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@EricDutil @Nate Dunlevy I don't think Richardson has the speed to get around end like Herron did on the one long run. 


I guess I don't buy that Houston's defense was tired. Richardson did get two carries on that drive. One for nine yards and the other for no gain, so it's not like we didn't see him at all. 

3 days, 18 hours ago on Conversation @ http://coltsauthority.com/2014-articles/eyes-in-the-backfield-colts-17-texans-10.html

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@EricDutil Why exactly would the Texans' front seven have been gassed? They were barely on the field.

3 days, 18 hours ago on Conversation @ http://coltsauthority.com/2014-articles/eyes-in-the-backfield-colts-17-texans-10.html

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@jbw80 It's a valid scenario, but I typically don't jump ahead more than one week. It's a philosophical choice.


I sort of assume the worst case scenario and try to root against it most of the time.

1 week ago on Conversation @ http://coltsauthority.com/2014-articles/who-to-root-for-week-15-2.html

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@ScottComstock Turnovers are one thing. Defensive scores are another. They are big, but also very randomized. They aren't a by-product of much of anything other than chance. 


So yes, they swing games, but you can't really control for them either.

1 week, 1 day ago on Conversation @ http://coltsauthority.com/2014-articles/eyes-in-the-backfield-colts-25-browns-24.html

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@DougEngland He's not ok. It's really that simple. He's not old, well, he IS old, but that's not why he's been so bad.


He's hurt.

1 week, 3 days ago on Conversation @ http://coltsauthority.com/2014-articles/eyes-in-the-backfield-colts-25-browns-24.html

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Thanks! I Had that job for a year. Doing it for free is a lot more fun!

2 weeks, 1 day ago on Conversation @ http://coltsauthority.com/2014-articles/who-to-root-for-week-14-2.html

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I have a keyboard for my Ipad. It's pretty nifty.

2 weeks, 2 days ago on Conversation @ http://coltsauthority.com/2014-articles/who-to-root-for-week-14-2.html

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@GeorgeCostanzaIII @Nate Dunlevy @silentkman Winning Super Bowls is basically luck. There's no 'formula' for a Super Bowl team. Plenty of pass-happy offenses have been winning/going to the SB.

07 Pats, 08 Steelers and Cards, 09 Colts and Saints, 2010 Packers and Steelers, 2011 Giants, 2013 Broncos, and even the 2013 Seahawks won because they did the second most important thing (stop the pass!!!!) better than anyone since the 1970s.


Elite passing gets you to the playoffs every year. What happens after that is basically random chance. 

2 weeks, 2 days ago on Conversation @ http://coltsauthority.com/2014-articles/eyes-in-the-backfield-colts-49-redskins-27.html

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@GeorgeCostanzaIII @Nate Dunlevy @silentkman  "Its Air Coryell/Air Manning all over again."


It is! And that's why I'm so happy. That's the best way to win in the NFL. Offense is more important (and more consistent over time) than defense. If you want a consistent winner, the single most important thing you can do is create an elite passing offense. Second most: an elite passing defense. 


That's the part they are still missing.


As for Ty Law, when you break the rules, it's easy to cover. 

2 weeks, 2 days ago on Conversation @ http://coltsauthority.com/2014-articles/eyes-in-the-backfield-colts-49-redskins-27.html

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@Bobman1 That throw and catch...good gracious, what a play by both. You described it perfectly.

2 weeks, 3 days ago on Conversation @ http://coltsauthority.com/2014-articles/eyes-in-the-backfield-colts-49-redskins-27.html

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@manythingsme Geeze, you are way too kind. Thank you so much. That really does mean the world to me.

2 weeks, 3 days ago on Conversation @ http://coltsauthority.com/2014-articles/eyes-in-the-backfield-colts-49-redskins-27.html

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@GeorgeCostanzaIII @Nate Dunlevy @silentkman He's hurt. They tried playing Reitz and he was worse. 


I don't think the line is that bad, apart from a clearly ailing Cherilus. 


They have cut TRich's snaps and carries; they can' t bench him entirely. I'm not sure what more they can do. 


I think Pagano has some input, and I hold him accountable for wanting Jackson, who is not good. 


I'm not on any side of any coin. I try to judge each move independently and be fair to the totality of the work.


The coaching staff and front office has been a mixed bag. They have done some things very very well (building a top-flight offense). There are other things that have not worked out.


I try to defend the things I think are defensible, and be fair about the things that are bad luck.

2 weeks, 3 days ago on Conversation @ http://coltsauthority.com/2014-articles/eyes-in-the-backfield-colts-49-redskins-27.html

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@GeorgeCostanzaIII @Nate Dunlevy @silentkman It jumps to 6.9 mil from 3.9. That's not through the roof.


He's not healthy. He played well enough last year. 

2 weeks, 3 days ago on Conversation @ http://coltsauthority.com/2014-articles/eyes-in-the-backfield-colts-49-redskins-27.html

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@ScottComstock @Nate Dunlevy DSR counts field turnovers as a win for the defense. Field position doesn't enter into it.


It works like this:


Each first down can result in either another first down, a TD, a kick or a turnover.


So if I get three first downs and then get a stop, the DSR is .75. Three of four down series resulted in a new first down.


If I give up a TD, the DSR will always be 1.


If I get a turnover after 4 first downs, the DSR is 0.8. 


DSR favors teams that force turnovers, give up long plays and force quick 3-and-outs. It works against "Dungy D" teams that allow long drives, even if those drives don't result in seven points.



2 weeks, 3 days ago on Conversation @ http://coltsauthority.com/2014-articles/eyes-in-the-backfield-colts-49-redskins-27.html

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@ScottComstock @Nate Dunlevy DSR counts first downs and TDs. A three-and-out field goal is a 'win' for the defense.

2 weeks, 3 days ago on Conversation @ http://coltsauthority.com/2014-articles/eyes-in-the-backfield-colts-49-redskins-27.html

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@ScottComstock Great point on "as expected". 


As for stops, Indy ranks 11th in Drive success rate. So you are correct,  that would be the highest ranking for Indy in many, many years. They were 14th in 2005. 


DSR measures the % of down series that result in a new set of downs (or a TD). Lower the better. So yes, they are giving up lots of big plays, and they aren't a great scoring D, but they are getting off the field one way or another. 


Faster drives, faster scores. It's a style.

2 weeks, 3 days ago on Conversation @ http://coltsauthority.com/2014-articles/eyes-in-the-backfield-colts-49-redskins-27.html

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@mattshedd He's slowing down. My guess is that he's back if he wants to play for a small contract. His age is really catching up fast.

2 weeks, 3 days ago on Conversation @ http://coltsauthority.com/2014-articles/eyes-in-the-backfield-colts-49-redskins-27.html

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@DougEngland I find it hard to judge Pagano's style because the talent is so bad and so ill-fitting to the philosophy. 


I prefer Dungy-ball, but I think the coaches are doing the best they can with the linebackers they have on the roster.

2 weeks, 3 days ago on Conversation @ http://coltsauthority.com/2014-articles/eyes-in-the-backfield-colts-49-redskins-27.html

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@silentkman The fact is that considering the type of throws Indy favors, it's not true that Luck "gets hit too much". Your expectations for line play are not reasonable.


Luck has the eight-longest time to sack in the NFL.


His average time to throw is 9th-longest.


He has been hit 7th most, but also thrown the most. His "QB hit per pass attempt" his 11th most. That's not great, but it's not horrible either. 


His sack rate is reasonable. 


So please tell me by what standard we should judge this line?

2 weeks, 3 days ago on Conversation @ http://coltsauthority.com/2014-articles/eyes-in-the-backfield-colts-49-redskins-27.html

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@jfoley17 Every now and again, I pull up some of those articles and shake my head. 


To their credit, they really did run me out of the job. I just couldn't take the crazy.

3 weeks, 1 day ago on Conversation @ http://coltsauthority.com/2014-articles/who-to-root-for-week-13-2.html

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@psvirsky Thanks. It's called "getting enough sleep."

3 weeks, 1 day ago on Conversation @ http://coltsauthority.com/2014-articles/who-to-root-for-week-13-2.html

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@Bobman1 I really want Baltimore to win the North, because they are just weird enough to knock off NE/Denver. 


Indy's only SB hopes rest on only having to play one.

3 weeks, 1 day ago on Conversation @ http://coltsauthority.com/2014-articles/who-to-root-for-week-13-2.html

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@GeorgeCostanzaIII @Nate Dunlevy @NateDunlevy "had this team prepared" I took to mean, "starting the game slowly". Since they started fast in several games, I take that as a sign they were well prepared.


As for Mathis, there's a simple explanation:


the team had the right to refuse to pay him for this year, since he got hurt while on suspension. That would have caused a major stink, however. 


So they agreed to pay him his salary this year IN EXCHANGE for a "free" year of team control.


They payed no real extra cash, and get a second year of team control beyond next year. If he sucks, they cut him with no harm. All it "cost" them was paying his salary this year, which was a good move lockerroom-wise and they couldn't have spent it on anything useful mid-season anyway.


So actually, that was about the smartest move I've seen all year.


Mathis won't be big bucks vs the cap in two years. The move saved face for everyone and worked out great for the Colts. 

3 weeks, 2 days ago on Conversation @ http://coltsauthority.com/2014-articles/eyes-in-the-backfield-colts-23-jaguars-3.html

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@GeorgeCostanzaIII @Nate Dunlevy @ScottComstock Indy got drilled by the 2nd, third and fourth best offenses in football by DVOA. They also gave up 30 to Philly who has fallen off with Sanchez, but was third last year. 


So basically, an elite O can carve them up.


I think they've out-schemed the bad teams, rather than beat them on talent. That's where the constant blitzing has worked. 


Against better QBs, that doesn't work. Against the bottom 2/3rds of the league, it's a viable plan. Good news is that it will likely beat Alex Smith, Andy Dalton, and Joe Flacco come January. 


Bad news? The usual suspects will shred it, as they already have.


This team has a talent problem on D. 

3 weeks, 2 days ago on Conversation @ http://coltsauthority.com/2014-articles/eyes-in-the-backfield-colts-23-jaguars-3.html

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@GeorgeCostanzaIII @Nate Dunlevy @NateDunlevy I think those are fair questions. 


However, you originally said they were unprepared for every game. That's not the case.


I have plenty of problems with the offseason moves, and the question about when the D gets fixed are reasonable.


The statement that they are never prepared or always come out slow is not accurate. That, and that alone, was my point.

3 weeks, 2 days ago on Conversation @ http://coltsauthority.com/2014-articles/eyes-in-the-backfield-colts-23-jaguars-3.html

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@GeorgeCostanzaIII @ScottComstock This team is not always outcoached or outschemed. It is sometimes. Sometimes, it just has weaker players. 

3 weeks, 2 days ago on Conversation @ http://coltsauthority.com/2014-articles/eyes-in-the-backfield-colts-23-jaguars-3.html

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@GeorgeCostanzaIII @NateDunlevy They were UP for more games than not this year. Jax was about the only game they didn't start fast in that they won. 


They started slow against the Broncos and Pats because those teams are a lot better than they are.

3 weeks, 2 days ago on Conversation @ http://coltsauthority.com/2014-articles/eyes-in-the-backfield-colts-23-jaguars-3.html

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@GeorgeCostanzaIII @smonroe They may have known. Doesn't mean there was anyone else they could have played.

3 weeks, 2 days ago on Conversation @ http://coltsauthority.com/2014-articles/eyes-in-the-backfield-colts-23-jaguars-3.html

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@smonroe My point wasn't clear. By coaching, I mostly was referring to the defensive staff.

3 weeks, 2 days ago on Conversation @ http://coltsauthority.com/2014-articles/eyes-in-the-backfield-colts-23-jaguars-3.html

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@Brad Cronin I really think Mallet will be a total and complete disaster. It's possible Houston wins four games, but it's very possible they win zero games. 

3 weeks, 6 days ago on Conversation @ http://coltsauthority.com/2014-articles/who-to-root-for-week-12-2.html

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@Fot Bollar No, but I guess I could break your legs if you really wanted me to.

3 weeks, 6 days ago on Conversation @ http://coltsauthority.com/2014-articles/who-to-root-for-week-12-2.html

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@Johnny_Socko @Nate Dunlevy @silentkman I wasn't keen on letting Powers walk for less money than they paid for Toler. Jackson was a really really bad spend. They could have gone after Revis or Ware. Both better than Toler, Walden, Jackson...none of whom have worked. 


Losing Mathis was just killer though. He'd make a difference.

1 month ago on Conversation @ http://coltsauthority.com/2014-articles/eyes-in-the-backfield-patriots-42-colts-20.html

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@Johnny_Socko @Nate Dunlevy @silentkman I'm all in favor of effective running. It beats ineffective running.


In the end, the problem wasn't so much that they couldn't run, but that they couldn't run, but kept TRYING to run. 


In the end, I think the run game would be better in general if they just replaced Richardson. We have enough of a sample to know that in general (not Sunday specifically maybe) that other runners run much more effectively behind the same line than he does.


As for the run D, I still think they would have been better served fixing the pass D first, but I'd take fixing anything over what they are doing now.

1 month ago on Conversation @ http://coltsauthority.com/2014-articles/eyes-in-the-backfield-patriots-42-colts-20.html

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@Johnny_Socko @Nate Dunlevy @silentkman You mistook my meaning. The offense was languishing most of the year last year, until they finally abandoned it the final three weeks. 


By the playoffs, they were going no-huddle wide-open as they always should have.

1 month ago on Conversation @ http://coltsauthority.com/2014-articles/eyes-in-the-backfield-patriots-42-colts-20.html

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@ScottComstock It's a great question. Mathis kills this D. Jones' impact is questionable, but Mathis's injury was devastating.

1 month ago on Conversation @ http://coltsauthority.com/2014-articles/eyes-in-the-backfield-patriots-42-colts-20.html

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@silentkman @Nate Dunlevy Yeah, well they tried it your way last year. It really doesn't work too well.

1 month ago on Conversation @ http://coltsauthority.com/2014-articles/eyes-in-the-backfield-patriots-42-colts-20.html

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@silentkman Luck was barely touched Sunday. 

I don't agree with your philosophy at all, but the Colts do. This is what they built with it.

1 month ago on Conversation @ http://coltsauthority.com/2014-articles/eyes-in-the-backfield-patriots-42-colts-20.html

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@hankster Nah. Mallet sucks. Nothing he did yesterday implies he'll be any good. 

1 month ago on Conversation @ http://coltsauthority.com/2014-articles/eyes-in-the-backfield-patriots-42-colts-20.html

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@gaiter27 Werner always was a three-year project. Way too soon to call him a bust.

1 month ago on Conversation @ http://coltsauthority.com/2014-articles/eyes-in-the-backfield-patriots-42-colts-20.html

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@Pied Difference is that Chiefs and Raiders play other teams and the Bills/Dolphins play each other. They aren't quite 1:1

1 month ago on Conversation @ http://coltsauthority.com/2014-articles/who-to-root-for-week-11-2.html

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@mattshedd I think Chud takes that spot.


I would bench landry.

1 month, 2 weeks ago on Conversation @ http://coltsauthority.com/2014-articles/eyes-in-the-backfield-colts-40-giants-24.html

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@Johnny_Socko @Nate Dunlevy Yes, it is bizarre. 


Let's unpack the signings, though:


Jackson: Worst player on the defense. A disaster in every sense. Lots of ways to measure it, but PFF will work in a pinch. He's been bad, bad bad.


Landry: Also very bad, and it wasn't until he was suspended that the D really started to come together.


Redding: What a fabulous player! Irony is, his pass rush grade is off the charts, but his run D has been mediocre. Go figure. I have no explanation.


Jones: Been hurt, no impact.


Ricky Jean: Playing well against the run, a couple of scheme sacks.


So, of those signings, only Redding and Francois are really having an impact. Two haven't barely played (and played poorly when they did), and the other is an abject black-hole disaster.


So why are they better?


1. Scheme-Manusky is dialing up some wicked good blitzes.

2. Werner coming of age.

3. Davis is playing out of his mind. Way way way beyond where he has ever been before. 



I'll admit, none of that is a satisfactory answer. I don't think it's a mirage though. I just can't fully explain it.


1 month, 3 weeks ago on Conversation @ http://coltsauthority.com/2014-articles/eyes-in-the-backfield-colts-27-bengals-0.html

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@Johnny_Socko If the team was built to run the ball and stop the run, it wasn't built very well. It does neither. 30th ranked run D in DVOA. 25th ranked run O by DVOA. 


I think the decision to draft Moncrief and switch to Harrison at center are evidence the team moved in a pass-first direction. It started late last season over the final two games, and after the Philly loss it took hold. Pagano came out and said they ran the ball too much.


I can't explain the defense at all. It's succeeding despite bad play from Walden and Jackson. I have no idea how they are generating this pass rush, except that it's working.


Schematically, they are selling out on the blitz, ignoring the run and trying to kill the QB. 


I don't see that as roster construction, but rather as a philosophical shift.


They've abandoned their plan, and finally have a Super Bowl-caliber team for their trouble.

1 month, 3 weeks ago on Conversation @ http://coltsauthority.com/2014-articles/eyes-in-the-backfield-colts-27-bengals-0.html

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@Longin4Reagan No. The freeze frames are clear. The RB has to get that. Very very much not on Luck. 

1 month, 4 weeks ago on Conversation @ http://coltsauthority.com/2014-articles/eyes-in-the-backfield-colts-27-bengals-0.html

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@Fot Bollar Sorry, but the jury is in. Richardson runs behind the same blockers as Bradshaw and the same blockers as every other RB last year.


He is the problem, not the line. He's easily the least talented, worst running back I've seen in almost 30 years of football.

2 months, 1 week ago on Conversation @ http://coltsauthority.com/2014-articles/eyes-in-the-backfield-colts-texans.html

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