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Superb post, Ben. Very clear and informative. The first gif, with the Castonzo-to-Reitz-to-Satele handling of the stunt is an absolute thing of beauty.
9 months, 3 weeks ago on CA Charting Project: Charting the Colts' Offensive Line, Week 14
Coaches with a clue? First halves that don´t rival NE for mediocrity?
9 months, 3 weeks ago on A Colts Authority Christmas Wishlist, Part 1
If you were to ask me, "in a vaccum, what team between Miami, Cincy, Baltimore, NE, KC and Denver would be the most favorable matchup for the Colts this year?", no doubt I´d reply KC, for all the reasons AJ_outlined above. But I´ve stopped trying to project how playoffs games will go. Sure, given the structural constraints (as in Pagano´s headspace) placed on this team, the ideal scenario is one where the Colts are losing by 10 midway through the 3rd quarter, so that the other team sacrifices some of its efficiency, while Pep puts the game in Luck´s hands. But the postseason is just too much of an inebriated creature to root for that scenario, already unpredictable to begin with.
9 months, 3 weeks ago on Who to Root For: Week 15
Apparently Hamilton has been given 3 mandates by Pagano. Protect Luck, run the ball and get TDs. It´s a recipe for disaster to constrain the passing game like that. I´m no fan of Hamilton, but isn´t it clear to everyone by now that Grigson and Pagano believe in their run-first philosophy?
9 months, 3 weeks ago on Too Little, Too Late: Colts Fall to Bengals 42-28
If only Grigson had hung up immediately upon hearing the name Trent Richardson, you mean. It´s clear the Browns knew perfectly well what they were doing, and that they fleeced the Colts.
AJ_, he not only dropped back in coverage, but it was while covering Giovani Bernard.
@authorbeard Irsay is now a verb.
11 months, 2 weeks ago on Colts fans talk about Peyton Manning
@authorbeard Loved this. All of it.
@Fondue @Goéland @DougEngland Outstanding comment, Fondue. This a thousand times.
11 months, 2 weeks ago on Hitchhiker's Guide to What Peyton Manning Means to Me
@pierrezombie I wish I could like (intensely deplore) your comment two hundred times.
11 months, 2 weeks ago on Eyes in the Backfield: Broncos
@GarrisonCarr @Lell87 There should definitely a book dedicated to the Peyton Manning-shaped feelings of Colts fans. I´m serious. If it´s a foregone conclusion that books will be written about Cleveland in the aftermath of the "taking my talents" debacle, it´s even more natural to want to see all everything about this situation compiled. The way this happened (no bitterness whatsoever on the part of the fans, the health uncertainty, the Luck factor, the 2012-2013 Peyton Manning Owns the NFL Tour, the fact that as you detailed there was no chance for a goodbye on the field) is pretty much unprecedented in sports. I´m pretty much certain there´s enough material for a book with only the CA writers and regulars to begin with.
Thanks, Greg, for giving voice to these 3 fans, and thanks to the 3 of them for sharing such intimate feelings with all of us. Nate, I was so touched by your words about that one moment when you truly, truly realize it could be much, much worse, and you can´t ever forget afterwards, and the way it changes everything; you then carry it with you, close and pained. Jared, reading about you screaming stubbornly at those kids who taunted you with the "Count on losing this sunday" almost brought tears to my eyes, because as a kid these things hurt so damn much, and now, who would ever say that about the Colts? It´s thanks to Peyton Manning that no kid from Indy has had to cry this way in a long, long time. And Garrison, your whole piece resonated so much with me (ah, the entire litany of Peyton Manning moments, that are so singularly distinguishable each and all, and etched upon our hearts), and I´ll cherish it for a long time. Thanks so much to all of you.
It´s great to see an article of yours, Brett. I happen not to share your point of view, but bradicus18 has already stated perfectly well most of what I think (except I´m personally not sold on Richardson´s abilities at all).
11 months, 2 weeks ago on In Football, the Best Team Identity is a Flexible One
@pierrezombie I can´t even like your reply, pierrezombie, because it hurts too much to even imagine it. Only thing that consoles me is that in his press conference on Wednesday, Peyton (in full possession of the knowledge of what Irsay had said) reiterated that he had enjoyed being OUR quarterback when asked about whether he had a message for Colts fans.
@pierrezombie And there´s also the fact that defense has proved to be more variable year to year, whereas with a great offense, you maintain more continuity in performance. All in all, it looks like the wake-up call is poised to be brutal.
@pierrezombie Perfectly said, and seeing it couched like that, even more devastating.
11 months, 2 weeks ago on Coveting the Result, Overlooking the Journey
@pierrezombie Given that Nate thinks the presence of Marvin and Edge means there is indeed an intent to destabilize Peyton, then, we´re thinking that not only did Irsay disparage 14 years of Manning with the Colts in order to win 1 game, but that he also had no idea of how transparent his thought process would become because he doesn´t think thoroughly before he speaks? Great.
11 months, 2 weeks ago on Colts vs Broncos Notebook
@Fullbacks Win Championships Oh, I completely agree. I´m loving Gase´s work a lot this season, between the rapid-fire pace, the variations with personnel, formations and plays, and the end-zone creativity. Add to that Foxy, and maybe this will be the year Peyton isn´t hampered by his coaching staff´s conservatism (I´m salivating thinking about it).
11 months, 2 weeks ago on Breaking down the Colts-Broncos, Barnum and Bailey Circus Week With Derek Schultz, live tonight at 8pm
@pierrezombie One? What you think, I do too, so make that two votes.
11 months, 2 weeks ago on Machines Are Homeless, Peyton Is Not: The Complicated Tale of a City Gone Sideways
Oh, and if you haven´t read Mike Tanier ´s Game Riffs this week, check it out. The Bills at Dolphins paragraph is eerily reminiscent of the Richardson situation. An extract (about FA signing Mike Wallace):
Rationalization. "He is forcing safeties to play deep, which is totally
opening things up for Charles Clay. That's what you really want from
your highly-paid deep-threat receiver, after all: opportunities for your
@psvirsky @Goéland @hankster Not all of them. After all, I have Belichick and Kelly on my side... Oh crap, no wonder I´m in trouble.
@Kyle Rodriguez @Goéland @gizzardfanny @steveb19 Out of this world. Thanks for the data, Kyle.
Loved the post, Kyle, and it has impeccable timing too. In my case, like gizzardfanny, I can´t say I recognized myself in the descriptions above. For me, it´s mostly because sports offer the promise of a fair game, a field where the same rules apply to everybody and where merit, talent and luck create an alchemy that is literally irreproducible. Contrast that with what happens outside of the field, where rules are so stacked in favor of a few that the outcome is heavily predetermined in most of the cases, and so giving it your all doesn´t balance the scales. This gives sports, in my eyes, what amounts to a certain kind of nobility.
That´s why when this premise is violated, when a team is proven to have cheated, or when players act in a deliberately dirty way, it feels like my very covenant with sports has been called into question. Sports lose their entire meaning if wins are more important than triumphing in an equal fight. Titles acquired in those conditions become tainted in my mouth ever after, like journeys where my principles were discarded piteously (it has happened).
So for me, I love sports because it is synonymous with hope, a hope that blooms anew every week. Wins are the reward, not the meaning.
@hankster @psvirsky Because then you lose by less than a TD 80% of the time and the BCS loves that, and when somebody protests, you can point at the 10% of victories to win the respectability argument.
The concept of underdog teams relying on plays and strategies with a greater variance is anathematic to the traditionalist types, even if it is mathematically irrefutable and empirically sound.
@hankster @Fullbacks Win Championships I want to create a Twitter account called "Havili´s our unstoppable offensive weapon" so bad. Or "Havili>Denard Robinson+Percy Harvin".
Marcus, I emphatically disagree about Irsay´s comments. He invoked Tom Brady´s 3 rings in a direct comparison with the Manning years. As a way to disparage the entire Colts team´s achievements. He chose to mention fucking Tom Brady by name (and ignored his franchise´s cheating ways, to boot). How is that not a snide attack, again? So yes, in the rest of his comments there were elements of a more strategic nature (garbage, by the way) that he had already expressed. That doesn´t negate the former.
The media did not trump up a controversy out of nowhere. If that were the case, everybody in the NFL would have rolled their eyes. But Polian took umbrage. So did Dungy ("Irsay is making it personal"). So did Tarkenton. So did Fox, who is as mild-mannered as they come, and always tries to defuse emotions before a game (and you think he said what he said without checking in with Peyton before?). And most importantly, so did Manning, who declined to play the pacifier role.
That the media didn´t refuse to jump on the golden opportunity given to them changes nothing. Irsay refused to take the high road, and then backpedaled. People who under the guise of "clarifying" refuse to be accountable for their actions are doubly contemptible.
As for the game, it needs to be mentioned that the return of Von Miller changes the entire dynamic for the Broncos D, and that the OL has to step up big time this week for the Colts offense to stay on the field, be it in the ground game or in pass protection. That also means the secondary will be a lot less exposed, too.
@DougEngland No problem! He posted it on his Twitter account and got a lot of positive reviews for both his articles, so I knew it would be of particular interest to many people in CA.
@Nate Dunlevy @DougEngland Just another reason why his comments were completely unprofessional. Great point, DougEngland.
@gizzardfanny @steveb19 And blitzing Peyton? Good luck with that! His father describes him as a "hound for the blitz". That gave me a good chuckle.
Reading this column was something I was looking forward to all week long, Nate, and you didn´t disappoint. Thank you. Like you, I´m particularly intrigued by #4. This game will, no matter what happens, stay in the annals of NFL history just for the reactions of the fans, which I suspect will be mixed even at the beginning of the game. And as for #9, curious to see what Luke says when he doesn´t hold back! Watching you two at this game would deserve its own broadcast, no doubt.
As for coaching, we might all be pleasantly surprised and see Pagano up his performance, but I´m not holding my breath on it. Fox, on the other hand, his challenge during the last game notwithstanding, has been more aggressive this year, and has generally done a very good job with ingame decisions, so even if Pagano tries to curtail Peyton´s time on the field, I don´t expect his opponent to help him with that.
Most anticipated game of the season no doubt, and Peyton in Destroy Mode makes it all the more historic. Enjoy this game on Sunday, we all know what Manning means to you, and I´ll follow your Twitter feed assiduously to find out what your impressions on Marvin and Edge´s presence were.
@GregC @Goéland Pits of hell.
Thanks for the catharsis, Greg.
@thejoshbaker Below the knees to make it worse. Peyton went back to the locker room after the dirtiest one.
Four for you on that one, Rohan.
And that´s why you´re my fave, Greg.
@chewie_33 @Goéland That was the turning point indeed. Had he been hurt even 3 years later, with the way medicine progressed, it could have changed everything. Truly a shame.
This game will be exciting on all sides of the ball, at least even if mortally painful. Von Miller on one side; Mathis on the other; Demaryius Thomas and Welker on one side, Reggie and TY Hilton on the other; Donald Brown on one side and Beast-Mode Moreno on the other... This year, Fox has been coaching much more aggresively and smartly, so the coaching aspect will not be equal.
@chewie_33 A potentially great career lost to injury. Yeah, it´s not that rare, Colts foreseers.
The Montori Hughes cat comment is fabulous, Olly. The rest is, well, predictably depressing.
11 months, 2 weeks ago on Colts Authority’s Rookie Watch – Week 6
Fron Nate´s article: only 5 QBs played more than 180 games with the same team.
Greg, salt, wound. You´re right, but that 15 years comment about Peyton and the Colts... I´m sad again.
@chewie_33 @thejoshbaker He´s the football lovechild of Dolores Umbridge and Phil Simms.
@chewie_33 @Goéland @thejoshbaker An atrocious head-scratcher, yeah.
I agree. A really good, informed, insightful interview. Passionate and critical is what I look for from this site, and you constantly deliver.
@chewie_33 @Goéland @thejoshbaker We´re in for tumultuous years, and that´s not good for the growth of our core young players.
@chewie_33 @Goéland @thejoshbaker And San Diego for the icing on the cake?
@thejoshbaker But if he didn´t learn anything watching Polian building winning teams for 14 years, it seems all evidence just went way over his head. I doubt he even identifies the right problem, so expecting him to find good solutions sounds farfetched.
@thejoshbaker I have nothing but contempt for these people. They´re fans, but I share nothing with them. Not wanting to see Peyton lift a SB trophy with the Broncos? How much of an ingrate can you be? PEYTON WANTED TO STAY WITH THE COLTS!
@chewie_33 With this OL? It´d take 2 years. And given that you have Luck and that great QBs transcend bad OL play, not a smart use of your resources.