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Week Sixteen Recap: Texans 27-Colts 24 (plus, post-holiday chatter)

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Yes, I know the game was 4 days ago. But with Christmas and holiday travel and all that crap, it's taken me a few days to figure out exactly what I want to write.

Small side note: the Milwaukee airport sucks hard balls!

Excuse me, is this the line for Concourse D?
Seriously, whoever designed that place should be strung up by his gums and beaten with a stone mallet. The line to get to Concourse D stretched so far back it might as well have been in Green Bay. They had four security stations to handle thousands of holiday travels.

FOUR!

Insane; incompetent; moronic; about like the Colts defense against the Texans last Sunday (nice segway! segue, and yeah I can't spell). We've all read about how the run defense regressed yet again. We saw Peyton Manning plead with the defense on the bench to get him and the offense the ball back. The defense responded by letting Houston march right down the field, convert a 4th and 2, and kick the game winner with 3 seconds left.

And yet, somehow, Manning gets the blame and the criticism. If it wasn't so flocking pathetic it would be funny.

We now have the moron networks like ESPN spreading the annual gossip that Manning is throwing teammates under the bus. I think for us fans, we'd almost wish Peyton would just come out and say, "Hey, our defense sucks. We know it. We just have to hope we win the coin toss, because our defense can't stop anyone." Something like that might light a fire under players like Cato June and Gary Brackett, who played with ZERO energy and enthusiasm last Sunday. The whole defense was uninspired. It was obvious. Manning the offense showed up. Despite only getting the ball 6 times the entire game, they scored on all but one possession.

That is nothing short of amazing.

With this team, we are seeing something that I have feared for a while: a schism is forming between the offense and defense. The defense, long the problem for this franchise, is simply not getting it done. They are allowing bad teams to win games despite the great play of the offense. They are keeping the opposing offense on the field too long, limiting their team's ability to score. This has got to piss off the offensive players, who are playing lights out football, especially Manning. I know Dungy and the players defended Ron Meeks the other day. I know the injury report. I know Bob Sanders will probably not play against the Dolphins (IR him already!).

I don't care.

Meeks should be fired at year's end for the simple reason that he has not produced. Bottom line league, folks. This defense has talent. This defense is good, when healthy. However, when they aren't healthy, they do not play inspired football unless the prime time lights are on. That's a direct reflection of the coach and certain players, like June and Brackett. Cato June should not be a Colt next year. I am very happy Polian did not offer this guy a long term deal last off season. He is getting his ass kicked at the point of attack, and he is not inspiring anyone to play better despite his status as a veteran. The same is true of Gary Brackett. As defensive captain, he's been horrible. This defense has no cohesion, no chemistry, nothing. Players seem lost out there. Nick Harper, who has been great all season, said it best:

"Right now the chemistry on defense isn't there. This week [against the Dolphins], we need to go out and do things so we can get some consistency back."

Yes Nick. That's probably a good idea. The bottom line here is the defense must stop the run, period. Teams are running the football like crazy and scoring TOUCHDOWNS running the ball. That's pathetic. The Colts need to sell out and stop the run, and if certain players aren't able to do their job, bench them! Freddie Keiaho might be a better option now than Cato June. Rob Morris might be a better option over Gary Brackett. Rocky Boiman could play SAM. If players are to be held accountable, THEN HOLD THEM ACCOUNTABLE by benching them! If you can't do it, I'll see what the rookie can do. He can't screw it up any more than June or Brackett did against Jacksonville.

That's my feeling, anyway. As always, the Peyton sums it up best:

"This Colts team has to play well as a team in all three phases," Manning said. "That's how you beat Miami and that's definitely how you win games in the playoffs. Everybody kind of needs to do their part."
We have yet to see this all year. 15 games, zero synergy. Hopefully, we can see something of it in the playoffs. If we don't, it's one and done and another off season of questions.