We take a lot of what he does for granted, but it has always been games like this that we make Colts fans feel nothing but awe for Peyton Manning. I think the same should be said for Adam Vinatieri, who drilled the game winning FG with 3 seconds left from 47 yards. Yes, I know Adam missed a FG earlier, but so did Ryan Longwell (who is a pretty damn good kicker himself). And Longwell's miss was more devastating, coming after Minnesota regained momentum after a Manning INT. But when the chips were down and the money players needed to make money plays, future Hall of Famers Manning and Vinatieri came through.
For whatever reason, certain people just don't like Adam Vinatieri. And because of that irrational hate, they say stupid crap like this before the game was over:
One of these days, the TV announcers will realize what anyone who has watched the Indianapolis Colts in the last couple of years already knows: Adam Vinatieri is a terrible kicker.
Soon, one of these days, people at AOL will realize what many of us already know: Michael David Smith is a paid football blogger who doesn't know jack sh*t about football. Next time Mike, maybe hold off on the Vinatieri hating, because chances are the "terrible kicker" will kick a game winner, run out of the stadium with a smile on his face, and make you look like an idiot. Gotta love one of the four comments in Smith's silly thread:
This is a gag - right? If you are in the NFL (and not just writing about it) and you are a kicker who has played as long as Adam has you are a good kicker. Why don't you go to a restaurant and critique how good the food is.
Despite Vinatieri's money kick to Michael David Smith's nuts, Peyton will get much of the credit for the win, and rightly so. He was dominate in the second half, leading the Colts back after getting shutout in the first half. Reggie Wayne and Anthony Gonzalez also came up big, making big catches and big plays all game. The Colts averaged nearly 7 yards a pass, and if not for a tipped ball which resulted in one of Peyton's 2 INTs, the passing stats would have been better.
The running game, though, is a nightmare.
Now, to give them credit, the Colts were going up against one of the best run defenses in football. This defense is so good that, two years ago, the Patriots ditched their entire running game and played their offense out of the shotgun. And when the Colts needed key yards, like the short yardage TD and the two point conversion, the running game came through. All this despite the fact that the interior of the o-line is patchwork, and left tackle Tony Ugoh got hurt... again. Factoring in all that, a 1.3 yards per rush average makes sense, but it is still unacceptable.
The run defense was also not very good overall, but in the second half DT Eric Foster and the Colts defense dug in his heels in the second half, limiting the Vikings to 39 rushing yards on 16 rushes. The Vikings had 180 total rushing yards for the game, but much of that was in the first half. The Vikes were also held out of the endzone the entire game. The Colts game planned to bend, but not break. It worked.
Special teams also played well, despite Vinatieri's missed field goal. Tim Jennings downing a punt inside the one was a big momentum changer. The bottom line with this game is the Colts dug deep and found enough to eek out a gutty win on the road against a good team.
Many thanks to Gonzo and the Vikings fans for some great cross-blogging. Obviously, they are mad and frustrated, but they have a good team in Minnesota that, like the Colts, is still trying to figure out who they are. For Indy, the injuries continue to mount. Bob Sanders was carted off the field late in the game with an ankle injury. As stated earlier, Tony Ugoh also got hurt. We'll wait and see the extent of the injuries, but for now, enjoy the win. Go Colts!