We are all anticipate this game being over by the third quarter, so I make no promises how long I'll stick it out blogging today. It should be interesting to watch Bob Sanders return the field and to see how the Colts utilize him. As much press as the Colts' blitz has gotten this year, Mathis and Freeney have combined for 10.5 of the Colts' 13 team sacks. The blitz hasn't been getting home at all. Perhaps Sanders is the answer to that problem.
- So far so good. Indy stars the game with the ball, and Manning goes 5/6 with a score and 80 yards passing as Indy makes it 7-0. The Rams have no answer for Reggie Wayne at all. The line play has been uneven, but it's hard to fault that drive.
- The Colts D gives up a field goal on the first possession largely due to a 50 yard flea flicker. The Rams ran 3 times for just 6 yards, but one big play got them in position for a field goal. No big deal, it was a great play call, and they didn't exactly show an ability to sustain a drive. 7-3 Indy.
- Holy Crap. That was the craziest fast drive. Brown blows through on a beautiful stretch run, and then Manning hits Clark for a 27 yard fingertip TD. Insane. The stretch looks good early as Addai hit it for 9 yards right and Brown hit 45 yards on a stretch left. 14-3 Colts. Manning is 7 for 9 for 118 and 2 TDs.
- Nice stand by the D. The Rams have nothing at all in the run game (other than an 11 yard draw on 2nd and 20), and Bulger is just a little off on the throws and is not getting any help from his WRs.
- Quarter Summary: Indy dominates play and leads early. Not much else to say.
- Colts start at the four and go nowhere as Pollack gives up a QB hit on 3rd down. Manning was hit as he threw, and Wayne saved him from another hit/pick. Rams ball near midfield trailing 14-3.
- Whoa. A little zone blitz by Coyer on third and 6. It leads to Dwight Freeney in coverage breaking up a pass. It worked, but I don't want to see it again. The Colts will start at the 13. BTW: Steven Jackson has 13 yards on 6 carries.
- Weird drive. Indy fumbles twice, moves the ball out to midfield, before Caldwell loses his testicles by pointlessly punting on fourth and 1. Not cool. The end result is a change of field position as the Rams are pinned inside the 10 now. I'd rather have the ball at the 44 after a successful fourth down conversion.
- Freeney ensures that Caldwell looks good by KILLING Bulger. Bulger fumbled on the play, but the officials bailed him out with a BS call. The Rams run a give up play on third down and punt. Indy winds up with the ball on the Rams side of the field. It's time to put this game away.
- With the news that Reggie Wayne has a strained groin, the Colts pound the ground game. Brown bursts through with a big run for a first down (before getting hurt) and Joe Addai picked up 2 3rd and 1s, the last of which busted out for a TD. 21-3 Colts. The Rams have to try and salvage something before the half.
- Nice stand by the end, after a couple of Rams first downs, the pressure of Foster and Mathis led to a sack, before Freeney got MUGGED on third down. He still got to Bulger and forced an incomplete pass, but how the refs missed the call, I'll never know.
This has gone pretty much how we all expected. The D has smothered the Rams, giving up just one significant play (a 50 yard pass on a flea flicker). Manning threw for 168, and the run game racked up 93 yards. The only thing in question is if Manning will get to 300 yards passing. Considering that Wayne is already out, I doubt it. The Colts are going to cruise on home in the second half.
- Great defensive stand there by the Colts. It was easy to see lots of hustle by the D-line, and the Rams manage just one first down. Unfortunately, the punt is downed at the 2.
- It's hard to score from the 2. The Colts run a give up play on third down and punt. Rams ball near midfield.
- The D finally gives up some yards, almost all by Steven Jackson rushing. Muir busts through though and gets a sack, so the Rams only come up with a field goal. That's not the worst outcome, but the Colts should watch for an onsides kick here. The offense really needs a TD to ice this game. 15 points isn't a big enough cushion.
- The Colts drive but do not score as Frenchy (who has had a rough couple of games) drops a pass.
- LACEY! Pick 6. 28-7 Colts.
- Third Quarter Summary: Colts win the quarter 7-3 thanks to Lacey's score. The defense has been playing soft (which is understandable considering the lead), so there have been plenty of run yards for the Rams. That's fine with Indy who is up three TDs.
- The Rams get inside the Colts 10, but on fourth down and 6, Hayden picks off Bulger just outside the endzone. The Colts will start inside the five (again). Listen, some things not to freak out about: 1. the offense. They've played super conservative today considering they had a huge lead, and consistently have started inside the 10. 2. The run D. The Colts dominated the LoS early in the game, but when the lead grew, they gave the Rams the run. The result? Lots of yards, lots of clock run, just one field goal. It was smart football, that's all.
- Indy toys with the Rams. After another Garcon penalty on third down, he makes up for it by drawing a huge PI call on third and 16. Manning tosses to Collie for an 8 yard score. The 300 yard game streak is over, but the Colts have their dignity intact.
- Four plays and out leads to Sorgi time and a nice moment for Chad Simpson who shows some wheels and goes for the TD. 42-6 Colts.