"I got one lyric pointed at your head to start, the other one is pointed at your weak-ass heart.
Now if I pull the trigger on these fully loaded lines, you're gonna wish I woulda pulled a black nine."
As I'm sure some of you know, I live on the west coast, I watch a lot of college football, and I drink when I'm upset. So for me, three hours ahead of Eastern time + exciting night of college football + my team losing = me being unconscious for the first half of the Colts' game against the Ravens yesterday. This forced me to rely on the summaries of the people of ColtsCamp, twitter, and Stampedeblue to piece together what happened in the first two quarters. But thanks to the magic of NFL gamerewind, I was able to review the game in its entirety last night. And now I've got beef with you all.
First of all, what was all that bullshit you guys were feeding me about how "off" Luck was? He looked good to me. Other than a missed throw to Reggie Wayne that would have kept the game's first drive alive, his accuracy was as good as it has ever been. This year we've become accustomed to seeing Luck throw technically "catchable" but slightly off the mark balls. Today he was on the money. I do take issue with a couple of his decisions. On two separate occasions, he forced the deep ball into double coverage. He needs to be more patient on those plays, and he can't get frustrated when the offense is struggling. Still, in the first half, he had two inaccurate passes on nearly thirty attempts, an interception that was, eh, kinda his fault, kinda not his fault, and two touchdowns if you count the one that was unfairly taken away from T.Y.
Obviously, Luck got a lot of help from the offensive line, which maintained a high level of play even against a talented front seven, and despite the loss of several starters. Luck didn't quite get the same help from his receivers, particularly (and it kills me to say this) Reggie, who dropped a TD pass and committed a (bullshit) penalty that took away another one. But he's still awesome and we won so whatever.
Luck's first pick was, like the second one, partially on him and partially just bad luck. 99% of the time Luck senses Mosley on that rush (Richardson got destroyed on that block by the way, so perhaps Luck thought Mosley had been effectively picked up), but you can only put so much blame on a QB when he is getting hit while he throws. It is unfortunate that both of the times Luck was hit while throwing the ball fell into the arms of a defender. Fortuna caeca est.
Because of the way people were talking at halftime, I was expecting to see the Andrew Luck of weeks one and two, but he wasn't there. I saw the Andrew Luck that is making a strong case to be considered among the league's elite quarterbacks. He still has work to do, and he made a few bad plays, but I am generally pleased with his performance. I can only guess that y'all were magnifying the few mistakes that he made because the offense as a unit was struggling to put points on the board, despite many opportunities. I am very encouraged to see that, like the o-line and defense, Andrew's game did not take a step back against stiff competition, even if his stat-line did.
I do love that Pagano is being more aggressive on fourth down, but it is sad that we wasted two Baltimore turnovers in their own territory. It was a weird game. Hopefully we worked out most of our bad juju in the first four weeks.
This team appears to suck at QB sneaks, which is odd because we have both a powerful O-line and a battering ram of a quarterback.
McAfee is a great golfer.
Dwayne Allen is a beast. He's 6'3 but plays like he's 6'6 in the passing game.
Earlier I said that Whalen should lose his job as starting return-man for today's performance, and although he made pretty much every mistake a return-man can possibly make, I'm not sure that one terrible game should prompt us to make a change when he has otherwise done a solid job. If he continues to make stupid decisions, get him out of there, but give him a chance to watch film and get his stuff together.
Bradshaw and Richardson are a very strong running back duo. I still prefer Bradshaw, but Richardson has improved significantly.
The defense looked as good as the scoreboard indicated, with the strongest position groups (the D-line and cornerbacks) shining the brightest. Redding is still fantastic, and Werner looked better than ever, and I would still say that even if he hadn't picked up two sacks, which he did. In fact, on his first sack of Flacco, he mimicked a favored celebration of one Robert Mathis. He was making plays, beating blocks, and generally looked like he belonged out there with the big boys. However, he did play many snaps against an undrafted rookie, so we'll have to wait to see if he can sustain his success.
The biggest difference I've noticed in this defense is the quality of tackles. The secondary allowed very few yards after the catch today (when they even allowed catches, which wasn't often) the only notable exception being a terrible whiff by Toler on Jacoby Jones.
Sergio Brown is quickly becoming one of my favorite players. I always liked watching him on special teams because he seemed to enjoy hitting people so much, and he has brought that same contagious enthusiasm to the safety position. He looks thrilled to be out there and clearly wants to prove that he belongs. So far, he appears to be an improvement over Landry, and even if he isn't, I don't care. Screw Landry. If Brown and Adams can continue to be at least adequate, this could be a very formidable secondary, especially if the pass rush we seem to have found survives. Right now, there is every reason to be optimistic about this team's prospects. With a top offense and an average or better defense, a deep playoff run is not out of the question. Right now, it appears that the Colts are not who we thought they were.