Sunday, November 30, 2008

Ok, so let's speak of it one more time...

So here's a quick postmortem of one of the least satisfying wins in recent history. These observations are in no particular order.
  • The day actually turned out great for the Colts, as they now are assured of a playoff spot by going 3-1. They may not need that extra loss, but it's nice to have it in the back pocket.
  • The Jets got a a lot of pub for whipping the Titans, and then stank at home. I think the moral of this story is the Titans aren't as good as people think they are.
  • Oddly enough, Manning came out of his worst game in solid shape in the MVP race. All the other major QB candidates had really bad games AND lost. Brees is done for sure, as two picks in the final 2:30 cost his team the game. Favre was exposed, and Warner sucked on national TV (sort of). Manning didn't play well today (although the game looks different if Wayne hangs onto that TD pass), but ultimately his one turnover (not three as reported some places-the hail mary was irrelevant and the Colts actually recovered his fumble). In the end winning matters. Basically the whole race is more screwed than ever as the Skins lost too, which dings the Portis campaign. It may come down to Eli by default, though I haven't heard anyone mention him. Maybe APete goes nuts tonight.
  • This team needs Jeff Saturday on the field. Richard played fine, but couldn't handle his matchups on too many plays. Still, no sacks today, so he didn't fail miserably.
  • Anyone notice that I haven't said one negative word about Charlie Johnson in weeks?
  • We missed the passes to the RBs today. Addai had to stay in on blitz pick up (which he did wonderfully). I don't know if that was scheme related or because the Colts didn't trust Richard.
  • I said at the time that passing on the FG was a mistake at half time, and I was right. The weather made this game nearly impossible to score in, and you can't turn your back on points. Those three points would have changed the complexion of the second half.
  • Whipping boys Session and Jennings both had very nice games. The Colts pass D held Cleveland under THREE YARDS A PASS. That's insane.
  • Freeney and Mathis. Nothing else needs to be said.
  • The Browns are awful. Derek Anderson's trade value is at the same level as the Loch Ness Monster...they don't exist. If this game had been played on a calm day, it's not even close. Outdoor football in bad weather isn't fun. It's pointless.
  • The Cleveland DBs made a couple of nice plays in this game. It almost was the only aspect of the game they played well in. Actually the LBs closed the holes pretty will on our running backs. There was space at the line, but it disappeared at the next level.
  • Ultimately, the Colts are still an average team on the field that has some kind of special 'it quality'. Every week either Manning saves us, or Mathis/Freeney does. Those three players are operating at an other-wordly level that seems to make the difference in close games. This team is 8-4, but won't truly roll until it gets Saturday and Sanders back. On top of that, now we have worry about Brackett and Dawson. Fun.
  • Once Indy took the lead, we all knew there was no chance in hell for the Browns to score. Anderson was awful. He made exactly one really nice throw all day.
Ultimately, winning beats the hell out of losing. Imagine how we'd feel today if that had gone against us.

Links:
Don Banks this is a good kind of win.

CHFF says the D is a winner.

I don't think he put it right, but this season at least, Perloff is right. Manning's three worst games were the wind games at GB, Tennessee, and Cleveland. It's not the elements, it's the wind. Manning's won plenty of bad weather games, but he struggles to run this offense this year in the wind. The lack of a consistent run game is part of the reason.

PK elevates Manning to the top spot. When you look at his list, how can you argue?

14 comments:

John said...

I'm not sure I buy that the 4 passing TDs is a significant statistic, given how productively most teams have run against the Colts this year.

Deshawn Zombie said...

CHFF made a point on this several weeks ago. There have been many bad run Ds, but never has one allowed so few passing TDs at the same time.

The Colts run D is actually, pretty average. They are out of the bottom 10 in YPC, and are 7th in terms of most rushing TDs, which is bad, but by no means historically bad.

In other words, they have a poorish run D, but it's not horrible, and it's not so bad as to account for the lack of passing TDs.

Bob M. said...

Derek Anderson?!?!

I resent the hell out of that Comparison.

Mr. L. N. Monster, Scotland

Demond Sanders said...

It is stupid to peg Manning as a QB who can't play in the elements. That's been disproven several times. The truth is all QBs struggle when its wet and windy. Derek Andersen (16/26, 110 yards) looked even worse than Manning in the weather.

That said, I agree that the Colts shouldn't be viewed as a dangerous playoff team. At least not any more dangerous than the other AFC playoff teams. They all look kind of suspect to me.

Mike said...

For the record, the weather was just as nasty in Cleveland as it appeared on TV.

Anonymous said...

Suspect or not, there is no team in the AFC that we can't beat. Tennessee would be a challenge, but we can do it. I'm not too excited about facing the Giants in the superbowl, however. Jacobs would be VERY hard for us to stop.

Demond Sanders said...

Right, that's what I mean.

There's no team the Colts can't beat and there's no team that can't beat the Colts. (Okay, maybe the Ravens.)

I like their chances, I just wouldn't label the Colts as "dangerous". Maybe two 40-7 wins will change my mind.

Anonymous said...

I was in Cleveland for the game yesterday. We've always known how classless their "fans" are. I had no idea how stupid they are. Among the pearls of wisdom I heard were: "I hope you die driving back to Indianapolis"; "Big deal, you scored ten points" (from a fan of a team who just scored six); and "Colts Suck" about fifty times. There were thousands of empty seats. Indianapolis has become a much stronger football town then Cleveland. May they never win a Super Bowl.

zac said...

Bethea also played well yesterday. He had at least 10 tackles, was in the mix on a ton of others, deflected a few passes, and secured the game with the pick at the end. That pick was a monster, he just ripped it from the receiver. Awesome play. He gets my game ball.

His play helped us stay right there, setting up the Freeney/Mathis devastation.

Demond Sanders said...

The MVP update will be up later this afternoon/evening. You won't want to miss this one.

Anonymous said...

Indy has the least physical receivers in the league. If they can't get open with quickness, they stuggle. And they are never going to win a jump ball (see the INT Sunday where 87 actually tried to jump, unusual, but was overwhelmed by the DB.

Further, Indy's pass offense is the most dependent on exact timing. In the mud, routes are anything but exact.

s

Deshawn Zombie said...

Stan, that's almost a stupid thing to say about that play. The DB made a great play. There was nothing Wayne or any other WR in football could have done.

I couldn't disagree more with your assessment. That wasn't a jump ball situation. It was an awful throw to a guy that was never open.

Deshawn Zombie said...

The Colts are 11th overall, 10th in weighted. A good chunk of that is due to the Baltimore game (which was the single best game of the year according to DVOA).

Those numbers aren't bad, but they aren't awesome. They are slightly above middling. In other words, an average team with just enough greatness to get over the top.

Anonymous said...

Deshawn,

Apparently I've almost reached your status. I guess I'll have to go back to all the pro and college coaches I worked for (two were the national coaches of the year) and find out where they screwed up when they taught me about coaching receiving.

stan