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Recap Week Five: Colts 14-Titans 13

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For the third time in four years, the Colts have started the season 5-0. They are now 3-0 in their division, and 4-0 in the AFC. They have established a good ground game despite the loss of Edgerrin James to free agency. Peyton Manning is the NFL MVP right now, without question. They have won improbable games against tough teams they have had no business winning.

Yet, despite all this, Colts fans boo their 5-0 team at home. Why? I'll explain.

I'll get to the run defense in a moment. To start, I'll focus on the positives, because when you are 5-0 there are many positives:

  • Despite giving up 214 rushing yards, the Colts defense held Tennessee to 277 total net yards, and only 13 points. Just like with the Jacksonville game, the Titans gained most of their rushing yards in the first half. After halftime, the Titans gained a total of 70 yards. Punt, FG, punt, punt was the Titans offense in the second half. The element of the Colts defense that has played very, very well is the secondary. Antoine Bethea and Mike Doss were very good.
  • Dominic Rhodes generated 110 total yards (84 rushing, 26 receiving). Jospeh Addai got 62 yards rushing on 13 carries. The Colts running game is a-okay, and anyone that suggests otherwise is simply a moron that is not actually WATCHING the games.
  • Marvin Harrsion is having an amazing year, yet NO ONE is reporting it. This is, arguably, one of the greatest receivers ever to suit up, and no one cares what he's doing on the field. More on this later.

Now, as promised, my comments on the run defense. All this week, and all during the bye week, we will hear Tony Dungy and Bill Polian say that the defense's problems are tackling, lack of technique, and execution. It's not size, they will say.

Sorry, but not I'm buying it gents.

Travis Henry looked like Earl Campbell against the Colts
Photo: AP
Stop blowing me smoke. Stop with the mirrors. Stop, essentially, LYING to us. Here's why the whole "lack of execution" argument is bogus: if so many players are not doing their job THEN WHY THE HELL ARE THEY STILL STARTING!

Seriously, this is Week 5. The Colts have had OTAs, training camp, pre-season, and 5 regular season games. If a player is having trouble with their technique now, at this point, then said player STINKS! As Colts fans, we have heard this excuse used year, after year, after year when some no-name, washed-up RB runs all over the Colts defense, like Travis Henry did today. Yes, Travis Henry, who had averaged roughly 3 yards per run for the Titans this seaosn, got 6.9 a run against the Colts today. Guys like Darrell Reid, Dan Klecko, and Raheem Brock are good for depth on the Colts d-line. However, if you are relying on them to start and play many snaps, you are in trouble.

I'm also going to throw Dwight Freeney under the bus as well. Dwight, learn to tackle! It's simple. Get the ball carrier and bring him down. Dwight Freeney has whiffed on more tackles this year than I've ever seen him. He's either hurt, or he's forgotten how to play football. Either way, Dwight should not be playing if he continues like this. On Vince Young's 19 yard TD run, Dwight Freeney should have tackled him for a loss. He missed, and Young scored. Terrible. Freeney is so caught up in getting to the QB that teams are drawing, screening, and stretching him right out of plays. He's not playing disciplined football.

The one thing I do know, and I think Playoff Pride agrees with me, is Bill Polian needs to do something to fix this problem. The Colts are expected by everyone (fans, media, players, coaches) to win the Super Bowl. They will not do so with their current defensive line. It's that simple. If he thinks they will with this unit, Polian is delusional. He needs to do something (trade, signing, whatever) to fix this d-line.

If he doesn't, fans will boo this team no matter the score. As fans, we've read this script over, and over, and over again. Because of Manning and the offense, Indy is able to win games. However, when playoff time rolls around, teams will run the ball on us. They will keep the offense off the field, and the Colts will lose. Last year was really the first time the Colts actually fixed the problem, and Corey Simon was a big reason why.

Now, Simon is done for the year, and the Colts have ZERO answers to fill his rather large void on the d-line. It's now Polian's job to find those answers. If he doesn't, he should get blamed for not shoring up the DT position this past off-season. All great Cover 2 defenses have to have great DT play. Look at Chicago, Minnesota, and Tampa Bay. All play great Cover 2. All have great DT play.

The bye week is very welcome. Guys like Bob Sanders and Adam Vinatieri are missed, and the Colts must have them back. The Colts also must get additional players along the d-line to shore up the run defense. If no changes are made, then Polian and the Colts will continue to get booed even when they win.

Poll

Do you think Bill Polian will do something to fix the run defense during the bye week?

This poll is closed

  • 60%
    Yes
    (41 votes)
  • 39%
    No
    (27 votes)
68 votes total Vote Now