Wow, the Colts actually showed up to this game ready to play don't you think? The Manning Bowl II, one of the most hyped regular season games, lived up to the billing, at least for ratings. On the field, not so much. The Colts came out and thoroughly throttled the Giants, manhandling them in a way almost reminiscent of the way the Colts were handled in Week 1.
Stampede Blue's own mgrex03 has a very nice statistical write-up on how well the Colts played in Week 2. You can read that here: Inside the Numbers: Colts Week 2
I'll get to my view points after the jump.....
1.) I've seen a few posts asking where the line bashers are from last week, and I'm still here. The lines played better this week on both sides of the ball, but you can clearly still see it needs work. The offensive unit played better, but most of that came from fantastic play by Brody Eldridge and improved play by the formerly in the doghouse Mike Pollak. Johnson and Saturday looked to be healthier, but I don't like that Jamey Richards slap the thigh tidbit. It's a sure fire give away for the defense if they catch it, and since Cris "the moron in the booth" Collinsworth saw it, I'm sure everyone will be looking for it.
I made a comment in another thread about how I expected the lines to get trashed by the coaches and themselves during practice. Looks like it happened, because these guys showed up this week. The talent is there, but the heart, maybe it wasn't in Week 1.
2.) The defense finally showed up. Where was this defense last week? Yes, the defense still gave up over 100 yards rushing, but that is not an issue. They were making sure tackles at the first level, gap coverage was good, and all in all, I was pretty happy with the way the defense played the entire game.
3.) Cornerbacks: You guys had 2 really bad plays that went for TD's and that is unacceptable. You absolutely, positively cannot allow guys to get behind you on defense the way your defense plays. Whether this is a question of the Colts new defensive schemes involving more man coverage or simply great plays by the WR's, you cannot do this. Every long pass in the Texans/Giants games came on plays like this. Time to sit down and rethink or retool the game plan.
4.) Running game: This looked FANTASTIC. Finally, the Colts o-line showed some brass balls and moved the pile. The Giants are by no means slouches on defense, and the Colts really moved the pile. Addai had almost 100 yards in the game, and Donald Brown made some very nice solid tough runs. Addai looked like a new man almost, and that is something the Colts need.
5.) Peyton Manning: The amount of things you could say about the guy never seems to end. He made quality throws, good reads, and for most of the game, managed to keep the Giants defense on their heels. Another week gone by, and he's at almost 700 yards in passing, 6 TDs, 0 int's, and he's 2nd in the league in passer rating.
I saw a few comments about how the Colts running game is designed to fail. I disagree completely with this comment. When the Colts offensive line was healthy, this was a team that routinely pushed out about 1600-1800 yards rushing a season. The year we won the SB, a rookie ran for over 1000 yards off the bench. The problem since then has been a conundrum of issues from injuries, lack of experience, or in the case of this year, bad trades/signings. The Colts have very talented RB's on this team, and when the offensive line shows up, they get business done.
The problem however has been a constant revolving door on the line the last 2 seasons. Not to mention, you have the injuries to Marvin Harrison, Anthony Gonzalez, Joseph Addai, Donald Brown, and the inexperience of both Collie and Garcon. That would make it very difficult for any team to be a successful running team. I still say this is a team that with one or two pickups could be a powerhouse running team.
Welcome to the NFL Brody Eldridge. Let me buy you a six pack. Hell, I'll buy the keg if you continue playing the way you played this week. This guy was all business, and several of our good runs occurred while he was in the game. While I'm not a fan of the two tight end set, this guy looks like a fixture of this offense for a long time.
Did Reggie Wayne borrow Pierre Garcon's gloves this week? It seemed like the guy was dropping a few sure fire passes that would have setup 1st downs this week. Ironically, the worst play of the game for Garcon was getting flagged for holding. Otherwise, he had a relatively decent game.
Speaking of catching the ball, both Reggie Wayne and Dallas Clark set some interesting marks during this game.
Manning/Clark - tied for second place all-time for QB/TE touchdown catches with 43 TD's. That record is currently held by Drew Bledsoe and Ben Coates - 45 TD's.
Manning/Wayne - They tied Johnny Unitas and Raymond Berry for 2nd all time in Colts history. This also ties them for 5th all time in NFL History.