I've been watching the Road to XLI DVD set, and it's sort of making me sad. Watching Freeney and McFarland play again is awesome. It's a little hard to accept how amazing this team would have been if they hadn't gotten hurt. I've also noticed how well Keiaho and others played. Seriously, how did anyone who knew anything about football think the Colts were going to miss the Junes and Davids of the world? Marlin Jackson was laying wood. Freddy Keiaho was playing great down near the goal line.
One of the big things that hadn't occurred to me, but now seems obvious is that the Colts have stopped running the stretch play in recent weeks. When both of your tackles are hurt, it's hard to run wide. Last night on his radio show, Polian said that the state of the Colts line had them thinking it would be tough to run against the Raiders, so there's the answer to that question. From what I understood about Ugoh's injury, it had left him without full feeling in his right arm, and that it was going to take some time to get his strength back. That coupled with Charlie Johnson's consistently poor level of play has left the Colts without one of the staples of their offense.
I find it amazing that this collection of fill-ins and undrafted free agents not only has gone 12-2, but is 2 dropped TDs from being undefeated. I still think this is the best team in football, and if not for the injuries we'd be talking about them in historic terms. It's funny how different this year feels from last year. Listening to Collinsworth drone on about the Colts playoff problems was hilarious. The confidence that come from having won is invaluable.
It was also amazing to see how good AV was. I remembered the 5 FGs in Baltimore, but the three at the start of the KC game were huge. His 50 yarder before halftime really lifted the team.
At this point in the season, there isn't much left to talk about. The Colts' situation is simple: get healthy or go home. Fortunately, we have three weeks before our next meaningful game to heal up.
Oh yeah, one more Mitchell report note: isn't it interesting that the only one really denying the allegations is Clemens (oh, and Bonds I suppose)? Meanwhile, a stream of guys come forward and say things like, "Yeah, I bought steroids but...I didn't use them. It was only HGH. I was injured. It was just one time." Sounds like the Mitchell report evidence isn't quite as shaky as some pundits would have liked us to believe.