I've been stating my boredom and relative ambivalence for ESPN's unit rankings all week, but I am glad to say that the Colts O-line came up 2nd.
Honestly, it has always dumbfounded me how the Colts could consistently lead the league in fewest sacks per attempt and have a huge rushing numbers from first Edge and then a great season by Joe Addai and NOT get ranked among the best lines in the league. For several years now, the Colts were passed over in such rankings by a variety of sources. I'm glad someone noticed. Again though, no mention of Jeff Saturday. It's a blurb about what these guys call the second best line in the game and not one mention of the guy who makes all the calls and makes the whole thing work. Geeze. They all must be Duke fans or something, hating on the Tar Heel.
To clean up a couple of loose ends, one reader wanted to know where the Colts ranked on TEs. 11th. Remember that these are unit rankings. Dallas is great, but Utech and Fletcher are a bit raw I suppose. Dallas Clark has to be nearing the end of his contract soon (I think it's up after this year). I love the dude, but it will be interesting to see if he gets resigned. He's now had a couple of injuries that caused him to miss time. His value is undeniable, and he carried the team through the first three playoff games. I started screaming after Manning hit him in the 4th quarter up the seam to set up the then tying FG, "BE THE FASTEST MAN ALIVE! BE THE FASTEST MAN ALIVE!". As it looked for a minute like he might take it to the house. Unfortunately, he wasn't the fastest man alive, but it was nearly as good.
Another reader mentioned the photos of Saturday's huge block. Gregg Easterbrook of TMQ wrote extensively about it as well and proceeded to give Saturday the ESPN TMQ non QB/non RB MVP award. Saturday took home a cool little trophy at the Super Bowl press day. Props to him for being one of the few cogent enough to mention the reason Joe Addai walked into the endzone on 3rd and 2. I really feel the line showed tremendous pride the entire postseason. They know they screwed the pooch against the Steelers. Manning took all the heat, but anyone who really watched that game knows, the line couldn't get the assignments right. That's Saturday's job, and on that day at least, he didn't do it. He came back huge this year though. Manning got the MVP of the Super Bowl, and that was right, but the line won the game.
Dan Patrick actually wanted to give the MVP award to the Colts line. I understood the sentiment, but thought that was stupid. 5 guys OUGHT to be more valuable than one. The award was MVPlayer not MVPlayerssssss. So was Manning more valuable than anyone member of the line that day? Yes. Was Manning more valuable than Rhodes/Addai that day? Maybe not as a tandem, but I think he was more valuable than either one individually.
Anyway, that's all a bit off track. The point is, YEAH! ESPN likes our line! They must be good!