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Recap Week Seventeen: Colts 10-Titans 16 [New Year's Eve Edition]

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Reggie Wayne standing with the immortal Raymond Berry during last night's game.
AP Photo/Darron Cummings
2007 comes to a close, giving way to a new year. Hard to believe another year has come and gone, let alone yet another NFL regular season. Seems like yesterday I was launching Stampede Blue, or giving you updates from this year's Training Camp. Like last year, the regular season this season was full of surprises, kookiness, and loads of entertainment. In many ways, the Week Seventeen match-up with Tennessee summed up the Colts in 2007: Lots of back-ups and young players playing their guts out in a hard fought, physical contest. Regardless of what happens this year, I think we Colts fans can all agree that Tony Dungy has done helluva job coaching this club this season. Bellchick, Del Rio, and McCarthy will get a majority of the Coach of the Year award votes, but if one were to really look at the job Tony D has done in 2007, he deserves to get some mention as well.

Consider last night's contest:

  • Despite playing 3rd and 4th stringers much of the game against Tennessee's starters, the Colts had a very real chance to win the game. layers like Melvin Bullitt, Clint Session, Keyunta Dawson, and Matt Giordano flew to the ball on defense with such ferocious velocity the hits echoed through the HD screen. Much will get made of Darrell Reid's blasting of Chris Henry, but almost as impressive was Giordano's hit on Bo Scaife, which sent Scaife somewhere into the 2010 calendar year. Or Clint Session's hit that jarred the football lose in the 3rd quarter. The hitting by the Colts on defense and special teams got so intense I started to get concerned for the health of Titans players. And this hitting wasn't just coming from the usual staple of hitmen (Sanders, Keiaho, etc.). The hitting was coming from guys like Bullitt, Giordano, and others; young guys who don't start or play mostly special teams going up against seasoned Tennessee veterans.
  • Darrell Reid now has a place in Colts lore. Everyone now will recall "The Hit" DR laid on Chris Henry, a hit announcer John Madden called "one of the biggest hits I've ever seen in my life." As silly and stupid as Madden can often be, he has seen a ton of football in his life. For him to say that about "The Hit" has weight, and places DR's play into a very special place.
  • As tremendous as the young defenders played, the offensive back-ups were the complete opposite. Guys like Devon and Crappy gave us some moments, and we all love seeing Luuuuuuuuuuuukw Lawton catch passes, lower his head, and turn wouldbe tacklers into strawberry jelly. However, Jim Sorgi was utterly terrible last night, and I want him gone in 2008. Sorgi seems like a competent guy, but the one attribute we hear he has (accuracy) certainly was not on display. Sorgi overthrew receivers all evening. Throws were high, wide, and erratic. Sorgi has has the pocket presence of Drew Bledsoe on Quaaludes. Seriously, that sack he took in the 4th was something high school QBs are told to avoid. Despite some toughrunning by Clifton Dawson and Luuuuuuuuuke, Sorgi just couldn't get the ball to WIDE OPEN wide outs. That's bad. Really bad.
  • The special teams were... well, this is a word I haven't used all year with them: THEY WERE FRIGGIN" GREAT! The tone was set early, and it blossomed into DR's now famous hit. I think, at some point, Tennessee returners started getting tentative with the ball on run backs. They had that look you get when someone points a rubber band to your face. Coverage units were tremendous, and maybe they needed a game like this to get some confidence.
The game also featured some milestones: Reggie Wayne is the receiving yardage leader for the NFL, and caught over 100 balls for the first time in his career. Peyton threw for over 4,000 yards this year, and completed 65% of his passes. By the back-ups holding Tennessee's rather crappy offense to 16 points (not 24-28, as Jimmy predicted), the Colts defense was the #1 scoring defense in the regular season, keeping opponents under 16.4 ppg. Did you ever think you'd see a stat like that during the Manning era? Amazing.

In addition, Bob Sanders continued to solidify his position as Defensive Player of the Year. Bob did his usual beatdown of Vince Young, who still thinks he can actually break a Bob tackle.

Silly Vince; Bob ain't for kids.

Bob recorded a sack and six tackles in two quarters of play. Even Madden said Bob will win the DPOY. If he doesn't, then we can officially call the award worthless. In addition to Bob, guys like Marlin, Kelvin, and Freddie continued to make big tackles in a season where they were the question marks going in. The running game also looked sharp, especially when Addai and K2 were in the game.

In short, despite the lose, the Colts 3rd and 4th stringers gave a better effort than Tennessee's regulars. I posted my thought re: Vince after the game, and per usual the response from the Kool-Aid drinkers was harsh. They can spin and lie to themselves all they want; Vince sucked last night, and his injury was the best thing to happen to Tennessee. Kerry Collins came in and made big throw after big throw. He, and not Vince, was the reason the Titans won the game and are in the playoffs. Guys like Matt, Deshawn Zombie, and I have been saying all season that Vince stinks. Last night, most of America saw what we've seen all season and what Kool-Aid drinkers refuse to acknowledge.

For a Titans fan's take on the contest last night, please head to Jimmy's Music City Miracles and wish the Titans fans a happy new year. And with this, the 2007 regular season (and the 2007 calendar year) comes to a close. Tonight, we party and spend time with friends and family. tonight, we welcome a new year and the possibility of repeating as world champions. Each new year brings new challenges and possibilities. Here's to  a prosperous new year for us Colts fans and our beloved team.

Happy New Year all, and (as always) Go Colts!