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Week 9 Highlights- Colts vs Jets

NFL: New York Jets at Indianapolis Colts Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports

Overview

Thursday night the Indianapolis Colts defeated the New York Jets by a final score of 45-30. This is the first time in NFL history that two teams have combined to score 45 and 30 points respectively, also known as a Scorigami.

The final score was closer than the game and a lot of people overreacted to the defense giving up 20 points in the second half. While that’s not great, you’ll have to forgive my lack of concern that the Colts, who still have a losing record, scored 45 points and won in primetime after playing a game just four days before, got comfortable and allowed three garbage time touchdowns. And it was garbage time, the Colts had an insurmountable lead.

Just be happy with something, would you?


First Quarter

Kwity Paye

The Colts first round rookie has yet to log a sack but has otherwise played really well against the run. Thursday night saw the former Michigan Wolverine beat the Jets tackles with regularity but still came up short of a sack. He was able to force a few bad passes like the one above. Paye looked very good in primetime.

Hines

If you found nothing else obvious about this game, you had to have noticed that the Colts were getting the ball in to Nyheim Hines’ hands early and often. Hines had largely been under utilized this season after signing a big (for a running back) contract extension. Frank Reich and his staff seemed to acknowledge that fact, using Hines in a multitude of ways.

Results were positive.

Ladies and gentlemen, Jonathan Taylor:


Second Quarter

Jonathan Taylor continued

The Colts offensive line and run game was just too much for the Jets to handle. It’s rare in the NFL to be able to so thoroughly dominate an opponent in the trenches, usually this is something you see in college. The Colts offensive line was very good but this domination had as much, if not more to do with the Jets lack of ability on the defensive line. Either way it was still a lot of fun to watch.

He just keeps doing it

Once again Darius Leonard punched a ball out and created a turnover. Leonard has found a way to have a positive impact on every game this season despite still not being 100% after off season surgery.

Jack Doyle

Jack Doyle’s stats for the day: one catch, one yard, one touchdown, one fumble recovery. Very efficient.

Jets fans didn’t like this one

I think the ball was moving when he hit the ground but who can say what a catch is anymore? What I do know is that it was a heck of a throw from Carson Wentz.

Seriously, what’s a catch?

When watching this play live, it looked incomplete. If you slow this clip down, you’ll see that Michael Pittman Jr. got control of the ball, took three steps and then had the ball punched out of his hands by a defender. Which means, this was a touchdown.

The score was 28 to 10 at halftime.


Third Quarter

Kylen Granson anyone?

Fourth round rookie Kylen Granson has had a slow start to his NFL career as almost every rookie tight end does. But this 27 yard catch and run was nice to see. Hopefully we will see more from him during the second half of the season.

Zach Pascal had a nice day

Pascal finished with four catches for 58 yards including this 31 yard pick up on a deep play action crossing route. Hopefully we see Frank Reich roll Carson Wentz out more and use his mobility and big arm to give Wentz time to find these kind of deep routes without taking hits in the pocket.

Yep, he’s still fast

Once Hines turns a corner and gets going north and south, he’s almost impossible to catch from behind.

Taylor is a lot of fun to watch

There doesn’t seem to be much he can’t do on a football field. Eberflus might want to try him at safety.

A truly rare sight

It’s not often an offensive linemen gets an opportunity to score points and it’s always a lot of fun to watch when it happens.

This is when the game ended and everyone knew it

I’ve watched this clip a lot. The back half is fine but what Jonathan Taylor does between his own 25 and 30 yard lines is amazing. That acceleration is really something else. Nyheim Hines is fast, but what Taylor shows here is just different.

Just so you know


Fourth Quarter

Mo Alie-Cox

All three Colts tight ends had just one catch on Thursday. Alie-Cox’s went for 28 yards.

First catch alert

Desmond Pattmon’s first career catch. If this guy develops into a player that gets regular opportunities, opposing defensive backs are going to hate tackling him and Michael Pittman.

Taylor Stallworth with a big game

If you predicted that Stallworth with finish the night with two sacks and a batted ball that created an interception then you need to stop wasting your time predicting things like that and go make some money with that psychic ability.

Ballgame

Stallworth batted the ball. Okereke picked it off and the Colts finish out the win.


Final Thoughts

Wins are good and the team won, by multiple touchdowns, on a short week. They didn’t plan for the Jets. It’s almost impossible to really install a game plan for games on Thursday night and the offense still scored 45. The defense looked bad after the game had already been decided and while it was tough to watch, the win was never in danger and I’m willing to see how the defense looks when the games are more competitive.

I have a few thoughts about the 2021 Colts but it’s going to take me a while to get to the point so you’ll just have to stick with me for a minute. I promise it’s relevant.

This might be shocking but I’m not a person who enjoys a lot of poetry, but I do have a favorite poem. I read it on a plaque in a basketball arena at the University of Toledo, it’s a long story of why I was there in the first place but it was a weird and very difficult time in my life and I found myself wandering the halls when I found the plaque and on it was “If” by Rudyard Kipling. Most people have probably read it and no doubt it doesn’t impact everyone the way it did me in that place and time, but it struck a chord with me and lines from it still bounce around in my head on a near daily basis. It’s difficult to explain why this is all relevant with proper context so I’m just going to post the entire poem for those that have never read it:

If you can keep your head when all about you

Are losing theirs and blaming it on you,

If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,

But make allowance for their doubting too;

If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,

Or being lied about, don’t deal in lies,

Or being hated, don’t give way to hating,

And yet don’t look too good, nor talk too wise:

If you can dream—and not make dreams your master;

If you can think—and not make thoughts your aim;

If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster

And treat those two impostors just the same;

If you can bear to hear the truth you’ve spoken

Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,

Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken,

And stoop and build ’em up with worn-out tools:

If you can make one heap of all your winnings

And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,

And lose, and start again at your beginnings

And never breathe a word about your loss;

If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew

To serve your turn long after they are gone,

And so hold on when there is nothing in you

Except the Will which says to them: ‘Hold on!’

If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,

Or walk with Kings—nor lose the common touch,

If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you,

If all men count with you, but none too much;

If you can fill the unforgiving minute

With sixty seconds’ worth of distance run,

Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it,

And—which is more—you’ll be a Man, my son!

The lines that have most often been useful to me “If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster. And treat those two impostors just the same” Kipling capitalized “triumph” and “disaster” he named them. He made them into proper nouns. They are imposters, dressed very differently but that ultimately represent the same thing: a massive departure from normalcy.

This poem has guided me through a lot of difficult times and it means far more to me than a single football game ever will but I feel that it does apply nicely to football fandom in this instance.

Last Sunday we saw a Disaster of a game from the Indianapolis Colts. On Thursday we saw an absolute Triumph. Both games are imposters. This Colts team is somewhere in between and instead of reacting to every Triumph and every Disaster as if they are the entirety of this team’s reality, it would be great if we all adjusted our expectations for this season accordingly.

Until the Colts are regularly playing the way they played for most of last night, it should be considered a departure from normalcy.

If someone was inclined to challenge this idea, they would likely arrive at the fact that the Colts have blown out bad opponents before and lost close games, late, to good teams in heartbreaking fashion. While that’s true, what does it mean? The Colts have destroyed multiple bad football teams, so they’re not bad. They’ve also lost to every team they’ve played with a winning record, so they’re not that good either. As of right now, they’re in the middle of the road. Being average is normal for this team and until we see a change in that (good or bad), change that remains consistent for multiple games, games like the ones against the New York Jets and Tennessee Titans are just Triumphs and Disasters.

Enjoy the win. Enjoy the fun stats. Enjoy the player of the week awards that might come. But don’t enjoy it too much. If the Colts lose another game the way they did against the Titans, be disappointed but realize that might just be who this team is. Be disappointed but not too much.

This team isn’t a contender.

Not yet, anyway.