(Photo by Thomas B. Shea/Getty Images)
2011 mostly sucked if you are a Colts fan. Thus, we look forward to 2012, because looking back in 2011 just makes me want to drink and play with firearms.
Today's game at Jacksonville marks of the end of the 2011 season for Indianapolis. It also marks the end of an era seeing as it is unlikely stars like Reggie Wayne, Robert Mathis, and Gary Brackett will return in 2012. Hell, we don't even know if Peyton Manning will play again with the Colts regardless of his health.
Thus, for today, there's a few guys I've singled out that, just for purely sentimental reasons, I'd like to see them play well today. Likely, these guys won't be back in 2012.
He and I had words in 2010, but we kissed and made up in 2011. All year long, I've watched a frustrated Robert play his butt off. Aside from having to deal with his defensive coordinator getting axed because the team's general manager is an incompetent boob, Robert choose not to hunker down and hide away from people. Instead, he actively engaged fans on Twitter all season long. He's been a consistent cheerleader for his teammates despite this terrible season. I hope he does well today. He's been on a roll all month.
He's done as a player. After today, look for Diem to retire. However, since 2001, he's been one of the best offensive linemen this franchise has ever had. His skills have eroded significantly in recent years, but from 2004-2008, Ryan was an outstanding RT. I'd like to see him have a nice game today, because afterwards he'll probably hang them up for good.
So much talk about the past, the last name here should be one tied to the future. When healthy, Castonzo has played well this year. Sure, Terrell Suggs hollowed him out and used him as a condom a few weeks ago in Baltimore, but them's the lumps a rookie takes. I've watched Castonzo all year long, and he's consistently gotten better. The mid-season injury stunted his growth a little, but as the Colts move forward, they've got a pretty nice left tackle in Castonzo. Hope he plays well today so that, next season, he has the confidence to protect Manning-Luck-RG3-Whoever's blindside.