PowerOhGod,Why?: Colts vs Steelers

So instead of sticking up for each other,
we're picking up guns and sticking up our brothers.

  • Vontae Davis in deep zone-coverage--that was an interesting, thought provoking experiment. Let's celebrate science by never using or discussing it again.
  • Indy's ILB play has been an ignored contributor to their struggles against the run--and make no mistake, they do struggle against the run-- and in covering tight ends. Bell was more than a match for Indy's linebackers whenever the Steelers felt like running the ball, which admittedly wasn't very often. Freeman in particular did not have a good day. Hopefully he'll be back to his usual self next week.
  • Big Ben's pocket is cleaner than a Tebow's sheets.
  • Luck is under pressure like David Bowie.
  • Speaking of whom, I tried several times to pray away the Gay during this game, but the sneaky little bastard just kept at it. Damn fine cornerback.
  • Some of you have some very, ah, creative recollections of the pick six. I'm guessing that's because there weren't any good replay angles available for those of you who don't have all-22. Here's how it really went down: Luck keeps his eyes on the middle of the field while dropping back in the pocket, then turns and immediately throws to Hakeem. At first glance, it appears that Luck is reading the middle of the field, then decides to make a late throw to Nicks, but the all-22 reveals that none of the other receivers were even looking back for the ball at this time. This means that the play was designed to go to Nicks and that Luck was initially looking toward the middle to avoid telegraphing the throw. The play would have worked were it not for the (wait for it...) timing issues between Luck and Nicks. Considering how quickly Luck got the ball out, I would guess that the issue arose because Hakeem cut his route short or something, but there really isn't any way to be certain about who is responsible for a timing issue. What is certain is that Nicks didn't make a very valiant effort to come back to the pass or block Gay, who clearly had zero respect for Hakeem's speed because he was ready to jump that route before Hakeem even started his break. Gay read the route, not the eyes of the QB. Luck should have tucked the ball back when he saw that Gay wasn't fooled, but Gay was still a step or two behind Nicks when the ball left Luck's hand. If Nicks does a better job, it's not a pick-six. It wasn't really a case of either player making a terrible mistake as much as each not doing quite enough to prevent a good defensive play by a good defensive player. This is just the latest example in a series of poor plays between Luck and Nicks. The timing issue is especially concerning because there are really only a couple of things that Hakeem Nicks has ever done well, and now he's struggling to get open and make plays on the ball. Maybe he can sort himself out eventually, but until then, MOAR-CRIEF.
  • It should also be noted that Luck completed a nearly identical throw to Moncrief in the third quarter of the game, in a matchup against Gay no less. The big difference between the two plays was that Gay was showing much more respect for Moncrief's speed, so although he read the route correctly, he wasn't close enough to Donte to jump it and prevent a positive play. Just another reason to keep giving snaps to the rookie.
  • Ben's pocket is cleaner than a Will Smith rap album.
  • Cherilus was a pretty good right tackle once and even then he was overpaid. But with the way he's been playing lately, he might now be the most overpaid player in the league.
  • T.Y. Hilton gets open ridiculously often, so it would be nice if ^^^^^ could stop getting beat around the edge long enough for Luck to set up the deep ball.
  • Pep still doesn't seem to like spreading the field in terms of route combinations. On most plays, the receivers will stick close to the sideline, often leaving the middle of the field empty. This may be intended to set up big plays when he does decide to use crossing routes (such as the 50+ yard pass to Moncrief,) but I think that the offense would benefit from more routes over the middle. Of course, with Wayne's decline, they may feel that they lack the personnel to run those plays effectively.
  • You know who could help with that? Dwayne Allen. That guy is pretty good. We should put him in the game, right Pep? Pep?
  • The offensive line as a unit hasn't played very well over the past month or so, especially compared to the excellent way they began the season. This is probably due to chemistry and communication errors between the young, reshuffled interior line. And also, you know.... Cherilus.....
  • T.Y.... I mean, "The Ghost" (sigh) gets open a lot, in case I haven't mentioned that.
  • Perhaps Pep is trying to keep the middle of the field open to give Luck opportunities to run for first downs. This seems unlikely because of the coaching staff's desire to protect Luck, and there haven't been many opportunities anyways because of the shaky o-line play, but, man, the route design is leaving a lot of uncovered space between the hashmarks. Cam Newton would be feasting.
  • Watching D'Qwell Jackson try to chase Le'Veon Bell makes me think about how eventually we're all gonna grow old into our thirties and die.
  • Ben's pocket is both bigger and cleaner than the room you are currently in.
  • I took a picture of Heath Miller. If you're wondering why it's blurry, it's probably because you're looking at it through a veil of tears.
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  • Antonio Brown would be a top three receiver even if Megatron was healthy.
  • There were some real vintage-Luck plays in this game. I was (sadly) reminded of his rookie year, when he was forced to consistently make ridiculous throws under intense pressure. The difference is that in 2012, most of those crazy passes were completed to Reggie. Now T.Y. is coming down with them. I'm not putting Luck on a pedestal because he didn't play a perfect game, but he was pretty clearly not the reason the Colts lost.
  • I think that Moncrief is going to be good. I only wonder exactly how good. We know that his athleticism is unreal. He's fast enough to score from anywhere on the field, strong enough shake tackles, and big enough to win jump-ball battles. His route running will hopefully improve with experience, and perhaps the tutelage of Reggie Wayne could expedite that process. The biggest concern I have regarding Moncrief is his hands. He still prefers to catch with his body. This hasn't resulted in many drops (yet) but it's not what good NFL receivers do. Fortunately, as he did in college, on Sunday Moncrief flashed the ability to make good and even great catches with his hands. An even more assuring sign is that Luck targeted him quite frequently (despite the fact that he didn't receive as many snaps as other players) and most of those targets resulted in positive plays. The kid has talent, a good relationship with his QB, and now a breakout performance on his resume. Keep feeding him.
  • Bradshaw is lethal inside the redzone, and he's pretty darned good on the rest of the field too. Other than holding on to the ball, there isn't anything he hasn't excelled at this year. He has vision, burst, power, hands, and can pass-protect (though this wasn't his best day in that respect.) Some were confused when the F.O. decided to bring Ahmad back, but right now, it looks like we got a great deal.
  • DARIUS BUTLER FORCING FUMBLES LIKE A BOSS. Well, he didn't have a very good game other than that play. I guess you could say that none of the DBs did. Still, Vontae was out, Butler was fresh off an injury, and the Colts gave one of the worst pass rushing performances I've ever seen, so I'm willing to cut the secondary some slack, as it has generally been good this year.
  • The pass rush though...
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  • A week ago we dominated one of the best pass protecting lines in the NFL and made Andy Dalton's life hell. I think that we all know (deep, deep down) that the defense wasn't as good as it looked against Cincy and is probably better than it looked against Pittsburgh. As I said last week, the pass rush this season has been more a product of Manusky's blitzes and less a result of the actual talent of our pass rushers. With this in mind, a collapse was probably inevitable. It should also be noted that we were without Walden for a good portion of the game. My big worry is that offenses have effectively adjusted to Manusky's blitz packages. If that is the case, then Manusky and Pagano will need to shake things up again, because we won't be able to stop anybody.
  • Luck jedi mind-tricked Troy Polomalu with his eyes before hitting Moncrief for the kid's first career NFL touchdown. "You don't want to cover Moncrief." "I DON'T WANT TO COVER MONCRIEF." "Cortez Allen has everything under control." "CORTEZ ALLEN HAS EVERYTHING UNDER CONTROL."
  • While you were wasting time reading this, T.Y. Hilton sped by you and is now wide open. Too bad Luck just got sacked.
  • The Colts are already halfway through the regular season at 5-3, on pace for 10-6. It really is a shame that they started out 0-2, because the record doesn't really reflect the superiority of this roster to 2013's. A bye-week is still possible, but right now Denver and New England look pretty comfortable on top of the AFC. The Colts will need to kick some serious ass to prove that they're contenders. Start by beating New York next week.

This is a FanPost and does not necessarily reflect the views of Stampede Blue's writers or editors. It does reflect the views of this particular fan though, which is as important as the views of Stampede Blue's writers or editors.