End Quarter One:
Not a bad first quarter. The defense bent, but didn't break. Marvin Lewis preposterously punted, and Manning made him pay. I'm not sure what Gijon Robinson did to get on 18's good side, but his three catches were huge. The offense did a brilliant job overcoming a holding penalty that put them in first and 20, and Dom cashed in for 6. All things considered, not too bad.
Fitzpatrick will throw several picks before this game is over. The Colts CBs are sitting on his routes. Freddy and Session are picking up the slack big time for Brackett's injury.
If the first quarter was a raging the success, the second quarter serves as a microcosm for Indy's season. On offense, two huge errors by Dallas Clark (a goal line fumble), and Reggie Wayne (losing a sure TD in the lights on third down) initially kept the Horse from crushing the Bengals.
The Defense had one drive where they looked to be asleep, only to respond with a huge pick by Kelvin Hayden which 18to88 converted for a 14-3 lead at the half. This game isn't as close as the score, and if the Colts can take the opening drive of the 2nd half in for points, we'll all rest just a bit easier.
End Quarter Three:
The third quarter was pure joy, as Manning eviscerate the Bengals for two scores. Marvin Harrison almost took a slant to the house before running out of gas inside the 10. The defense manhandled Fitzpatrick on their one principle drive, and the Colts came out and put their foot squarely on the Bengals' throat.
Kelvin Hayden picks Fitzpatrick and goes the distance to punctuate a through beat down of one of sport's worst franchises. Indy dominated in every phase of the game and sent the Bengals packing. Still there are troubling signs. Pollack struggled today and the running game gained only 61 yards on 20 carries. 17 of those came on one long run Dom Rhodes. Ultimately, such flaws are easily forgotten on a day when #18 was virtually perfect. Again, it's not often that a win by such a large margin is deceptive, but if anything this game was a BIGGER mismatch than the scoreboard showed. The Bengals are truly one of the worst teams I've ever seen.
Demond Sanders: The lack of a running game is worrisome. Although Addai did have a long run called back on a holding call. I thought the Colts would run all over them today. I was wrong.
For the second week in a row the Colts fumbled at the goalline. At least they are saving their random back-breaking fumbles for the crappy teams.
The crowd was dead on arrival, as you might expect coming into a game against a 1-10-1 team. They improved as the game wore on and everyone seemed to relish the all-too-rare blowout.
The Colts defense is the team's best unit. They are 7th in scoring defense. They are quickly shooting up the charts in several important categories including sacks and turnovers.
The Peyton for MVP campaign had another great day. Brett Favre and Tony Romo firmly eliminated themselves in losses. The Eli Manning talk will end as well. Kurt Warner was again average in yet another NFC West blowout. I'll go into more detail tomorrow, but the voters are running out of second options for MVP. Manning haters better start praying Drew Brees and the Saints win at cold, cold Chicago on Thursday.
Can't wait to beat the living daylights out of Detroit next week. These kind of games never get old.