Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Post Mortem

Sometimes it's difficult to enumerate all of the things that suck, but I'll give it a try:

  • I can't believe that the game got preempted on ESPNI for a World Series game that only went 6 innings. Then they never switched to the game even during the rain delay.
  • I can't believe I was constantly as many as 5 minutes behind on the chat last night. I eventually gave up.
  • I can't believe that I woke up 6 hours after going to bed when I could have slept in
  • I can't believe we lost to that Titans team
And that's the one that really sticks with me. I watched most of that game thinking: 'Tennessee isn't very good', and 'This is exactly the type of team we used to beat'.

Ultimately, last night revealed nothing we didn't already know. This Colts team is painfully average on both sides of the ball. On offense, Indy got into Titan territory 4 times (and to the 50 another) with no points to show for it. On defense, they had Kerry Collins in 3rd and 8, 9, and 10 in the third and fourth quarter. The defense gave up 51 passing yards on those three plays, and two different drives ended in touchdowns. That's the game.

Random thoughts from someone who didn't get enough sleep:

  • I take it back about Marvin. If he was truly ok, he wouldn't be blanketed by likes of Nick Harper. I never thought I'd see the day. He and Reggie Wayne have become completely invisible. Marvin is still drawing coverage, but he's also still drawing throws...which aren't being completed. I'm sick over it.
  • The line showed signs of life last night, but for the second time this season, the Colts ran a huge fourth down play at midfield, only to see Dom get swallowed for a loss. That's not acceptable. I liked the decision to go for it there, because it felt like the defense was broken by the previous drive in which the Titans held the ball for nearly 8 minutes and went 4-4 on third down. The game was tied, but the Colts HAD to answer. The offense had four possessions in the second half, scored two touch downs and failed on two fourth down conversions. In other words, they were right there. The defense saw the field four times giving up 3 touchdowns and a field goal.
  • We never had a hero last night. Manning didn't come through, and I felt like he played one of his worst games. The defense never forced a turnover despite having at least four balls right on their finger tips.
  • This was exactly the kind of loss I was dreading yesterday. The in-between loss. This is the kind of loss that says, "the season isn't over, but it might be soon". Now we face a weird Patriots team that isn't good at anything and is 5-2.

I'll have to watch the tape before saying anything else. I expected to be ready to jump off the bridge after that game. I never expected the bridge to collapse right out from underneath me.


ESPN breaks down Manning's night by distance. Basically, they couldn't hit the deep ball.


Westside Rob said...

Your comments are right on. This team may not have average talent but it is playing average (at best) football. Tenn mad the adjustments at halftime and we didn't. I also agree that Peyton did not play well. It's always harder on TV to tell but it was clear on many replays that he was often forcing the ball into tight coverage when other players were open. The defense played well against the run, but we continue to give huge cushions to bad receivers and QBs that rarely threaten with the long ball. I'm not ready to give up on Marvin but it doesn't help for him to get sepearation when Manning is underthrowing him on every deep pass. Is Manning's knee somehow affecting his long ball touch, because he has not had it this year.

I liked the collab live blog with the Tenn fans, they were pretty knowledgable and basically civil. Our fans not so much, a couple of our fans even took shots at me. Which I didn't appreciate. You want to disagree with my assessment fine, but personal shots are classless(you know who you are).

Deshawn Zombie said...

The knee thing doesn't cut it for me with Peyton.

I think he played better early in the season. He was brilliant against Jacksonville, but made one dumb decision.

I think he's pressing. He feels like he has to do too much, and is making bad throws. This is the way he was back in the early days when he would throw a lot of picks because he didn't trust his team.

He doesn't trust his D or his run game. His worst two games are the last two. That tells me it's not his health, but his head that isn't right.

Jareb said...

Something is fundamentally wrong with Peyton. At this point I can't say for sure but he just doesn't seem to be that into the games. I don't see him hurrying people to the line or even getting that excited when he does finally make a good play.

I know this is close the blasphemy as a Colts fan but I think Peyton's mind might not be into the game right now. Maybe he's having problems at home or something but he's not the same.

Speaking of Peyton someone in my Fantasy League has lost two games this year because he kept Kyle Orton on the bench and started Peyton. Wow! Now he is offering Peyton up to the highest bidder and I'm not sure if I'd even give up Jake Delhomme to get him. That tells me a lot about what kind of season Peyton is having.

Demond Sanders said...

Everyone is looking for answers right now, I understand that.

But I'm pretty sure that Peyton is still "into" football.

Deshawn Zombie said...

They haven't hurried to the line because the line hasn't been experienced enough to run the true no-huddle (according to Polian a few weeks ago).

I think Peyton is mad as hell and very frustrated, but trying to keep it together because his team and line are so young. If he goes around shouting at everyone, he looks like an ass, and it doesn't accomplish anything.

Ultimately, the D failed last night. They put the Titans in third and long in the second half, and gave up conversions. They get stops there, then Indy probably wins comfortably.

It's silly to say "Peyton hasn't played well this season". He was great in several games, and we lost others where he played fine. He's looked bad the last two weeks. I thought he was having a nice season up until the Green Bay game. Last night...he wasn't quite right. He missed throws that he never misses. Maybe it was the wind, who knows. I don't think it's the knee (didn't bother him against Baltimore).

It might just have been the consequence of playing in two windy games in a row.

Jareb said...

I'm not saying he doesn't still care but I don't think it is meaning the world to him as it has in the past. After you guys go back and watch the replay tell me if it doesn't look like he's not scanning the field. Obviously we can't see what's going on in the secondary but how often has he been dumping the ball down to Clark and Rhodes this season. I only remember one attempt to go downfield last night and Harrison was being double covered and had little chance to get to the ball.

Deshawn Zombie said...

Not scanning the field is what happens when a QB doesn't trust his line.

If you feel secure in the pocket, you take time to make reads. If you are scared as hell that someone is coming in to take your head off, you lock in on covered guys and force it.

Happens to all QBs. As the line stabilizes (and there are signs that it is happening), Manning will settle down.

Jareb said...


Even if the D had gotten those stops I didn't feel as though we could have scored. The D did a solid job in my opinion. Not spectacular but enough that we should have won.

As far as Peyton goes he already is on track for his worst statistical season since his rookie year. His completion percentage is nowhere near where we are used to and he has 9 picks already. To put that into perspective he only had 14 last year and 10 or less the three years prior. He has played behind bad lines before and he currently has the best receiving corp he's ever had so I don't know what's so different. I understand the youth on the line. Pollack and Richard are young and Ugoh doesn't have much more experience than they do. Peyton seemed like he had adequate pocket space many times last night and yet he ended up dumping the ball down to Rhodes or Clark.

Shake'n'bake said...

I think when he looks at the tape and sees how much better the Pass Pro was this week he'll be much more relaxed in the pocket next week.

Deshawn Zombie said...

The D was on the field four times in the second half.

They gave up 3 TDs. That's not solid. They gave up two drives that ate nearly 15 minutes of clock. That's not solid.

I don't know that this really is Peyton's best receiving corp. Marvin isn't getting open. I think Peyton's shying off Gonzo because he's dropped so many balls. And he hasn't had a line this bad since his rookie year. It was this bad for stretches last year, and during those stretches Manning played poorly.

I agree with Shake. I think we'll see the offense turn a corner this week.

jc said...

I applaud all fans that took shots at Rob. His Tony Dungy complex needs to be dealt with promptly.

He's becoming insufferable.

Now you get a week full of me. Not a random comment week here or there when I'm crazy bored at work, but a full week of how badly you guys blow.

No in all seriousness, after Sunday night you guys will be talking about how Peyton and Marvin clicked again. But it won't be because they clicked, it'll be because, as one of the brothers wrote, we're not good at anything. Particularly at covering people.

It's true. We're terrible. We have three rookies in our nickel package and 4 + a practice squad guy in our dime set.

The simple fact of the matter is if you don't beat a Brady/Maroney/Rodney-less Patriots AT HOME to start November....

jc said...

And Rob - in response to your comment on the other thread.

No - you probably would have seen far less civility ? from our crew, present company most definitely included.

I did take note at, and laugh at, how demond sanders didn't make a comment after like....10 minutes through the 3rd. He went MIA like the Tuna.

Deshawn Zombie said...

I totally agree, JC. Addai, Sanders, and Hayden should all be back. With the line playing better, and the secondary intact again, there is simply no excuse to not beat the Pats by 10 at home.

If they don't, they are DONE, and I'll start writing fix it columns about next season.

As for the chat, Demond was still writing me. Most of it was patently unprintable. Our aversion to profanity on the blog didn't hold for our IM conversation last night.

I bailed simply because I was so far behind on posts, that it was pointless for me to write anything. The internet wouldn't support the sling box and the chat after about the first quarter.

Demond Sanders said...

Here's an idea of what my 4th quarter IMs to DZ looked like:

I am so close to losing it.
Titans score to go up 14
HWY? (sic)
---- you
------ ------S

Deshawn Zombie said...

See? No one missed anything.

Zac said...

I think it's time to point out that Kevin Youklis winning the Hank Aaron award is one of the great tragedies of world history.

This is what happens when you let the fog breathers in Boston vote online.

Anonymous said...

No one has any business posting a critique of a QB's decisions throwing the football unless:
1) they know the offense, including the conversions
2) have access to the coaches' tapes to see the entire field.

If he sails the ball into the stands, you can say he overthrew it. If he bounces it short, you can say he underthrew it. If he throws an INT because he tossed the ball in the air and fled from the pass rush, you can say he's chicken.

Other than that, you are just guessing.

jareb, the comment that 18 isn't in to it is stupid. Rob, you don't have enough information to make the claims you make.

Some people need to face up to reality. The Titans have a substantially better defense than the Colts. The margin is huge. They are better in the D line, at LB, and in the secondary. Their special teams are better. Their offensive line is substantially better. Their RBs are better, especially with Addai hurt. They are better at TE.

This state of affairs is not all that unusual. For most years, we could say the same thing about the Patriots, Chargers, Steelers, Jags and the rest of the better teams in the league. The equalizer was that Indy had 18, 88, 87 and some others who could get it done in the passing game by being incredibly precise.

Remember, the receivers have never gotten it done with great athleticism. Colts don't fight for the ball. They don't go take it away by outjumping or outscrapping the defense. They got it done because they were more precise than any passing attack in history.

This year's team doesn't have the precision. They haven't had the necessary practice and they aren't healthy.

88 is clearly struggling to get open. 87 is OK, but not as good as we have seen. Gonzo and Clark struggle to get open vs. tight coverage and drop too many balls.

18 struggled with the wind last night. Not surprising, when you normally operate with the smallest margin of error, the wind should be expected to make the biggest difference. And he doesn't have a real strong arm.

Anyone notice that the Titans didn't go downfield? And the Colts still couldn't stop the dinks and dunks. The wind made it tough to go deep. The Colt defense never adjusted. Or if they did, they sucked even worse than I thought. Collins just had it far too easy last night. The underneath holes in the zone just made it too easy to pick up 8-12 yards all night. And the line rarely provided much pressure.

For those of you who think the Colts are a good team, name the positions where the Colts have better players than the Titans. You won't need all the fingers of one hand. And Fisher is a better coach.


Deshawn Zombie said...

The defense didn't adjust to the passing game because the secondary was in shambles and they loaded the box. Melvin Bullitt is a solid player and has made some nice hits, but he was also late in coverage several times. The Colts are super thing at corner right now, and it's shown the last two weeks. The secondary went from a strength to a serious liablity.

I didn't think the Titans looked that impressive. I thought they looked by a solid team beating a below average team.

I thought Dungy did a good job last night. I was unhappy in the first half with the punts inside Titan territory, and he should have challenged that fumble (which became moot when the Titans missed the FG anyay). But halfway through the third quarter he had his team squarely in command. The defense simply folded like a house of cards because the secondary couldn't make plays. Coaching didn't lose that game last night. Players did. If they get a stop up 8 points on 3rd and 10, they probably win that game by two scores.

All in all, that's a pretty solid assement of things, Stan. All that being said, I think there is a good team in there somewhere. But if it doesn't show up soon, it won't matter.

Jareb said...

I'm not arguing that the Titans D isn't as good or isn't better than the Colts D. I firmly believe that the Colt's D did enough to win that game for us. I personally think that the wind comment is nonsense. Peyton hasn't gone down field very well all season, except for the Ravens game, so you can't blame the wind. Our running game did as well for us as the Titans running game did for them. Look at the stats, we averaged 4.3 yards per carry to the Titans' 2.8. The Titans also are not better at TE than the Colts unless you are speaking strictly in terms of blocking. And to say that Peyton's arm isn't strong is nuts, in case you haven't seen the commercials he does have a "laser, rocket arm".

Blaming the defense for games where we only give up 14 points through three quarters is crazy. And twice the defense was backed up because of Peyton throwing interceptions.

I'm not the only one who sees this, Easterbrook even made some good points in his column today regarding the loss last night, of note-

"It's fashionable to blame the Colts' struggles this year on an undersized defense. But what happened Monday night? Indianapolis held run-oriented Tennessee to 88 yards rushing and just 2.8 yards per rush; overall, the Titans gained a modest 281 yards from scrimmage. It was the Indianapolis offense that underwhelmed. Two interceptions by Peyton Manning -- he's thrown four in the past two games -- plus just 5.4 yards gained per pass attempt. (Seven yards per attempt is the minimum for a good passing attack.) As Tennessee led 17-14 early in the fourth quarter, the Colts had third-and-2 at the Flaming Thumbtacks' 34. But Manning went incompletion and incompletion, and it was Tennessee's ball. The home team then staged a methodical drive the other way for a touchdown and a 10-point lead, grinding seven minutes off the clock in the process. Manning had failed to gain two yards on two tries, then on the Colts' next possession threw an interception that was returned to the Indianapolis 16. Game over. Everything about the Colts' offense seems out of sync -- Manning himself, the pass-route timing, the blocking, you name it. Defense is not the problem in Indianapolis."

Shake'n'bake said...

Without the injured Colts: MLB, RE, LE, WRx2, QB, FS, TE

With them you can add: SS, HB and a CB

Jareb said...


I believe that we are also better at C,Punter, and Kicker.

Shake'n'bake said...

Mawae is very good, I left out the ones I thought would be close. Vinny's kickoffs have been much better this year, but I think I'd have to go with Bironas for the power (FG accuracy and clutch don't seem to be repeatable skills for NFL kickers, but kickoff power and FG range are). I don't even care enough about Punters to look into that one. I've seen way too much of Hunter already this season.

Demond Sanders said...

This season is best explained by Air Supply:

I 'm all out of love, I'm so lost without you. I know you were right believing for so long. I 'm all out of love, what am I without you? I can't be too late to say that I was so wrong.

Shake'n'bake said...

I'd go back to the rap lyrics (like in eyes in the backfield) that way it doesn't seem like you are cutting yourself over the loss.

Deshawn Zombie said...

Easterbrook is flat wrong. D hasn't been the problem in Indy all year, but it was last night. They played one great half, and one awful half.

They didn't force a punt in the second half.

Against a really weak passing game.

There is no response to that. They gave up two drives that totaled 15 minutes, and multiple conversions on third and long.

Have they gotten more blame than they deserve this season? Yes. We've been saying that all year. Last night, in the second half, they stone cold fell apart. They hadn't been on the field too long. They just collapsed.

Bob M. said...

May I humbly suggest a bizarro blog, where you blog all-profanity all-the-time during shitty games?

Let's hope it never gets used... but if it's needed, open up the bomb-bay doors and let the f-bombs fly. You want to suggest something anatomically impossible between Jack Del Rio and a cross-dressing goat? Go to it, my friend.

Did anybody else think "Thanks, Reggie, for the INT" when Wayne reached up and behind as if to tip the ball back to himself (mid-deep pass, left sideline) but it floated then fell because the safety wasn't there in time to pick it. That had pick-six written all over it. On replay, I realized what a HUGE effort it was, but still.... we seem to get so many tipped INTs.

Anybody notice the play where Ugoh wasn't blocking anybody, just standing at the LOS, and Dom ran into him, then squeezed by for maybe a yard? (late 3rd qtr). Some of PM's passes were just.. un-Peyton-like last night.

While I like Fisher (except for the nostril-climbing-moustache--what does he do when he has the flu?) and his "hitting liners to the warning track" analogy, I think it was kind.

We're not dead yet, but once we are (cough, I mean IF we are), play ALL the rookies all the time. Next year--our depth will be seasoned and push the starters harder as well as being better suited to coming in off the bench when needed.

Demond Sanders said...

Yes. I know exactly the CJ play you are referring to, Bob. I IMed DZ just to tell him what an idiot Johnson was. Out there in a fog, blocking nobody.

Demond Sanders said...

After bashing Johnson, I should emphasize that I don't think this is the time to get negative (at least not more than usual). As DZ said to me earlier, we might as well try to enjoy the season.

We went to every game in back to back 3-13 years and still managed to have a good time rooting on the team.

Shake'n'bake said...

Ugoh and CJ both did that once. Stood there on a run play blocking no one until Dom runs into their back.

Shake'n'bake said...

DVOA thinks the Colts are the 6th best team in the AFC just by how they've played so far. The schedule splits are encouraging. 3rd hardest past schedule, 5th easiest remaining schedule.

Anonymous said...

Let's forget about the AFC South for a minute. When you look at the wildcard standings, we are postseason contenders, no matter how we've played to this point. We have a pretty easy schedule down the stretch. We have pro bowl players that will be coming back from injury. All we have to do is keep playing football. That's it.

I can't wait to see how the titans handle being the "team to beat." Lord knows we have started off hot and gone nowhere in the end.

I was proud of Dungy for going 3-4 on defense at times last night. It worked against the run. This is flexibility that you will rarely see out of him, and it worked. Let's keep doing it (in the right down and distance, of course), and we just might turn this defense around. That being said, the pass defense needs to improve and I think that starts up front. We need to get more pressure on guys. Anyway, I am still optimistic I guess.

As for Peyton, he is a little hurried in the pocket, whether he should be or not. Several times last night he threw the ball too quickly when the line gave him time. He will see that in the film. He will work on it. You know he will. One thing that does concern me is that teams are manning up on our recievers effectively. That doesn't usually happen. Probably just a byproduct of poor line play.

We'll see.


Shake'n'bake said...

It was a 4-4. The Colts would get mauled running a 3-4 with their current personnel.

Shake'n'bake said...

You can't tell me this isn't awesome, From Simmons' NBA column.

What is a sunk cost? In financial terms, it's a lost cause -- you're paying for something that has lost its value to you. Let's say I spent $200 on one of those beautiful six-foot-high, glass-blown water bongs and named it Barack Obonga. And let's say I smoked a little too much of the special hydro weed they give to cancer patients, decided someone was watching me through my front window, ran outside in my underwear with a baseball bat, and eventually spent the next two hours sitting in a tree waiting for the imaginary guy to come back before my neighbors called the police. And let's say the whole experience made me say, "You know what? I need to quit smoking pot, it's making me a little crazy." Maybe I'd try to sell the bong on Craigslist to no avail, and none of my friends would take it because there's nothing grosser than owning someone else's bong. At that specific point, Barack Obonga would become a sunk cost; that money is out the window. It's gone. I need to accept this fact and move on.

Bob M. said...

Don't go getting me all excited with DVOA and schedule strength; I'll prefer the half-empty glass for a few more weeks at least. It dulls the pain.

Not with the Simmons again! What, did he rescue you from a shipwreck in a previous life and now you're compelled to pay him back or something? Not sure I agree with his definition of sunk costs or his metaphor, but it was imaginative and not totally stupid. ... see, I'm trying....

Did we totally sell out last night to stop the run? If so, I can think back to some other times this worked--the SB run after the 06 season, Balt two weeks ago. Maybe the difference is that Collins is a competent QB and Crumpler a competent TE (as opposed to the murderer's row in the games I mentioned above of a concussed Trent Green, Steve "Wheelchair" McNair, Bad Rex, and Rookie Flacco).

I think part of the problem is with all the new guys on the OL, we can't run a full no-huddle. Last night Fat Albert looked gassed but we could not press adequately on O in the second half. Stan had a lot of good points and one that was sort of between the lines is that the whole team relies on this precision llike in the passing game--with our cap structure, we line the parts up "just so" and if you take one out, or mess up its timing, etc, the rest just crumbles. Teams with a flatter cap structure might be less fragile in that regard.

Part of that is that we had better depth in years past--Hayden and Jackson at CB, guys like Freddie and Rob Morris at LB (I thought Session was good last year), and any living breathing human on the DL (where our depth is JV-quality today compared to years past). The OL has good guys for depth, but they're green.

too long. sorry.

JohnT said...

A week from today Barack Obonga could be a $600 million sunk cost.

Shake'n'bake said...

Bob: It was very imaginative. Almost as if it happened to him. Recently.

Anonymous said...

Anyone watched Saturday trying to come back from his injury? I'm sorry, but Mawae has been better.

Bironas is better than Vinatieri. Much stronger leg and more accurate. And there is no basis for saying our punter is any better.

At TE, I'll take the tandem of Crumpler and Scaife over Clark and Gijon Robinson all day. Much better blockers and more productive together as receivers.

At DE, I'll take Vanden Bosch, Kearse, Ford, Ball, Jones and Hall over Freeney, Brock, Mathis, Thomas, Howard and Johnson. The Titans have outstanding, Pro Bowl quality starters and substantial, quality depth. We have one Pro Bowler who is always pass rush first, a serviceable starter and a pass rushing specialist. No depth.

As a unit (which is how the game is played), the defensive line is so much better for Tenn than Indy it is embarrassing.

At FS, I don't see any reason to prefer Bethea over Michael Griffin.

As for MLB, maybe. The Titans as a group of LBs are much better than the Colts. Brackett has strengths and weaknesses. I haven't paid any attention to Tulloch specifically. As a unit, we lose the comparison bigtime.

The only positions where we have a significant advantage are at QB and WR. And this year, we haven't been getting the overwhelming edge at those positions that we have needed in the past to beat the Titans. Without perfection there, we can't make up for being worse at D line, LB, Sec, special teams, and O line.