Is this the end for our Colts? I sure hope not but the following are my pregame concerns.
I think Oakland is a very talented team and we have some things going against us.
1. Grass field- We not made to play on God's earth-we are made for rubber pellets and little green garland. We lose some defensive pressure from the outside on grass- remember we are dealing with milliseconds when it comes to the long ball to speedster Jacoby Jones.
2. Dan Muir is in Indy-didn't even make the trip. They have been running on better run defenses and without Dan Muir our big man in the middle I worry they will play keep away from Peyton with their impressive running attack. On the flip side Moali is playing in CA and that may feel like a homecoming.
3. Weather- right now it looks like mid 50's and cloudy with 5 mph winds-great weather- as long as it doesn't rain which is a possibility.
4. Injuries- I for one thing the Colts have overachieved based on the injuries. 28 other teams would have packed it about week 4. If we make the playoffs then i will consider this season a monumental success over adversity. We can all learn a lesson from "next man up".
5. West Coast-Day after Christmas- This can go either way. We are really interested in this game-enough so that we actually prepared over the Christmas holiday and the Raiders were at home and did not....or we are feeling sorry for ourselves that we are in CA on Christmas day and not with family in Indy. My hope-and logic tells me that the Colt Veterans will have them ready.
6. Special Teams- Uggghhh-need I say more.
7. Officiating- if trends are worth noting-I'd say poor officiating is a trend.
8. Defense- Our defense have been dominated by run teams in the past. If the wuss Defense that gets pushed off of the ball shows up-it be over.
8. Conspiracy theory- Peyton hinted after the Houston Monday night victory that the Colts were playing 3 teams coming out of a bye week-giving them time to "figure Peyton out" as Bob Lamey put it. A tough schedule with poor officiating during the critical games of the season. Maybe-just maybe-the league is ready for a "big" market to dominate. Maybe the league wants the Colts at home this year. Probably not-probably just the view from my living room-but an interesting one.
My point is that before a game there is a case to be made for optimism and for pessimism. Overall I want to be very optimistic but I keep coming back to the points above. Also after seeing the Cowboys lose from a simple mistake on an extra point I have to guard my optimism. So with all that said. 31-28 Colts.