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Yesterday's game is a microcosm for the Colts season up to this point and going forward. The '14 Colts are still the best team in the AFC South...which is like saying that the ugly girl you dated in college looked really good to you. You had to close your eyes sometimes but come Sunday night, you were still looking forward to seeing her next weekend .

Unfortunately, Ryan Grigson's FA signings are beginning to back up the toilet. The defense is littered with bad players like Jackson, Landry and Walden who would be decent situational subs but liabilities when they're on the field for every down. And let's face it, Bjorn Werner is never going to be an impact pass rusher which means that he's another 1st round bust (Jerry Hughes 2.0). His pass coverage is comical and yesterday looked like a guy who hadn't played much football before college (oh, wait...he really didn't, did he?). We have to give Grigson somewhat of a pass however because of his ability to draft impact WR's in later rounds. That's good because he's terrible at signing FA WR's.

There aren't enough superlatives for Andrew Luck. Despite the tatooing he takes every game, he gets up and stabs opponents in the heart with brilliant plays. Among others, Cherilus was playing matador all day long (and has been a liability in pass protection all year) but Luck ignores that and takes the hits anyways. Can you imagine if he had had Big Ben's pocket yesteday, he'd have thrown 6 TD's too.

I'm getting tired of saying it but the NFL has an officiating crisis on its hands. The PI calls are so arbitrary from one play to the next, no DB knows what's legal and what's not. WR's know this and embellish whenever they can to get a call. Butler was flagged even though he made a perfect play by stripping Antonio Brown once he caught the ball. Brown jumped up with hands upturned as though he'd just been grabbed in the gonads. This is typical of every NFL game I've watched this season. It's an epidemic and is making even Mike Carey blush!

2 days, 23 hours ago on Conversation @


Good analysis Nate. You hit the nail on the head about the officiating. The Colts have had some truly bizarre calls go against them (horse collar anyone?) and yesterday was just a continuation. When Rich Gannon knows more about the rules than you do, you shouldn't be a ref in the NFL.

But you should've mentioned Griff Whalen's ridiculously bad game. He had no business trying to advance the ball on the fumble play. It should've been a clear fair catch. And then, as if to redeem himself, he takes a kickoff with one foot almost on the back line of the end zone and gets all the way to the 10 yard line! There has to be somebody smarter than that who can return kicks.

3 weeks, 3 days ago on Conversation @


Laron Landry was the worst player on the field last night. He is incapable in pass coverage and missed several (by my count) tackles. What a shambles that safety position is. It's not like Grigson didn't have opportunities to address it in the offseason. The 2014 draft was a disaster (did you see Moncrief make any plays? I didn't think so).

1 month, 3 weeks ago on Conversation @


The Colts had managed to overcome bad calls and bounces before but, as long-time fans know, if something bad is going to happen, it's going to happen in Foxboro. (I had forgotten about the missed trip on Luck). What if the ref (the officiating in the NFL is in crisis situation) had ruled the Pats punter attempted to make a forward pass? Wouldn't the Colts have had the ball on the 2 yard line? 

Well, let's face it...the calls didn't affect Pagano and staff's complete lack of preparedness at the beginning of this game (and at least 10 games this year!). Everyone knew what the Pats were going to do in this game and somehow the Colts staff missed the memo. I'm having serious doubts about Chuck Strong's game-management skills. I mean, even Dan Dierdorf and the hot dog vendors knew that Chuck should've gone for it on 4th and 1!

9 months, 2 weeks ago on AFC Divisional Round Recap: Patriots 43, Colts 22


 @DougEngland Just a couple of things to keep in mind: Big Ben is an idiot and says a lot of ridiculous things so his opinion on BA is jaundiced. Also, Grigson isn't choosing to let Arians go. The Cardinals are hiring him to be the latest HC to fail in Phoenix otherwise he'd be back as OC in Indy. I won't speculate whether Grigson is happy that it worked out this way (of course he is, you dolt!).


Can't blame Arians for taking the job. His stock has never been higher and will certainly not remain so come this time next year so absolutely he should take the money and move to the desert. Wisenhunt took the Cards to a SB but couldn't sustain the success so if a guy a football smart as him can't keep his job in Arizona, Arians has no chance to turn the franchise around. I do wish him well because he's a good man and deserves a shot to earn the big bucks.

1 year, 9 months ago on Colts Monday Musings: Did the Cardinals do the Colts a Favor?


Am I the only one wondering how in world Fleener was rated higher than Allen? Unless he really comes on next year, Fleener could be a (high) 2nd round bust. He's big but he sure doesn't play like it. Allen is also a good blocker and will be an excellent receiver for years to come.

1 year, 9 months ago on How Andrew Luck Received no Help from his Receivers


If Simms wasn't so busy saying either "we were talking with...", "(anybody) was talking about..." or "last night, we were talking...", he might actually be talking about something comprehensible.

1 year, 9 months ago on 2012 NFL Broadcasting Grades & Recap


 @squirrel "What's wrong with Walter, Dude?"

1 year, 9 months ago on Colts Offseason Outlook: Should the Colts re-sign WR Donnie Avery?


As you said, the drop-off from Justice to Linkenbach was huge. But I think Justice was also a victim of "the fall-out" in pass blocking from his mediocre linemates. Sure, he got beat  on some straight speed rushes but any time the defense ran a stunt, there was at least one other Colt OL missing his assignment.

1 year, 9 months ago on Taking a look at Winston Justice


Nice analysis Ben. I'm having a hard time deciding whether the defense really played that well or whether the Texans could have been that bad. The plays you've highlighted show Houston breakdowns on every level. I mean Guy, Geathers and Westerman (his was wiped out by a penalty) getting sacks? Karim taking it to the house 101 yards? And what about the revelation that is Jerrelle Freeman? They were all undrafted free agents from out in the hinterland. Is Ryan Grigson really this smart?


Can't quibble with Vontae Davis though. He had an even better game than the stats show. Sure, A.J. got his numbers but what about those two brutal calls against Davis? The holding call on 3rd down and long deep in Colts territory was horrible. And I still haven't seen the interference he was called for earlier in the game when Houston was pinned deep in the own territory. He gets big props for overcoming those calls and still producing.


BTW, how did Johnson drop that wide-open pass in the end zone in the first half? Also, how did T.Y. Hilton not get credit for his first-half TD? The ball was at least a foot over the line when his knee his the ground.

1 year, 10 months ago on All 22 Analysis - Colts Defense, Week 17 - Texans.


Good analysis Greg. Couldn't agree more about the OL. It wasn't hard to see that the only room for Brown or Ballard was on the outside. And this against one of the worst run defenses in the league! If Luck can't get more time to throw, there's no hope of this offense getting points.


With Moala gone for the year, I think it's possible that my grandmother may be recruited to play DT for this team. Who the hell are they going to put in there. I'm assuming we'll see Chapman next Sunday?

1 year, 11 months ago on Colts Monday Musings: Special Special Teams, Defensive Defenses, and Offensive Offensive Lines


 @ManiacalOne  @DougEngland When Brady called timeout with less than 4 minutes to play and 52 points on the board just to avoid a delay of game, I couldn't believe it. The NFL Gods paid you back, Mr. Bundchen!

1 year, 11 months ago on Three Up, Three Down: Struggling to Find Players Who Played Well Against New England


Hate to keep banging away on Hughes but you're right, he's a terrible special teams player. He runs around blocks, never stays in his lane and hates making the first hit, just like on Edelman's punt return. However, I never thought I'd say this but he was actually better than Freeney on defense. #93 did his best Jerry Hughes impression all day.

1 year, 11 months ago on Three Up, Three Down: Struggling to Find Players Who Played Well Against New England


 @DougEngland This second half malaise that we've seen in every game except G.B is disturbing. Arians seems to flip his play chart upside down and go conservative. Props to the defense for shutting down the Browns running game but remember, we'd all be bitching and moaning if Josh Gordon doesn't drop that pass

2 years ago on Full Recap: Colts Win Ugly, 17-13 Over Browns | October


Any way that you spin it, Luck has been better than anyone except Peyton that they could have put under center this year. And, as you say, he is only going to get better. The difference between 0-6 and 3-3? Absolutely! But I, too, am concerned with the accuracy as Wayne, Avery and Fleener have turned badly thrown balls into receptions several times. The first couple of games, he looked fairly poised in the pocket but since the bye, he has been much more skittish back there. Maybe he's thinking too much? Anyways, it's still a blast to watch him play!

2 years ago on Colts Monday Musings: Coaching, Luck and Zbikowski | October


Sunday's performance by the defense leaves me shaking my head at the Packers. What the hell happened to them in the second half of Week 6? Sure it was at Lucas Stadium but Rodgers & Co. were completely shut down by the same bunch that was on the field against the Jets! How do you explain this? Ah, the NFL.


Zbikowski's signing was obviously a colossal mistake by Grigson. His Ravens connection got him this job and it was money badly spent. When you consider that the rest of the personnel on the field last week were essentially the second half lineup for the preseason games, they sorely needed him to be an impact player and he clearly is special teams material at best. And, for God's sake, don't regard Jerry Hughes' performance on Sunday as anything but a blip. He had an impact on only a few plays and the rest of the day he played his usual soft, run-around-the-block technique that leaves us scratching our heads.


Good work again Ben!

2 years ago on All-22 Analysis - Evaluating the Colts Defense, Week 6. | October


The defense was no different than their 4th quarter pre-season lineup. Once Redding went out, it couldn't have stopped a Santa Claus Parade. Zibkowski is useless. He hasn't made a single play all season. Freeman had another big game. He's a keeper. Can't wait until a few more healthy bodies come back.

2 years ago on Almost Instant Recap: Colts 9, Jets 35 | October


It would've been nice to have Freeney and Mathis on the field at the same time for a whole game but we'll have to wait another few weeks for the chance. In the meantime, it'll be the latest episode in the tragic "Jerry Hughes: NFL Bust" saga in which we witness a first round draft pick try to run around as many people without actually hitting anyone.

2 years ago on Hitchhiker's Guide to Colts at Jets, Week 6 | October


The Jets game will be the telltale game. If they win on Sunday against a stumbling but still talented team, it will give them the swagger they need to beat their next five opponents. But it's also highly possible that they shot their bolt against Green Bay and won't have the game to beat the Jets. Then the rest of the season could be an unpredictable mess that exposes all their weaknesses. Hang on tight, Colts fans!

2 years ago on Optimism vs. Reality | October


Great analysis as usual. Just a couple of comments:

I hope the honeymoon with Jerry Hughes and the 3 - 4 defense can finally be fed into the shredder. He's played in place of Freeney since the first series in the Bears game and he has a garbage sack and exactly 5 tackles. He is the softest DE I've ever seen and his "speed" is totally wasted on his terrible technique. He's not even a competent special teams player.

I think Freeman is a diamond in the rough. He was a beast in the CFL and has played extremely well considering he was thrown into the breach when Angerer went down. I'm prepared to cut him some slack and I think he will be at least the 2nd best LB'er on the team by year's end (if he can stay upright!).

2 years, 1 month ago on All-22 Analysis - Evaluating the Colts Defense, Week 3. | September


Look, this is exactly the moment that rash decisions shouldn't be made because everyone is furious and embarassed and frustrated and everything else. So I suggest, with a rational and lucid mind, GET RID OF CALDWELL FOR CRISSAKES! How much worse could it be if Tressel takes over the reins and cracks the whip with these guys? He'll still have the same shitty lineup that Polian has put together but at least we won't have to look at that "Deer in the Headlights" expression anymore!

3 years ago on After Review: Colts 7, Saints 62