Media coverage of the Indianapolis Colts has been extremely negative as of late.
I'm not saying it's not deserved; the Colts sure haven't done much on the field to warrant flowery articles. But I can't remember a season where I so strongly attempted to avoid all sports websites possible because I really just didn't feel up to seeing what they were saying about Peyton Manning this week, or reading about how soft the Colts are that week. Normally, I'm on CBSSports.com, ESPN and SI.com on a daily basis. Now, I actively avoid those sites because I'm sure they'll just remind me of the Colts' seemingly season-long slump (though it's really only been the past four or five games.)
Additionally, I'm aware that I, and some other writers, have been accused of being too negative in regards to my own articles. That I'm not looking at the positives. Well, again, I don't write for the Colts' PR department. I never claimed to. I try to write about what happened, and more often than not late, more bad has happened than good. I suppose that casts my articles in a critical light, but then the Colts came into the season with championship aspirations and are currently sitting at .500, so you can understand the proclivity to criticize. Further analysis of games certainly opens up multiple areas where the Colts should be criticized.
On the same hand, I don't mean to negate the positive things that some players have done in these losses, the proverbial flower growing out of the arid desert of a nuclear wasteland. Pierre Garcon, for instance, was tremendous last game. He kept the crowd in the game; he played with passion others were lacking. For my money, Garcon has been playing well since the Patriots game, and several parts of his game go unnoticed (i.e. blocking, clearout routes, energy, etc.) He seems to have returned to his 2009 postseason form, and that's a welcome sight for a struggling offense.
Antoine Bethea has also played well. He's not a game-changer like Bob Sanders, but he's a constant and that, perhaps, is even more important. I thought about it when I saw his picture on the cover of last weekend's game program: Bethea is a tough dude. Think about all the time players on that defense have missed since 2006, heck, think about all the time the safeties alone have missed on that defense since 2006. Then think about how many games Bethea has missed. Not many, not many at all. Bethea is the lone constant of a secondary that seems to change every game. He rarely gets beat over top (although I can't get that image of Randy Moss tangled up with him for a touchdown out of my head) and he's as solid a run support guy as there is in this league. So, to those ends, Bethea has played well.
Finally, a little love for Adam Vinatieri, who has quietly hit on 17 of 19 field goal attempts on the year (89.5 percent!) As pissed as you might be at Manning, I think Vinatieri is doubly so. Three times, the Colts have had a shot to tie or win a game on a field goal (Philadelphia, New England, Dallas.) Three times, Manning has thrown an interception to prevent Vinatieri from having the opportunity to do so. Manning has said as much as he needs to secure chances for Vinatieri instead of forcing the issue. I'm sure Vinatieri quietly agrees, though he's obviously too much of a team player to ever voice this opinion. Point being, though, let's not discount what Vinatieri has done this year, especially after a 2009 season where he was injured, replaced by Matt Stover and declared all but dead by a portion of the fanbase.
Now, moving on, here are some links to check out for this short Colts week, a week which culminates in a game at Tennessee on Thursday night.
Our featured site of the week is Blue Sunday, authored primarily by Scott Bolander. Scott is perhaps most known for his article "What Peyton Manning Is Doing And How To Beat Him" (defenses must have been reading up these past few weeks!) I just now got around to reading this interesting follow-up featuring some Q&A with readers on the aforementioned article. Good stuff.
More after the jump.
FROM THE SADDLE
Official Team News
- Polian Corner
- John Oehser (needs to respond on a short week. .com) writes that the team
- Jake Thompson's Tuesday notebook has Jerraud Powers going to IR and Dominic Rhodes returning.
- Sounds of the game vs. Dallas.
- An interview with Rhodes on his return to Indianapolis.
- Head coach Jim Caldwell gives us three things to watch for with the Tennessee Titans.
GREEN APPLES AND ROAD APPLES
- SB Nation Indiana writes about the Colts re-signing Rhodes.
- Paul Kuharsky (ESPN)
Phillip Richards (Indy Star)
- Rhodes has happily returned to the Colts.
- Mike Chappell and Phil Wilson (Indy Star)
- Bob Kravitz (Indy Star) asks what has happened to Indy's hero.
IN THE PADDOCK
News About This Week's Opponent