There are a lot of words I could use to describe the Colts home opener against the Jets. If I published a lot of those words, I don't think Josh would let me write any more articles.
So we'll just stick with saying that the Colts were absolutely miserable last night.
While watching his Seahawks lose to the Packers on Sunday night, one of my buddies told me that the Colts would beat the Jets by 21. At this point, I just want the Colts to score 21 points in a game.
Let's get to the awards shall we?
MVP - Henry Anderson
I suppose I have to give out an MVP, and this week it goes to the rookie and it isn't even close. Anderson was a menace in the game, and a part of a rather stout Colts run defense. The rookie came away with three solo tackles, two assists, and a sack. That sack had a lot to do with Bjorn Werner getting pressure on Ryan Fitzpatrick, but still Anderson made the play.
If you're looking for a silver lining in the dumpster fire that has been the first two games, it's Anderson and fellow rookie David Perry playing extremely well on the interior of the defensive line. Anderson has been a monster, and a pleasant surprise on a team where the defensive line isn't an issue.
This Isn't Madden Award - Pep Hamilton
Oh Pep, what are you thinking? In the past two seasons, Hamilton has given us plenty to scratch our heads about, but this season seems worse. The Colts have had way too many puzzling play calls through the first two weeks of the season.
Last week I complained about the series when the Colts let Gore more or less run them down the field. Then they proceeded to throw three times and miss a field goal. Literally the same thing happened again. Frank Gore basically walked the offense down the field to a 2nd and 2 situation. What does Pep call? A Spider 2 Y Banana to Joe Reitz?!? You got blown away in Week 1, and are behind in Week 2, please don't get cute. Third down followed with a 20 yard fade to the endzone to T.Y. Hilton (I think it was) followed by, you guessed it, a missed field goal.
Also, for the second week in a row, Gore looked great, yet only touched the ball 15 times. Yes, there was a certain play which I'll talk about later, but otherwise Gore looked very good and, in my opinion, was underutilized for a second straight game.
Casper Award - Receivers and Tight Ends
For the second straight week, the Colts receivers were rendered invisible. Yes, the Jets have a loaded secondary, but for all the hype and weapons this offense has, there should be someone open. Yet for the second week in a row, the Colts receivers failed to create any separation from the defense.
Both Hilton and Donte Moncrief (who looked much, much better this week) created some separation, but that was it. It seems like the receivers are relying solely on speed to get free from the defense, which isn't working. Someone on Twitter, can't remember who, also noted that almost all of their routes are at least 15 yards down the field.
Sending receivers down the field would be fine if the Colts utilized their tight ends. But for whatever reason, the tight ends have vanished from the offense. This week, both Dwayne Allen (before he got hurt) and Coby Fleener combined for zero targets. Zero. That means Joe Reitz was thrown to more. That's unacceptable.
For all the flack that Fleener gets (sometimes rightfully) the man is a weapon and a mismatch for the Colts, especially in the red zone. With the receivers unable to get away from the corners, Fleener should have been used as an option. I didn't watch closely to see where we was on most plays, but he couldn't have been a worse option.
Quotable Award - Jon Gruden
At one point in the game, the Colts had a third down and took Gore out of the game in favor of Josh Robinson. This prompted Gruden to utter, "I don't know what the Colts are doing."
You and me both Gruden. I know Gruden was referring to taking Gore out in third down situations, but I think this quote is all encompassing.
Eagles Award - The Offense
It was well documented after Sunday's action that the Eagles offense was woefully bad. They couldn't move the ball and looked completely inept at home against the Dallas Cowboys. I was talking to a fellow Colts fan before the game last night, and I said at least the Colts can't look as bad as the Eagles.
I spoke to soon.
While the Colts did roll up more than seven rushing yards (thank goodness) the rest was just as bad. In fact, the Colts tallied the same amount of first downs as the Eagles offense, turned the ball over more, and scored less. Yikes.
Imposter Award - Frank Gore and Adam Vinatieri
What happened to these two?
Vinatieri, normally automatic, now has the same field goal stats as the team's record: 0-2. This coming on the heels of a missed 29 yard kick in last night's game. Who knew that kick was a sign of things to come?
Gore, as I mentioned, played well last night, except for that one play. On what would have been a possible game changing score, all Gore had to do was run into the endzone. It was setting up to be an easy score. Instead, Gore dropped the ball. No contact, it wasn't a bad exchange, he just lost the handle.
Players make mistakes, but that's inexcusable. Heck, I don't remember Trent Richardson ever dropping the ball without contact.
Note: I am not saying Gore is worse than Trent. He's a huge improvement.
Smoke and Fire Award - Chuck Pagano and Ryan Grigson
You all know the saying, where there's smoke, there's fire.
I mentioned it before, that with all of the media reports on a rift between Pagano and Grigson, there was probably some truth to it. I think we got that confirmed last night in Pagano's presser.
While criticizing Andrew Luck's play (deservedly so) the coach took a shot (I think) at Grigson. Pagano noted that Luck should be used to having pressure in his face, because it has been that way for three years. Pretty sure that's a not so subtle jab at Grigson for being unable to bring in quality lineman.
In fact, ESPN had a graphic that showed how disjointed the line has been since Luck arrived. It's bad, and when you look at the players Grigson brought in to help on the line (Samson Satele, Todd Herremans, and Donald Thomas...for example) it's easy to see why Pagano might be frustrated.
LVP - Andrew Luck
I never ever thought I would see the day when I had to put Luck in the LVP slot, but here he is. Luck was absolutely horrid against the Jets. Four turnovers by the quarterback is simply unacceptable.
A lot of times, Luck's interceptions aren't always his fault. Last night they were. The first pass was behind Andre Johnson. The other two were right into coverage. And why Luck is throwing Phillip Dorsett's way when the rookie is covered by Darrelle Revis is beyond me.
Yes, Luck's fumble was the cause of him trying to do way too much, but we've seen far too much of that in his young career.
I've often through Luck reminded me of Brett Favre. A talented player that sometimes tries to do too much and take risks. You know that you would either get rock star Favre, or horrible Favre, there was no inbetween. Luck seems to be similar in that regard. It's rare that we will ever say "Luck had an OK game." He is either lights out, or very poor (sometimes both in one game). The first two weeks, Luck has been very very bad.
Off the Colts head to Tennessee to take on Marcus Mariota and the Titans. In my season predictions, I had the Colts coming into this game 2-0, but dropping a shocker on the road to Tennessee. Boy do I hope that prediction turns out to be way wrong this coming Sunday. But the Colts haven't inspired any confidence in me so far this season.