I'll admit, I didn't expect the Colts to roll into Dallas and beat the Cowboys. I did, however, expect this team to try and beat the Cowboys. What we saw was one of the most unprepared and embarrassing performances we've seen from the Colts in quite some time.
I'll let our old friend Jim Mora sum up how this game went.
Of course, I've got some awards to hand out, but they aren't all positive this week.
LVP - Coaching
For the second straight week I don't have a viable MVP award to hand out, so I'm just abandoning it altogether this week.
The coaching gets the LVP this week for a variety of reasons. One being that the Colts did not come ready to play. At all. Worse, is that this isn't something new, but it still hasn't been corrected.
I said after the Jaguars, Redskins, and Browns games that if the Colts came out like that against a halfway decent team, they would get killed. That's exactly what happened on Sunday.
Another problem I had was the first series. I was watching the Packers game at noon, hoping against hope that Tampa Bay would find a way to win. The Packers started the game with three straight runs and a punt. At the time, I commented that teams with an elite QB, Green Bay, New England, Denver, New Orleans, Indy (to name a few), should never run three straight times on the first series. What do the Colts do? Exactly that.
And then why fake the punt? More importantly, why fake it from your own 20? That's a pre-season play call, and one that you don't make if you are trying to win the game. Horrible.
Bonehead Award - Jerrell Freeman
What was he thinking? I was pretty excited that the Colts stopped the Cowboys on the first series. I thought maybe we would have a game on our hands.
Then Freeman happened. About all of these words sum up the stupidity of that play. I can't even wrap my head around what he was thinking here. I would understand if Freeman ran around and celebrated, as players do, but this was one of the more blatant taunting penalties you will ever see (in my opinion).
If Freeman wasn't one of the few competent linebackers the Colts had (which is saying a lot since he hasn't played well this year) I would say he should have been benched for that. At least for a series.
Again, I firmly believe Dallas wins anyway, but penalties like that are still inexcusable.
Butterfingers Award - Dwayne Allen et al
Where to begin?
Allen was targeted three times in the game. The ball hit him in the hand three times. He had zero catches.
Sure, his third drop was a little underthrown, but Allen still needs to make that catch. When the ball hits you in the numbers (second drop) you really need to make that catch.
On a day when most of the receivers were bad and dropping passes, Allen was the worst of the bunch.
Oh, but he wasn't alone. The drop that you'll see all over ESPN today, and probably on C'Mon Man tonight, was on that ill advised fake punt. Dewey McDonald was all alone, and quite possibly could have taken the play to the house if he breaks a tackle, but forgot to take the ball along.
On the bright side, Hakeem Nicks had nine catches, so there's that.
Nick Saban Award - Chuck Pagano
No, this award has nothing to do with winning (obviously). This has to do with Saban saying one thing, and us seeing another.
Pagano said that he wouldn't rest his starters, and that the Colts would play to win all 16 games. In my mind, playing to win means letting your Pro-Bowl QB throw the ball before your punter. Then again, I'm not a head coach, so what do I know.
As Josh Wilson has noted in a few articles, I noted earlier, and many noted on Twitter, the Colts looked like they didn't try to win this game, and that it was simply a formality to play the rest of the games before the playoffs.
Worse was that Pagano took Andrew Luck out (which was a good decision) but not the others. In my mind, this is him basically saying that Luck is more valuable than anyone else. And while that's true, I don't think it's a message the coach should send during a late season game.
Snail Award - Running Game
Holy cow. This is just embarrassing.
The Colts leading rusher was Daniel Herron, with seven carries for three yards. Yes, that does total .4 yards per carry. Trent Richardson kept to his season average with two carries for one yard. And, for good measure, Zurlon Tipton ran once for minus three yards.
Ten carries for one yard. Zero point one yards per carry. I like to think that you and I could run into a defensive line 10 times and get more than a yard. Granted, we might be in the hospital from getting hit by those players, but we'd at least gain more than a yard. Pathetic.
Oversight Award - Jim Nantz and Phil Simms
For whatever reason, the Colts started Khaled Holmes over Jonotthan Harrison at center. And that was fine.
However, Nantz (who I love as a broadcaster) and Simms (who I really don't love as a broadcaster) managed to notice this about half-way through the second quarter. How no one at CBS realized this until that point in the game is beyond me.
Then again, the Colts barely had the ball for them to notice anyway.
Glimmer of Hope Award - Pat McAfee
If you had to pick the best player for the Colts it would be McAfee. Sure, he had one clunker of a punt, but we all know he was trying to hit the scoreboard (I hope).
McAfee had two booming punts in the first half. Of course, that just meant it took Dallas a little longer to score.
Even though the play was called at a horrible time, and the pass was dropped, I want to highlight the fake punt.
I mean, what a beautiful throw by McAfee. Thirty yards in the air, and right on target. Yes, it was a rainbow, but the accuracy was on point. So at the very least, we know the Colts have a third-string QB/punter who can throw the ball decently.
It was a horrible, horrible game from the Colts. I would like to think it was an anomaly, but when you look at the track record against good teams, it falls right in line.
I was talking to one of my friends (a Vikings fan) during the game. He reminded me that at least Indy is heading to the playoffs. I sent him this in return.
Only one more week in the season before the Colts enter the playoffs again. I'm expecting one of the ugliest games we've seen all year this Sunday, as I would imagine the Colts will sit key players. That, and because the Tennessee Titans are, well, the Titans.