably. The Broncos under Mike Shanahan were repeatedly accused of this cheap move. Instead of the Jags converting on 4th down, they were forced to punt.
Questionable - The offensive pass int. on Marcedes Lewis. Look, the Colts have been flagged about a half dozen times this year despite defenders sometimes being draped all over these guys. Still, I was really surprised by the flag on this one. Even despite the minor shove, the Colts defender had no chance of doing anything on that play. If anything, the only thing the shove did was allow the play to gain more yards. It was the right call, but I just don't know if it really was worth a penalty.
Questionable - The pass int. call on the Colts against Sims-Walker. Sure, there was a little grabbing, but the ball was overthrown by a good 6-8 yards. The minor grab ass between the two players was not substantial enough to have prevented him to get to the ball.
Missed/Botched Call - No flag thrown for excessive celebration during the punt returned for a TD by the Jaguars Thomas. Really simple here. Last week DeSean Jackson of the Eagles celebrated by falling into the endzone during a TD. He started celebrating the score before crossing into the endzone. The referees threw a penalty flag. This week, the Jaguars player does a flip into the endzone and no flag comes out. Why? It's the same damn celebration penalty that is supposed to be called for any of this crap. Yes, it's a retarded penalty, but if you are going to use it, then USE IT... I'm sick of this one week we will call it by the book, and the next, we won't...
All in all, I'm pretty happy with the fact the Colts smacked down on the Jags and they finally seem to be playing like the games matter. I know that's not fair to a degree, but I really have seen some of the Colts players playing like it's preseason instead of Week 15 and the season is on the line...It's been great to see guys like Brackett and Tryon and Garcon going all out emotionally to show us that it still matters to them.
This weeks recap is a bit short, but that's mostly because I could sit here and go on and on about a lot of what's gone on the past few weeks. That's partially why my little corner of the world has been absent, as I've had a sick child and really, didn't want to argue with a bunch of moronic trolls out to bash us with their blinders on view of football.
Next week is our truly toughest test of the year. Can we go to Oakland and beat the Raiders. Absolutely. We just need to make sure we continue running the ball.
As always, thanks for reading!