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@EricDutil @dmstorm22 My mistake, good call. The 2013 draft looks even worse, then, as I forgot Werner was a 1st round pick.
You may be right about the draft league-wide, though.
3 months, 1 week ago on Conversation @ http://coltsauthority.com/2014-articles/eyes-in-the-backfield-patriots-45-colts-7.html
Thanks for the great writeup filled with good understanding and insight into why exactly the Colts lost.
As I really have nothing to say about this past game, I want to give my brief overall thoughts:
1.) Andrew Luck is a great QB. He isn't Top-5 yet just because the consistency isn't there, but he reminds me of a young Roethlisberger, with a higher ceiling. Since I considering Big Ben a criminally underrated QB destined for a deserving yellow jacket, this is not faint praise.
2.) The Coaching Staff gets it on offense. Sure, I would love some more creative play-calling, some more generic formations from which you can run everything (3-1-1 would be nice), but if the 2014 season taught me anything, it is that the 'we need to run the ball' line from the 2012 offseason is finally behind us. Pep gets it, Pagano gets it.
3.) The offense can play very well on its day, it just needs to have more days. The offense can be incredibly dynamic. TY Hilton is a great player, an all-around talent that can be Luck's Antonio Brown (to continue the Big Ben theory). Moncrief has so much room to improve. Fleener and Allen are being utilized well. Obviously the run game is a hole, but assuming they realize it is dumb to invest high picks in an RB, I'm fine with that. The O-line improved this season. They still have some bad games, but they are generally effective at run blocking, and kept Luck upright far more this season.
4.) The Secondary is good. Seriously, it is. Now, Toler is still a walking injury, and they need more depth, but Vontae was brilliant all season, and the safeties generally played good. It is really hard to judge them against top teams since the Colts had no pass rush, but I'll take that secondary performance every year.
1.) The 2013 draft may be a killer. The top two picks (including T-Rich) were healthy scratches. Khaled Holmes is JAG, but when your 4th round pick is your best player, and he's not that good, that is a problem. You need to capitalize on young talent, and basically whiffing on an entire draft will really hurt. Luck band-aids most problems, but this is not exactly a small problem
2.) The Coaching Game Management. I still don't think the Pagano/Pep tandem have really gotten game management down. It's not huge things, as I think Pagano has become a little more agressive, but they still aren't the best at maximizing a game to their advantage. My biggest gripe still is their insistence to not defer always.
3.) In some ways, it only becomes harder now. Yes, Andrew Luck will likely keep getting better, but he's also going to become a whole lot more expensive. The Colts have enough cap room to keep a lot of guys now, but soon that won't be the case. It becomes even more important to get 1-2 quality players from each draft. A 2013-type draft is far worse if it comes four years from now.
Still, the team got better. Yes, this loss to New England was far worse than last year's, but over the course of 19 games, this team was better than the one that ended 2013. It still gave us 13 'Happy Sunday's', and it gave us the continuing rise of Luck.
Just know deep down in your hearts that while the Pats beat us badly, we still have the brighter future because we have a #12 that won't be gone within three years. That AFC looks mighty winnable, it may just be waiting to 2016 for that to happen.
@Nate Dunlevy @dmstorm22 @Platinum We will. I will agree to agree that the throw to Clark is right up there, so was a seam throw to Clark in the 1st half with Adalius Thomas right at Manning, the PM fit right in before Ed Reed hammered Clark.
I think that was Manning at his smartest, but not his best. Hard to really fault the guy considering how ridiculously talented that Ravens defense was that year.
Ed Reed should send film of himself in that game to the HOF.
3 months, 2 weeks ago on Conversation @ http://coltsauthority.com/2014-articles/eyes-in-the-backfield-colts-24-broncos-13.html
@Platinum @dmstorm22 I will agree that the Ravens themselves have a high opinion of Peyton that day (both Ray Lewis, and Rex Ryan), but as someone who's watched that game a lot (really fascinated by the chess-match) I'll put it this way.
In the mental game, Peyton was brilliant. He diagnosed blitzes, he quick-snapped, he hard counted to see the blitz, he did all of that. In terms of what physically happened, he was lucky to not get picked off 3-4 times. Maybe they still win because the defense and running game were good, but while Peyton did have his moments (that Clark throw you mention was fantastic), the Colts needed the defense and running game to step up.
Nate, I love Eyes, and I've enjoyed your work for a long time, but I've also fought back on this for a long time: Peyton Manning was at best average in the 2006 Divisional in Baltimore.
Yes, both of his INT's were essentially punts (though the first one only went ~30 yards iirc), but he had two other awful short throws that should have been picked if not for Ray Lewis tipping it in front of awaiting arms of Ravens (McAlister and Reed), and a few other absolutely awful throws to no one.
There is one thing Manning did brilliantly in that game: diagnose the blitz. That Ravens team had 60 sacks, and got to Manning once. He read the Ravens blitz perfectly, but it didn't result in anything much. They won really because Manning did make a few giant plays, and the run game somehow got 100 yards, and the defense was great. I love Manning as much as anyone, he was not the reason the Colts won that game. Luck played better yesterday than Manning did in '06, opponent adjustments included.
Other than that, looks like your 'We saw an Injury' point was well-founded, as it comes out that Manning has a more serious quad injury than people knew. I think that release itself indicates he'll likely be back next year.
That was the best game the Colts have played against a good team since probably their Denver game last season. The coaching staff is just great, especially with the limitations in their talent.
A key player in this game could be Hakeem Nicks. He was great for the Giants against NE in SB XLVI, and if he's healthy and motivated, can win the matchup with Browner. His rise has been huge for this offense. The Colts have a chance, and I'll take a chance.
I think all teams involved other than NE are rooting for Colts at #3 and Ravens at #4. BAL definitely would rather play NE than go to Denver. Colts probably want no part of New England. The Broncos would probably want the team more likely to beat New England go to New England. And the Pats get the hard matchup! It works perfectly!.... so of course it won't happen.
4 months, 2 weeks ago on Conversation @ http://coltsauthority.com/2014-articles/who-to-root-for-week-15-2.html
@Platinum @AJ_ They'll have to play at least one. I think the other AFC teams in this mix (other than CIN) could potentially go to Foxboro or Denver and win. They have the type of team that could give either trouble.
We've seen Baltimore do it three times before (should have been four times), and KC and MIA can win there. They would match up better with NE then Indy can.
5 months, 1 week ago on Conversation @ http://coltsauthority.com/2014-articles/eyes-in-the-backfield-patriots-42-colts-20.html
Couple immediate takeaways that I had from this game:
1.) Pagano and Manusky can scheme defense really well, and they'll need to: The Colts pass rush has been a revelation the past three weeks. Some of that was taking on an awful o-line in Jacksonville, but Baltimore and Houston are passable o-lines, and the Colts pass rush dominated them. A lot of it is scheme and formulating pressure, which Pagano probably brought from Baltimore. We can say that we are seeing the growth of Bjorn Werner, but I think we are seeing the growth of Pagano and Manusky. They'll let the offense be, but that defense is now doing exactly what it needs to. When you factor in a defensive TD and a short field for the 2nd TD, the points allowed don't look nearly as bad yesterday.
2.) Pep's love of disparate formations is really grating: I can't fault Pep too much since that offense is playing well, but does he know that you can run out of a 3-WR set? I hate his love of these big 3-TE formations that end up with either a run for nothing, or a pass on 2nd and 10 that will gain max 6 yards. I'm not asking for an all-time 3-WR or 2/2 like Manning used to run, but it would be nice if there was more middle ground between empty backfield and 3-TE.
3.) This team is good and it knows who it is: You can be bad and craft and know who you are (2012 Colts), and you can be somewhere in the middle and not play to your strengths despite being good (2013), but what you need to be is what the Colts are now. They know their strengths and play to them. They know their weaknesses and avoid playing to them. They are firing on all cylinders right now. My favorite Colts possession yesterday was one that ended with the FG to make it 27-14. The Texans had scored two quick TDs and were threatening to get close in the 1st half, and the Colts went on a brilliant drive that ate up basically all the 1st half and scored again. That is shoving a team down. Now, the Texans did come back, but the defense stepped up in a way I wouldn't have expected in 2012-13. Great, great win.
On to Cincy.
6 months, 2 weeks ago on Conversation @ http://coltsauthority.com/2014-articles/eyes-in-the-backfield-colts-texans.html
The defense was fantastic. Coverage was tight. Probably the best game I have seen Toler play as a Colt, given that his DPI was BS.
Werner was great. Excellent scheming of pressure by Pagano/Manusky. They'll need to keep this level going forward if they're going to do anything on defense. The Ravens are not a great offensive team, but they've looked rather good the last three weeks. They looked inept here.
Really nitpicky, but I believe Bjöern Werner should either be spelled: Björn or Bjoern.
6 months, 3 weeks ago on Conversation @ http://coltsauthority.com/2014-articles/week-5-report-card-colts-vs-ravens.html
@Nate Dunlevy @dmstorm22 Ah, ok. You're probably right.
As for the game, it is amazing how ill-prepared the Jaguars seemed for anything the Colts were going to do.
My only real complaint from yesterday is the Colts, or more accurately Pep and Chuck, still believing that their base offense should either be a heavy personnel with 3TEs and 1WR, or 5-wide.
Can't they just run 2-2-1 or 3-1-1 like a normal team?
7 months, 1 week ago on Conversation @ http://coltsauthority.com/2014-articles/eyes-in-the-backfield-colts-44-jaguars-17.html
The crew was indeed awful, but what was wrong with them saying it was the 'Jaguars home opener'?
I so want to be with you on that pick Nate. Nothing would make me happier. I've not cared about the result of a playoff game this much since that fateful day that Manning just missed Blair White in January 2011.
My key for the Colts offense is Fleener/Brazill/Whalen winning against the depth corners and backup linebackers of New England. Those are matchups the Colts can win, and if they do, they can keep up with the Patriots.
On the other side, they need that high-variance defense to play somewhere in the right tail, especially on rush defense. I don't think this current version of hte Patriots can run away with this game unless their rush offense dominates.
In the end, I'm going with the Patriots 27-21, but I think they'll keep it respectable. If the Colts do pull the upset, though? It would be an amazing moment, and a great one as the Pats fans will know that their days of beating the Colts are about done.
1 year, 3 months ago on Eyes in the Backfield: Patriots
I too think the Cardinals will win, and I thought before the season even when I thought the Cards would be a 6-10 team. That defense is really good, and better than that at home. They have good players at all three levels. They won't let the Colts come back if they fall 14 down again.
The positive for the Colts is this is the game that they can most afford to lose: an NFC game. They still have just two conference losses (one less than Cincinnati, same with New England). Unless the Patriots go unbeaten the rest of the way (possible, I guess), the Colts can lose this and still be in full control of their destiny in terms of getting the #2 seed.
1 year, 5 months ago on Eyes in the Backfield: Cardinals
@smonroe They also beat the Lions and Panthers at home earlier in the year, holding them to 21 and 6.
@Nate Dunlevy @7IHd SOV might easily be a tiebreaker between the Colts and Patriots.
Both have two AFC losses. Right now, the Colts have a loss to a common opponent (Miami), while Indianapolis can even that out with either a win over Cincinnati or a New England loss to Denver. If one of those two happen and they finish with the same record, the tiebreaker will be SoV.
I believe the Colts will have an advantage there, though, with wins over Denver, Seattle helping them greatly.
1 year, 5 months ago on Who to Root For: Week 12
I hate the fact the Colts had to have a bye right after the Broncos win. I would have picked them to win easily if not for the bye.
Losing Wayne hurts, obviously, but I'm really afraid about how the Colts choose to replace that production. My greatest fear is that if Luck struggles (and given the ability of Houston's defense, that is far from impossible), the Colts become more run heavy than even before. The Colts cannot fall into the trap of believing that losing Wayne means losing their passing game. I don't know if they will, but I don't have too much confidence that they won't.
The Colts defense should be good in this game, but the Texans receivers have played well this year. Case Keenum actually looked decent on the road against a better defense. They may play up for this home game. I'm just nervous about this game, really. The Colts are definitely a better team, and it feels great that they can afford to lose this game (both with the soft schedule ahead and the Texans being three games back). I don't think they will, though.
One last point, I think the Titans are the only real worry in the division. With Locker back, and maybe more healthy after their bye, they are the best team in the division other than the Colts. With both Titans games left, those are the only ones that scare me.
1 year, 5 months ago on Hitchhiker's Guide to Colts at Texans, NFL Week 9
My big fear is that Pep believes this. That they think it is because of the running game, and now with Wayne gone they turn to the running game even more, instead of putting it all on Andrew Luck. I'll wait to see if this actually happens, but I can see if Luck struggles without Wayne against Houston (still a decent to good defense) that they commit fully to the run. It's bad when I'm preemptively scared of what Pep might do.
1 year, 6 months ago on The BP Watch: The Colts Are Not 5-2 "Because They Are Run-First"
Did Nate ghostwrite this? Because it was incredible.
JK, of course. Greg, this was awesome. A great look back at Peyton's role in building this team, building the Colts as an organization. Peyton's legacy shouldn't be forgotten. I wan the Colts to win, but I still want Manning doing well. #18 is to Indianapolis what #19 (Untias) is to the earlier vintage of the Colts, or what Montana is to San Francisco. At least he should be. This game should have never happened. Peyton should never have had to return to Indianapolis in another uniform. But his own body failed him, the worst irony of it all.
I love Andrew Luck, but I lived Peyton Manning. I don't know what that means (it probably means nothing, along with being grammatically wrong), but it means something.
1 year, 6 months ago on Hitchhiker's Guide to What Peyton Manning Means to Me
Big game. Had this penciled in as a loss before the season started (I had the Seahawks game as a win - had them 4-1 coming into this game, but losing to SF), and I still think they lose. The one at least decent pocket passer they faced was Tannehill (who can run well, unlike Rivers who can run like a sloth), who played pretty well. The SD defense is bad, but I think they're better than DVOA says they are. Honestly, they should be 3-2 if not for that ridiculous semi-Hail Mary by Tennessee, and even their collapse against Houston probably should have been a win.
I hate as much as any Colts fan, but Philip Rivers has been really good this season. Just judging by 2013 play alone, he's right there with Luck for 2nd best QB in the AFC, and actually has a healthy lead on him in most conventional stats and Football Outsiders' advanced stats (Rivers is 2/2 in DVOA/DYAR, while Luck is 8/7). Good thing is the Colts play pass defense pretty well, but I don't think they've played someone like this.
I think teh Colts lose a tough game, maybe 27-24 or 30-27, that type. They're too good to get blown out, but I don't see the Chargers as being as bad as a 2-3 team. Playing Rivers, though, is excellent preperation for the Human Kaiju that is entering the Luke the following Sunday night.
Oh, and I hated Danny Woodhead to all ends as a Patriot, but him having success in San Diego while Brady is throwing to LeGarrete Blount as his 3rd down back brings me a lot of joy.
1 year, 6 months ago on Hitchhiker's Guide to Colts at Chargers, NFL Week 6
I bring this up just because they are who we are facing next, but Philip Rivers has a good argument for #2 in AFC above Luck. I don't have PFF premium stats, but he's way ahead in both DYAR and DVOA. Rivers has a lead of 658 to 244 in DYAR and 35.9% to 9.3% in DVOA. QBR is close but Rivers is slightly ahead there.
We can't even use the talent around him angle because Luck has better talent around him with Malcolm Floyd out for the year. Rivers' resurgence is one of the more under reported stories this year (he's hurt by going 2-3, but one loss was a hail mary, the other was a fluke collapse against Houston). It's close, I would put Luck 3rd after Rivers and Manning, who is basically playing a different sport.
The good news is Rivers is past his prime. There is no one in the AFC with the possible exception of Ryan Tannehill that is under 30 and close to Luck's ability. That is the best part. Come 2016, Peyton, Brady, Rivers, Ben, Schaub will be gone, and the only people that can match up to Luck aren't in the NFL right now.
1 year, 6 months ago on Crazy Talk
Great stuff Kyle. Jerrell Freeman had an awesome, awesome game. Unbelievable closing speed on that 4th down stop of Russell Wilson. Honestly, I don't think the Seahawks did anything on designed Zone-Read runs that WIlson kept.
As for Luck, that throw to Hilton on the 2nd TD was Manning-esque. The one complaint I have with him is for someone who can throw balls like that, he still is too inaccurate overall. But that will grow over time, I hope.
Finally, because it needs to be said for the eleventy quintillionth time, TY Hilton needs to be the #2.
1 year, 6 months ago on GIFtastic: The Colts Beat Seattle and Andrew Luck is Amazing
Oh yeah, one more point about officiating, I believe the games officials get are pretty much random in the regular season. I believe there are restrictions on how many times someone can officate a certain team, but who gets bigger games in the regular season is random.
Ron Winter is just so bad. The Colts did get some of the benefit (Butler's Holding/DPI on the last drive was pretty blatant), so I won't complain too much, but how he's kept his job is beyond me.
1 year, 6 months ago on Monday Morning Moaner: Colts vs Seahawks
Agree with basically everything, especially that Hilton should be the #2 receiver. I feel like the Colts try to typecast their offense. They need the little speedy guy as the #3 receiver. They need a FB (even two!). They need their blocking TE. They need their 2nd receiver who's basically like the #1 receiver but 30% worse at everything. So far it has worked well enough, but limiting Hilton's snap count is one of the more ridiculous parts of this offense.
Anyway, Luck rebounded from another slow start to play pretty well. I've never seen anyone who can throw absolutely perfect passes (that 2nd TD to Hilton was Peyton-esque) but be so erratic with his accuracy at times. The Seahawks defense as scary in coverage to start so I don't want to pin too much on Luck, but at least he moved on from that 1-6 start.
It is amazing this team is 4-1, tied for the #2 seed, having won two of the, what, four toughest games on teh schedule. I still think DEN beats them soundly (that DEN defense will be getting Von Miller back just in time for teh Colts game), but they can hang with anyone in the NFL. That defense was way too aggressive and undisciplined, but overall it is a good defense. Good enough to win in this league. Can't wait to continue this ride.
@vivafernando Of course, Rafa is defending a tidy 0 points at the OZ Open and Wimbledon, and none at Miami either.
1 year, 8 months ago on tennis.com - The Grand Stories: The Summer of Rafa
I haven't read it yet (just downloaded it), but flipped through the first few pages, and my word does it look amazing.
It is hard to believe that something of this level, visually, could be done by two handfuls of 'bloggers'. I had nothing to do with it, but even I feel a sense of pride (although that probably says more about me). Congrats to all of you.
I'll probably post again when I read the Annual, but first impressions are important and it looks absolutely fantastic. And, I say this in the most endearing way possible, but considering what 18to88 (my introduction into Colts blog-dom) looked like at the outset, it is kind of unbelievable that Nate, and the rest of the CA staff, could be involved in something this visually appealing./already ready to apologize for the jab, DZ
Can't wait to truly crack it open!
1 year, 8 months ago on The 2013 Colts Authority Annual
1 year, 8 months ago on Announcing the Colts Authority Annual
ESPN's Tennis coverage has almost always been great. For me, their best work used to be the Australian Open, mostly because since the live stuff was all about 8PM and later (with the prime matches at 3:30 AM), ESPN didn't care enough to spice it up. Instead, they just sent down their best guys and let them take control and give great coverage.
Since, ESPN has acquired rights to all slams and while there have been missteps like the Hannah Storm experiment, they've made the coverage at all the slams about as good as Oz.
1 year, 9 months ago on Silence is golden for ESPN booth during Andy Murray's Wimbledon triumph
So many problems with the Top 100 thing. First, they do it every year, and while I don't mind seeing Lindsay (Soto) Rhodes on TV, the amount of airtime given to this list on NFLN defines self-serving television.
Also, I don't think we know of any actual star player who has ever admitted to voting on this list.
There are way too many skill position players, especially receivers. 18! There is no way that nearly one fifth of the best players in the NFL are wide receivers. Then, RGIII at 15, and also Luck being at 23, are just way too high for one year players.
Personally, as for the three QBs, I'm fine with Peyton at #2 and Peyton being the top ranked QB. He was, to me, the best QB in the NFL last year. What shocks me is the players putting Brady in front of Rodgers. I guess the knock on Rodgers was his 2012 season wasn't as good as his historic, absurdly awesome 2011 season, but then Brady dropped off as well.
Anyway, the only NFLN Top 100 I gave a damn about was their 'Top 100 Players of All Time" they did back during the 2010 season, which had Peyton Manning at #8 (highest ranked active player), which was compiled by sportswriters, front office types, retired players. That list was way better and way more evenly distributed across every position than these Top 100 of 20XX lists.
1 year, 10 months ago on A Few Comments on the NFL 100 List- AFC South Style
The gun culture in the NFL is ridiculous. I just hope he had the gun for protection and not for any other possible shady business.
1 year, 10 months ago on Colts Safety Joe Lefeged Arrested on Gun Charges, Fleeing Police
@Colt_Following Agree, the latter half of the season is really great. I too was disappointed with the way the first half was shot, with the stories coexisting but rarely overlapping, especially in teh George Sr. episodes (have to say, I loved Michael's second episode, The B. Team), but after that is out of the way, it gets back to really, really good.
1 year, 11 months ago on Revenge of the #CATweetbag
The 49ers number makes sense to me. From my admittedly amateur eye, I though Kap struggled with tight throws and struggled with throwing to covered receivers. I think Scott Kacsmar ran something a while ago about how Kap was way more successful throwing before the end zone and having the receiver cross the goal line than throw in the end zone.
This was notable in teh Super Bowl, where he throw totally uncathable balls, panicking after getting hurried quickly.
Surprised the Broncos were as low as they were. Me thinks Welker may help that number go up.
1 year, 11 months ago on Series Introduction: 2012 Redzone Performance
Really liked this. It really is bunk. I can't even think of too many notable examples of this happening. Matt Ryan is probably the best example, but it's not like his game just fell apart.
I think many people equate the performance not getting markedly better to 'slumping'. Take Cam Newton. First off, there was no way he was doing what he did in 2011, but his performance didn't actually get any worse. It just didn't get much better. Getting better at QB takes time. We've never seen someone dominate from Day 1.
1 year, 11 months ago on The Sophomore Slump: Fact or Fiction?
@TrueBlue I think studies have shown that the greatest increase comes between years 1-2 and years 4-5. The 4-5 thing is amazing if you look at some recent QBs.
Eli Manning's fifth season in the NFL was 2008. Since 2008, he's been statistucally a good to very good QB, while before that he was bad to average.
Tom Brady's fifth season in the NFL was 2004. Starting in 2004, Tom Brady's been Tom Brady, a sure-fire hall of famer. Before that, he was Tom Brady, a game manager who's defense won the Patriots two Super Bowls.
Ben Roethlisberger's fifth season was 2008, and while his 2008 season was a step down from 2007, 2008 was the first time he didn't have a dependable running game, and starting then he really took his game up a level.
Even Peyton had it, with 2002 being his 5th season, and it was a big step up from 2001 (although his 1999-2000 seasons were great). Rodgers had it too, but then his fourth season was his first as a starter.
Finally, last year was both Matt Ryan and Joe Flacco's fifth year. Ryan had his best year of his career, and Flacco did what he did.
So, basically, I can't wait for 2016.
@Bobman1 Despite his good seasons in 2006 & 2007, one of the biggest what-if's for me of the 2000s is 'What if Kimo von Olhoffen doesn't shred Palmer's knee?'. It wasn't a joke to say that Carson Palmer was the 3rd best QB in the NFL heading into those 2005 playoffs. His '05 season was really great. That Bengals team was a lot of fun (not the tired mess they became later in the Chad era).
Of course, my least favorite part of the what if is that if Palmer doesn't have his ACL torn and completes the game and the Bengals win, the Colts probably win the Super Bowl that year.
@Kyle Rodriguez @dmstorm22 @naptown_ninja Yeah, the joke wasn't as clean as I had hoped.
I do think rollouts are a good idea, but I'm usually against cutting out part of the field on a rollout, but if they can run them close to as effectively as Houston did I'm all for it. I don't know if they have the o-line for it, though.
1 year, 11 months ago on Pep Hamilton's Quotes Misreported, Cause Unnecessary Angst
@Kyle Rodriguez @naptown_ninja I would hate to have him run designed rollouts. He's not used to throwing on the run when there aren't four defensive players closing in on him. All that open space may be a little distracting for him.
@LovinBlue I love how Brad Wells didn't talk about the rest of the statement, "There's nothing we cant do.... we can incorporate Ricky Jean-Francois at guard, have Reggie Wayne play with his 'Wayne Construction' helmet, run the Flying-V from the Mighty Ducks movies, release Peyton Effing Manning, run bubble screens with Wesely Saunders, run home-run throwback on every kick return"
/yes, I'm still bitter about #18
/that last one might be interesting.
@matt_has Don't give me too much credit. Haven't gone back and watched it yet. At some point I will. Have watched every Colts playoff loss in the Manning (and now Luck) era more than once, other than Super Bowl XLIV. Not sure why I won't watch that one, when I did watch the '05 PIT and '08 SD losses (which hurt me more at the time). Hell, I even have seen the New England losses again.
2 years, 3 months ago on The Clock Finally Struck Midnight: Colts 9, Ravens 24
@matt_has Might be. I didn't really notice either TE much. Will go back and watch the game and I'll make sure to look out for the TEs.
In a way, I'm happy they lost here. Avoided some really conflicted feelings with Manning playing the Colts in the playoffs (the one thing I never wanted to see when 18 was cut), and also avoided another likely blowout.
Overall, because of the schedule I thought this team might have a shot at 7 wins, I never expected this. Andrew Luck is as good as advertised. TY Hilton is a great talent. Vick Ballard is a solid running back. Dwayne Allen, who admittedly was invisible today, had a great rookie season. Just a great draft class.
Today, we lost to a better team, but the Colts can easily be where the Ravens are next year. They aren't far away, definitely well ahead of the '4-year rebuild' Jimmy had drawn up. This team needs more of an identity on defense (sadly, part of this is getting rid of Freeney and getting players that fit the scheme better), but they already have one on offense. The o-line obviously has to get better, but to me Luck is a Roethlisberger type who is never going to get rid of the ball quickly. I think he's not a guy who is going to make his o-line look better, but aside from health concerns, play your game Andrew.
Can't complain about this season, and I know that many Colts fans will be bitter, or won't care, but now I can, without any internal conflict, go root for that gentleman in Denver.
Underrated aspect of the drinking game, you will be dead by the Seahawks-Redskins game, so you won't have to listen to them wax poetic about how Russell Wilson and/or RGIII are the greatest rookie QBs EVAR.
2 years, 3 months ago on Eyes in the Backfield: Ravens
Not sure who wrote that point, but I have to disagree. The reason that Cam won the OROTY award last season so easily was that there was no competition. Andy Dalton got the other three votes, but was worse in every category and went to a better team (and had another high production rookie in AJ Green).
Luck may be better than RGIII and Russell Wilson, but it is definitely more debatable than saying that Andy Dalton (or any other rookie) was better than Cam last year.
Personally, I would go with Luck because RGIII missed some games (which should count for something), and Russell Wilson went to a dramatically better team (the Seahawks were 8-8 last season, and deservedly so, and have a lot of talent everywhere).
2 years, 4 months ago on Eyes in the Backfield: Chiefs
I can't believe how close we are to getting the scenario I wanted about a month ago, with the Colts going to Baltimore, the Patriots losing their bye and maybe hosting Pittsburgh, and Denver at the #2.
All is well.
Would love to see the Colts wrap things up in KC next week to take any added pressure away from a potential Pagano return in two weeks.
2 years, 4 months ago on The Indianapolis Colts Path to the Playoffs: Who to Root For, Week 16
@GregC @DougEngland Here are the teams I would pick to beat the Colts if they play this weekend:
Houston (I guess we get to test this on Sunday)
New York Giants
Other Teams That I would Pick
Pittsburgh (with Ben healthy)
Cincinnati (Geno Atkins would kill Luck)
Some That are on that level
So I would say that to me, there are 11 teams that are better than the Colts. Then a few that are around as good. Then a lot that are worse. They are far from the worst team to make the playoffs recently, as I would definitely put the '12 Colts ahead of the '10 Seahawks.
2 years, 4 months ago on The Indianapolis Colts Path to the Playoffs: Who to Root For, Week 15
@bradicus18 @DougEngland I think there are a couple of NFC teams that can beat them. I think SF matches up well (we'll see this Sunday Night), but I really think Green Bay or New York can beat the Pats in a potential Super Bowl.
Any team with multiple receiving targets can give the Patriots trouble, and the Packers and Giants have three or four, and great QBs to boot. They should be able to do work against that Patriots secondary. They also have decent defenses. The Packers defensive improvement this year is quite a bit, and the Giants defense just knows how to frustrate that New England offense.
But yeah, unless Ben gets completely healthy, i can only see one team beating New England in the AFC, and that is Denver.
But then again, the Jets lost a Week 13 game in Foxboro 45-3, and won a playoff game six weeks later.
@Colt_Following I hope I didn't sound ungrateful. I thoroughly enjoyed the analysis. I actually found it amazing how close they are in conventional statistics in many areas. I also loved you using yards-per-point, which is a stat I used in a regression class to write a paper on.
I definitely want it to be Ravens/Colts, because as you said, it has a chance of being close, and there are no outside competing rooting interests in the game.
2 years, 4 months ago on Josh Boeke Breaks Down Potential Colts’ Playoff Matchups - Colts vs. Ravens
Great job with the research for something that could be irrelevant. I think the Ravens can easily slip to the #4 seed, but with the Steelers winning last week, they have a chance to run the table if Ben comes back, and get the #5 seed.
Anyway, I think the one mitigating factor to this analysis using full season stats is the Colts are markedly worse on the road, and Baltimore is markedly better at home. That last game was their first home loss since December 2010. That is a tough place to play.
It definitely is the best chance for the Colts to win a playoff game, though.
Do you know the best part of the 2012 Colts? That none of it mattered for me.
The Colts could have gone 4-12, but if Andrew Luck and some of the other rookies played well, I wouldn't have cared too much. Instead, they are 8-4 and Andrew Luck looks great, and the other rookies by and large look quite good as well.
The rest of the season is gravy for me. I don't care that the Colts pulling out these games in the regular season just makes it more and more certain that the Colts are set up to be blasted 34-13 in the playoffs. Who cares, really? This season wasn't about the playoffs. I don't care if the Colts are playoff pretenders in 2012. I never expected them to be 'playoff anything' in 2012.
My only hope is that we draw Baltimore. I still think the Pats lose one of the next two games, and the Broncos win out and get the #2 seed. My guess is the Colts end up with the #5 seed, which is probably a draw against Baltimore. Please let this happen.
2 years, 4 months ago on Colts Monday Musings: These Colts Aren't Playoff Worthy
@AJ_ @paulcareyjr Yeah, and despite his emotional exit, I am pretty sure Manning wants to stick it to Irsay.
@LovinBlue I find this fascinating. For years, Colts fans pointed to stats to defend why Manning was better than the (at that time) statistically inferior, but more successful in terms of wins, Tom Brady. Now, the tables have turned. It is interesting that statiscally, both RGIII and Russell Wilson have been 'better' this season, but I'm in the camp that thinks Luck is the best player.
I have two counters. First is that Luck is a rookie. I will find the pumping up of Luck with these 'eye test' defenses much more grating in Year 5. I think most of us believe that as the team grows, Luck statistically will approach what we all think he will be.
The second is that we aren't using a purely qualitative argument. The statistics that we can point to are more intangible, but meaningful, like the fact that Luck throws further downfield than any other QB, deflating his stats. The fact that Luck is inheriting a 2-14 team (while Wilson inherited a 7-9 team, RGIII a 5-11 team). Luck' advanced stats show him as a better player than his conventional stats (of course, both RGIII and WIlson now have higher DVOA's, which is my advanced stat of choice).
I do find it interesting that even Nate, who for years defended Manning using purely statistical arguments, wrote a column extolling Luck's brilliance yesterday without mentioning one single statistic. Is it that we all look for confirmation bias? I don't know, but I do see some similarities between what we all are saying now and what Pats fans said years and years ago.