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Recap Week Five: Colts 33-Buccaneers 14

Once again, Tony Dungy succeeds at making me look like an idiot. I made it clear that is would be a mistake to sit starters like Joseph Addai, Bob Sanders, and Marvin Harrison against a good team like Tampa.

That's why Tony Dungy is a future Hall of Fame coach, and I'm just a schmuck with a blog.

No Addai. No Bob. No Marvin. Dungy took it a step further, sitting Freddie KO, TJ Rushing, and Ben Utecht. All these guys normally start. Didn't matter. Colts flattened the Buccaneers anyway. Now, the Colts hit their bye week at 5-0, and all these players get two weeks to rest and recover. That's how you manage a team, keeping them fresh for the latter part of the season.

Tony Dungy... yep, he's pretty good.
Photo: AP, Michael Conroy

Aside from one poorly thrown ball from Manning, the Colts dominated the Bucs from start to finish. The dominance was complete at all levels. The Colts generated 400 yards of offense, and held Tampa Bay to 177. Yes, 177 yards of TOTAL offense. Had Peyton Manning not under thrown Reggie Wayne in the second quarter, resulting in a Tanard Jackson INT, this game is a shutout. The Colts ran the ball at will against the Bucs, using rookie running back Kenton Keith to ground them in paste. Keith had 121 rushing yards and 2 TDs. The Bucs played their safeties back and wouldn't allow the Colts to beat them deep. The result: Kenton Keith right up the gut.

AOL Fanhouse described their feelings about the Colts clinical, efficient, devastating offensive attack, which is better than last year's offense:

There was nothing fancy about the Indianapolis Colts' performance today. Nobody made any highlight-reel moves. Nobody made a play that went for more than 22 yards. This offense was entirely boring in its efficiency.

It's execution, however, was just this side of flawless.

For us fans, we gasp and cringe with every play. How many of you worried (like me) when the Bucs scored in the fourth quarter. If you did, you worried that the Bucs would do to the Colts what the Colts did to them in 2003. To any normal, sane observer such worries are nonsense. But to Colts fans, it was a very real fear based solely on irrational paranoia: The building blocks of any great fanbase.

But, like they've done for so many year, the Colts took the ball, held it for much of the rest of the quarter, and kicked a FG to ice the game. Simple, pure, domination. JScott, SB Nation's great Bucs blogger, saw what we saw and stated his opinion plain:

All you can do is scratch your head, realize the Bucs just played the ABSOLUTE BEST Football team in the NFL hands down, and just "Tip your Hat" to Dungy, his players and that fan base.
JScott is a stand-up guy, as is Bucsfan. Aside from one troll Bucs fan this week, the Bucs fanbase is a classy bunch as well.

The Colts are 5-0 for the third straight year. They are the first AFC team to do so. They are leaps and bounds better than last year's team. Offensively, they are vicious in their efficiency, running the ball with great success. On defense, they fly to the ball and punish ball carriers. Tampa Bay was held to 17 total rushing yards. Their passing game, in the first half, averaged 4 yards per completion. The Colts pass rush and pass defense is dominant, and their rush defense is vastly improved.

This is a solid, well-coached, resilient team with a ton of heart and a gaggle of playmakers. Yet, despite all this, no one really cares. Everyone is talking about other teams; flashier teams. Isn't it amazing how the Colts have evolved from the "flashy" team to the team that just kicks your ass. I think it's an evolution we fans are all more than happy with.

Go Colts!