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Tuesday After Awards: Colts at Panthers

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Another week, another slow start, furious comeback, and close loss for the Colts. This time, it resulted in the firing of Pep Hamilton. After a wild Monday game, a news-filled Tuesday, Ben Lamers has some awards to pass out.

Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports

I had this written earlier today, but opted to wait to publish it until I got back to my apartment. I'm glad I waited.

As most of you have probably heard by now, Pep Hamilton has been canned and Rob Chudzinski will take over as the Offensive Coordinator. But more on that later.

The Colts dropped another disappointing loss, this time on National Television against the Carolina Panthers. It was a classic Colts performance under Andrew Luck and Chuck Pagano: a disastrous first three and a half quarters, followed by a flurry of points to claw them back into the game. I'm sick of it.

Anyway, on to the awards.

MVP - Adam Vinatieri

At this stage, Adam Vinatieri is like my GPS. I always wonder if using him is a good idea in certain situations, and he always comes through.

But seriously, the NFL's oldest player was rock solid yet again against the Panthers. Four field goals, including one from 50, in the rain kept the Colts in the game. On drives when the offense went three and out in Carolina's territory, Vinatieri was there to get the Colts on the board.

It seems like a distant memory when Vinatieri was 0-2 after the first two games of the season. He has proved to be more than reliable this season...again. And we, as Colts fans, are lucky to have him.

Ghost Award - T.Y. Hilton

Yes, I'm taking Hilton's "ghost" nickname for this award. And no, it isn't a positive award. Hilton had one catch for 15 yards (not sure how many targets) and was overall ineffective for the Colts offense.

While the entire Colts offense was ineffective, Hilton vanished in the game. Everyone has bad games, I get that (Reggie Wayne's one catch for one yard performance against the Jets comes to mind), and this could have been just that for Hilton.

However, in crunch time when Andrew Luck looks for Andre Johnson and Griff Whalen for key plays instead of Hilton, there's an issue.

Confused Award - Andrew Luck

Pardon the lack of creativity for this award name, but it fits. I can't figure out Luck.

I had an article written after the Saints game that the Colts should consider benching Andrew Luck. I didn't post it last week, but I was getting ready to edit and post it after the Panthers game. Luck was abysmal for the first three and a half quarters. Say what you will about him being hurt (I've said before I think he has a bicep injury much like Brett Favre in 2008), but that wasn't the reason for Luck's struggles. The quarterback made egregiously poor decisions that a fourth year player shouldn't be making.

Then something changed. Mid-way through the final period, Luck took off. Suddenly his throws were on time and on target. I saw one tweet that read "Andrew Luck Fourth Quarter Mode - Activated," and that seems to be what happened.

Could it be an injury? Maybe. Bad decision making? Yup. And yet at times, it all goes away. I just don't get it.

On the Green Award - Pat McAfee

This is purely to recognize Pat McAfee's golf swing celebration. On Sunday, Brad Wing used the golf swing as a celebration and it caught national attention. Of course, we, as Colts fans, know McAfee has been doing that for longer.

I'm sure McAfee noticed as well, and he brought it back on Monday night. I loved it.

LVP - Playcalling

So the playcalling was bad.

In my original article I had written that Hamilton should be fired, and well...now he has been. So I'll save you all the trouble of reading through that.

The playcalling was bad though. I've been calling for the Colts to run the ball more, and last night they did. However, it was a case of "be careful what you wish for," last night. The Colts didn't run the ball too well, but decided to keep trying anyway. Granted, the passing game wasn't exactly tearing it up.

Then, in the fourth quarter, the Colts went no huddle and short passes (minus a few stupid bombs deep into coverage). And guess what, it worked! Then in overtime, the Colts slowly reverted back to where they had started the game.

All season I, like many others, didn't quite understand the playcalling for the Colts. Apparently, neither did the team's brass as Hamilton is now gone.

Wrap-up

This will certainly be an intriguing Sunday. Chud takes over as the OC, and the 3-5 (and division leading) Colts return home to face Peyton Manning and the Broncos. Oh, and Manning is looking to set the all-time record for Wins and Passing Yards against his former team. If nothing else, it should be fun.