Welcome to the Week 2 edition of The Devil's Take. This week, the Colts played better and managed to grind out a win over a surprisingly comical Vikings team. How else can one describe the stat line of 11 penalties for 105 yards but pure comedy?
The Vikings came in off an OT win over the Jaguars only to literally fall flat against a team they were more evenly matched with. They would lose 23-20 to reverse their Week 1 win score over the Jags. So let's get to the grind....The Colts won their first game under new head coach Pagano with their rookie QB Luck at the helm. Pretty cool to see a rookie on a team that was blown up as badly as the Colts get a win this early. I think you have to go back probably a good dozen or so years to see the last time a rookie came into a similar situation and got a win like this. Make no mistake about it, Luck was the reason we won this game. With any other QB on our roster, the Colts lose this game.
- Donald Brown - You sir get a star. I've been a HUGE defender of yours for a couple seasons now and the first two games of the season have shown us just more ammunition as to why you deserve to be the Colts starting RB. The offensive line couldn't block an old lady in a Power Wheels toy right now, so to expect anyone, let alone you to gain positive yards, is lunacy. Still, you time and time again go out, under these asinine expectations, and play despite the booing from the fans. I think it's LONG OVERDUE that these "fans" get their heads out of their rearends...
- Offensive Line - Look, I get that there's been some injuries and I get that you are all fairly new, but come on block SOMEONE. The only guy that looks like he's even trying is Castonzo, and he has an excuse, he's a 2nd year player. Just read all the comments in the thread by NickRagsDale about What if AV missed the FG?
- Play calling in the 2nd Half - Was someone drinking from the Caldwell bowl during halftime? I mean give me a break, the playcalling was HORRIBLE. I swear we pretty much telegraphed run plays on just about every single play we ran the ball on. It's hilarious that the best yard per carry average belonged to our QB.
- Andrew Luck - That's the kind of game we need out of you. Quality passing, good decision making, and a good stat line. I'm not sure what you were drinking when you took that sack, but I'll say the sun was in your eyes and leave it at that.
So those are just a couple of my highlights here, and I'm not quite done, because I've been reading several threads and just cannot believe the sheer lack of understanding by some people. You can't fix the running game by drafting a RB when you can't block 3 blind mice. The Colts have bigger issues than RB and those who don't get it, need to figure it out. It's not the RB that is the problem, and it hasn't been the RB for 5 years. It's been the piss poor drafting, trades, and lack of quality pickups on the O-Line that has been the issue.
It's no secret that since the end of the 2008 season, that the Colts have failed to produce a single 1000 yard rusher. It's no secret that the Colts have only produced a small handful of 100 yard rushing games in that time as well (4 I believe to be exact). When you have those kinds of problems, it's not your RB. You could start Barry Sanders in the backfield and he would have problems creating positive yards with the mess of talent the Colts have had at O-Line.
- The Colts O-Line has suffered a few injuries that I have to make a very small, and I mean like 10% allowance for. Reitz, while not the most talented guy, was a very good player at LG last year and once healthy, could provide the left side of the line with size and skill. He's still very raw, but he has potential. Keep in mind this guy was a backup TE 2 seasons ago.
- The Colts need to seriously consider trading Austin Collie, if not altogether cutting him. Granted, the guy when healthy is a beast, and I think he's a fantastic player, but he just needs to go. The team needs more depth at a few other positions and honestly, WR is one the Colts can afford to lose at.
- The defensive pressure put on by the Colts against the Vikings was better than it was against the Bears. Still, it's obvious that the loss of McKinney and the fact that Chapman isn't ready to go is one big reason why the Colts are failing to get pressure up front. Adding the loss of Freeney and the already injured Angerer, and it's fairly safe to say the Colts are looking bad on defense. Still, we played two teams that really are big on the offensive line and have the talent out on the WR position to stretch us. That's not always going to be the case.
- Donnie Avery played like the guy the Colts thought he would be when they signed him. This only further illustrates that the Colts should seriously consider trading Collie. Even if the Colts can get a low level draft pick for him, it's still better than nothing. If nothing else, it would clear our conscience that he wasn't employed by us when he gets his next, potentially career ending, concussion.
- The replacement refs need to go, and they need to go now. Ironically, they called the Colts game fairly well, but across the games on Sunday/Monday, they performed so bad that even I could have called the games...
The Inside Linebackers
Does anyone miss Pat Angerer? If you do, you're probably from Iowa, because Jerrell Freeman and Moise Fokou have played outstanding football at the inside backer position in place of Angerer. In fact, I honestly don't see any reason why Angerer should get his job back when he returns from injury. In two games, Freeman has 18 tackles, one sack, one forced fumble, and one INT which he returned for a touchdown. Does that kind of production get benched for Pat Angerer? No, it doesn't. Angerer's a nice player, but he hasn't done enough in his career to warrant supplanting Freeman right now. Angerer's not Ray Lewis or Patrick Willis. Stick with the kid making plays. If he stumbles, then you reinsert Angerer.
Saw this post by Brad and I just sat at my screen shaking my head. While I applaud him for making a bold statement and saying ride the hot hand, I have to disagree with the reasoning. Your starting ILB was going to be Angerer, and while he isn't Ray Lewis or Patrick Willis, he's certainly in that 2nd tier of talented linebackers. This was a guy who was leading the NFL for a good chunk of the season in tackles last year, and finished 4th in the NFL despite missing one game with an injury. He's got an average of 118 tackles in 2 season as a Colt. You simply don't replace that kind of production overnight.
Sure, Freeman has played well. That's what you hope for and expect out of a backup. Still, I remind you of Angerer's first game as a starter: 11 tackles, a sack and 2 passes defended. You can go out and have a good game. Can you do it for 16 games is the question. More to the point, with Angerer, you need to know if he can even run in the 3-4 for next year. If he can't do it in a game situation, you need to know now, so you can plan on a trade or potentially a draft pick change. You can't afford to keep a quality player on the bench for someone who's playing well. Angerer needs time to heal, and Freeman affords the Colts that. Still, Freeman would give the Colts better depth and allow them to spell Conner, Freeney, and Mathis as well.
Before I go, one thing I do want to stress to all the fans out there is that we need to be patient with some of the mistakes the Colts are making. Yes, they had the offseason and training camp to get things right, but real game situations are hard to practice and even harder to replicate. You just can't prepare for speed or ability. These are the things the Colts are working on and they WILL get better at.
Hope you guys had a great weekend and thanks as always. Comments and thoughts are always appreciated.
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