Joe, GoBigBlue88, and a few others pretty much hit all the major notes I wanted to address this morning. I think we can all agree that the new umpire rule does not work, and needs to be scrapped. If it isn't, Roger Goodell should expect to see fewer fans watching football games. The hurry-up offense is a staple of football, and this rule totally destroys it. It's like making a rule that eliminates the shotgun formation.
Put the umpire back were he was. If refs are worried about being hurt, the NFL league office could remind them that this is, you know, football and them's the risks.
Contact sport, refs. Accept it.
The rule aside, the main point I'd like to stress about this game is the score is meaningless. The Packers could start the season 0-3, and no one will remember how good their team looked against the Colts in preseason. During this time of year, the team that 'loses' a preseason game is the team who suffers more injuries, and right now the Colts very much lost their third preseason game. If they'd have gone into Green Bay and smacked the Pack around 45-0, but come away with the various injuries they had last night, I'd consider that a loss.
After the jump, we talk concerns...
It sure would be nice to have a season where injuries were not the driving force behind how our team plays, but right now they are the #1 reason why the offense looks out of sync and the defense seemed lost. Losing Gary Brackett to a 'hand injury' was a big blow. Without him and his impressive coverage skills, the Packers attacked the middle of the field all night. Pat Angerer is a good kid, but he cannot cover like Gary. The Pack took advantage of that.
Also injured were Joseph Addai and Jacob Lacey. Both suffered concussions. The o-line, which is absolutely decimated, lost Tony Ugoh with a toe injury.
Right now, it's just to much. It serves no purpose to put Peyton Manning out there behind this group of linemen. Once again I ask, Why was Ryan Lilja cut back in March? Why wasn't Charles Brown drafted in April?
You think the Colts couldn't use them now?
Second Quarter Collapses
We saw this in the 49ers preseason game. At the time, we simply blamed Curtis Painter, and rightly so. Once is a coincidence. Twice is a trend, and this trend does not always involve Curtis Painter.
Turnovers, penalties, and inexcusably stupid play resulted in a 21 point second quarter for the Packers. They went on to score 31 unanswered points. Brandon James played himself off the team with that muffed punt. Just dumb. Dumb. Dumb. DUMB.
"I had preset and was ready to catch it, and it drifted back on me,'' James said after the Colts' 59-24 loss to the Packers. "Instead of letting it go, I tried to make the catch and it got away from me.
"You've just got to move on.''
Speaking of 'letting go,' look for Brandon to get let go in a few weeks. The muff happened after he signaled 'fair catch.' Inexcusable, bonehead play. After that muff, the team went into a shell and just seemed to want to get out of Green Bay as quickly as possible.
Oh, and speaking of trends, the Colts defense surrendered 75% of their third downs. An entire off-season of work to correct the main weakness of the defense, and in the 'dress rehearsal' game, they look worse than ever.
Far Too Many Mistakes
Overall, the Colts had four fumbles and two INTs on offense. That simply will not win football games on the road, even in preseason. They also had 12 penalties for 116 yards. I mean, come on! Why even play the game if you are going to surrender that sh*t?
Despite All This, The Positives...?
It's still preseason. The score means nothing. Everyone calm down.
If you want to get really concerned, look at the injury report. I'm not so concerned about the ump rule because the NFL will likely change it back. Roger Goodell said they wanted to see how it would work in preseason. Well, we saw, and it's a disaster.
Players like Pierre Garcon, Clint Session, Adam Vinatieri, Fili Moala, Dwight Freeney, and Bob Sanders looked very good last night. All of these guys are either returning from injury, or they are trying to prove that they are better and more-focused this year. Ole Bob played 45 plays last night.
I was also encouraged by Ray Fisher. His 58-yard return was a good spark. Ray needed to make a play in this game, and he did. He also had two tackles.
Colts interior defense held the Packers to 2.7 rushing yards per carry. However, teams are throwing the ball more on the Colts. Aaron Rodgers went 21-29. Yes, the Packers o-line held early and often. It wasn't called. Then again, the Colts offensive line (which is terrible right now) likely did the same. It's preseason. Refs just want the games over with. Flagging people left and right for holding calls is a waste.
The key right now for the Colts is just to heal up. Most of the guys who looked truly terrible last night will not be with the team after the fourth preseason game. The Colts just need to get all available horses back ASAP, which they will.