Here are some (relatively) quick shots for those who missed the game or weren't watching closely or whatever.
1. Kerry Collins is terrible. He missed several easy open passes, and basically squandered what was a very good day for the offensive line, and a tremendous game from the defense.
3. The cornerback play this season has been and continues to be absolutely atrocious - from pretty much every cornerback spot. You know it's gonna be a long season when Terrence Johnson is covering for poor play by Jerraud Powers.
4. Linebacker play is steadily improving. Everybody saw Pat Angerer playing out of his mind last night. He was flying around the field. This kid is the future of this Colts defense.
5. Kavell Conner, I thought, rebounded nicely from a couple mediocre performances to start the season. He laid some *huge* tackles on run defense and played his best game of the season for sure.
6. Joe Lefeged needs to be the starting SS alongside Antoine Bethea. There really shouldn't be any reason to see Melvin Bullitt again this season barring injury to Lefeged. Lefeged may be the steal of the undrafted rookie class. He played a very solid game once he was put in.
7. Curtis Painter isn't good, but I think he's better for the team. Let me explain. Painter is not a good QB. He also missed brutally on a sure touchdown to Garcon, and another couple passes that skidded in the dirt in front of open receivers. He's really not good. Yes, he had a scoring drive where he made some passes (Joseph Addai had some incredible blitz pickups during that drive, God I love Addai). I think he's more mobile than Collins, but the main advantage he offers over Collins is the Colts' tendency to be more willing to shelter him.
For some reason, when Collins is playing, the Colts feel like they need to give him passing plays to keep him happy, a 60:40 or 65:35 pass:run ratio with Collins throwing is never going to win the Colts a game. This hurts the team because Manning *is* the pass offense. With Painter, I think the team will dial in more running plays, closer to 50:50, and maybe even verging on what I think is an ideal 40:60 split for this team. The coaches need to adjust, realize that neither of these guys is a tenth the player Manning is, and that the team has been doing a friggin awesome job running the ball.
Do what works. Play Painter, run 60% of the time, control the clock, stay in games. Let's see what our revamped O-line is made of, and let's see what a rejuvenated Addai and a bruising Delone Carter can really do.
8. I didn't quite catch the exact moment, but some time in the 3rd quarter (I think), Jacob Lacey went to the bench. Finally. Hopefully he doesn't come off of it unless our top 4 (Tryon, Powers, Thomas, Johnson) get hurt.
9. Jeff Saturday has been pretty bad this season, until this game. I don't know where he found whatever it is he found to make him play that way last night, but he was much improved and I hope that's the Saturday we see for the remainder of the season. I have to tip my hat to Pollak as well, as he stepped in for Diem at RG and played a decent game.
10. Drake Nevis - Finally he got to see significant field time, and boy did he show up. He was tremendous all night long. A definite find. The Polians nailed this draft.
11. Castonzo/Reitz - great play all day long. The holding call on Reitz was nonsense. How do the refs make that call and then miss the most obvious hold on Mathis when he was dragged down on a Hold AND Horsecollar when he had a clear path to the QB? He goes flying and almost flips over because of the horsecollar, while reitz is dragged down mostly by the d-tackle and gets a hold called against him. Nonsense.
12. Reggie Wayne - 800 catches for his career. Enough said.
13. Dallas Clark - it's sad to admit it, but he's also in decline. He has dropped a few balls this year that he would never have dropped two seasons ago. He's getting old, and TEs tend to decline rapidly at his age. That makes me sad.
14. Coaching - it's still bad. The Colts stayed in the game despite poor coaching. The Colts should have pounded the ball way more than they did. They were having great success running on Pittsburgh but didn't do it nearly enough yet again. This Colts team cannot have the same balance that they had when they were led by Manning. I don't know why the coaches still seem to want to overlook that. This team needs to have a 60-40 or even 65-35 ratio of run-pass.
15. Last but not least, Joe Addai. This man has been playing simply outstandingly. He's been the best player on offense, seeing wholes, squeezing through tight ones, exploding through bigger ones, dipping that battered shoulder, absorbing and spinning off contact, fighting for every inch. Just phenomenal. Probably the most under-the-radar move of the offseason was resigning Addai to a very friendly extension. On offense, Addai is the most impactful player aside from Manning. He picks up blocks, is a great receiving threat out of the backfield, and is just all around integral to the Colts offense, especially in play-action. The way he came off the fake and blocked *TWO* blitzers on one play-action fake that I recall (blocking one into the other), was simply outstanding, and no other back on the Colts would have made that play.