It's been a great Sunday for Colts' fans already. The Titans have dropped to 0-3 and with the Jags upset of the Texans, Indy has a chance to put the hammer down on the rest of the AFC South. The Pats managed to win thanks to brilliant coaching by Belichick (going for it inside your own 30 up 7 is spectacular). The Bengals pulled out a stunner against the Steelers, putting Pittsburgh in real trouble, already two games behind the Ravens.
Tonight's game will be difficult for the Colts. Without Sanders, Hayden, and Brackett, the Colts excellent pass defense will be put to test. Still, Indy has Manning, Freeney and Mathis. Let's hope they are enough.
Demond Sanders Comments: I want to see Caldwell go balls out tonight and try to steal a game. Playing it tight and conservative won't get it done. Indy is going to need to score to win, and this is the kind of game that will tell us what kind of coach we have. He needs to be aggressive on fourth down and with the game plan.
- Pierre Garcon is not Marvin Harrison. Austin Collie is not Gonzo. Three and out to start the game.
- And that's our best hope. Third and four, Freeney makes Warner fumble. That needs to happen several more times tonight.
- The Colts get an iffy spot on third down and have to punt. Caldwell should have gone for it. Yes. I'm serious. The number say so. It was fourth and an inch. A sneak gets it.
- The Cards really love us. A weird reverse/flip play loses 6 yards on first down, and it kills a drive. Freeney is disruptive early.
- Three runs and out. Awful play call on third down as the Colts run wide and there is NO hole at all.
- Good pressure by Ed Johnson forces an incomplete on third and two as Warner barely gets away from the rush. The Cards wind up with a 38 yard field goal set up by a personal foul penalty. That drive has to be considered a win for the defense.
- Well that sucks. Manning had Wayne lined up for a TD, but Pollack lets his man get too deep. Manning is hit as he throws, and it's a pick. Major swing.
- And that's why we miss Gary Brackett so much. On a key third and one, the Colts get good pressure and force the incomplete pass. Oh but wait, Freddy Keiaho grabs Fitzgerald for a pass interference call. He struggles in coverage. That's what he does. So at the end of the first quarter, it's 3-0 Cards. Feels worse though.
- Tim Jennings watches a ball hang in the air FOREVER on a twenty yard gain, but the Cards bail the Horse out as Bullitt whaps Hightower for a fumble and the Colts recover. Wow.
- After a pair of nice runs by Addai, Clark catches a couple of balls out near midfield. Collie goes down like a pansy an inch short on third down, but the Colts convert with the sweet little end around to Clark. Then Reggie Wayne makes the sickest possible catch imaginable. 95 yard drive for a score. Amazing. 7-3 Colts. Seriously, that catch was Marv-sick. It was game winner verses Houston sick. It was polio-sick. Sick.
- Freeney is destroying Warner. He has 2 sacks. He might finish with 10 tonight. Warner gets heavy pressure on three straight plays and the Cards punt. Unfortunately, a nice return by Rushing is wiped out.
- The Colts start with a sweet end around to Frenchy Garcon for 20 yards, then Manning went to work. He hit Wayne and Clark on a couple of first down throws, before sealing the TD drive with an easy toss to 44. 13-3 Colts as AV gets his PAT blocked. Wow. Manning is annihilating the Cards D. Whoa...hold on, the PAT hit the camera and is good. Huge. 14-3 Colts.
- The Colts run D (thanks Marlin Jackson) comes up huge on 2nd and 3rd down by diagnosing draw plays exceptionally well on consecutive plays. Another huge three and out. Indy and put the hammer down here.
- We have another Frenchy sighting. He catches a nice first down pass just before the two minute warning. It was a huge play because the Cards start the second half with the ball. By converting, Indy reduces the chances of the dreaded two-for-none on Cards possessions.
- Holy crap. Frenchy is pretty damn visible now. 21-3 Colts.
- A BS roughing the passer call sets the Cards up deep in Colts territory. They got the Cards to 3rd and 10, but a big blitz (which makes NO SENSE) gives up a huge completion to the 1. Warner acts like a freaking retard on the first play, throwing a HORRIBLE back against his body throw, which Tim Jennings (who had just dropped a pick) tapped up in the air to Bethea who batted it around and finally secured it. WOW. That was a huge play as the game could have been 21-10 with the Cards still holding the ball.
I'm a happy man. That was an incredible half of football folks. The defense was the best version of itself. The young guys came up large in the passing game. Addai is toting the rock for nearly 5 yards a carry. McAfee is slamming the ball 8 yards deep on the kickoffs.
All is right with the world.
I pray it stays that way.
- The Cards hit a big gain as Senn struggles in coverage on multiple plays. I'm a little shocked he's even in the game right now. The Cards rip through the Colts with ease, scoring in less than five minutes. This makes the pick in the endzone loom larger than ever. 21-10 Colts. Why do I feel like this game will come down to a two-point conversion before it's over. Indy has to keep the pressure on with good offensive possessions. 21 points doesn't feel like enough tonight.
- Another sick catch by Wayne moves the Colts immediately out to midfield. Addai slams the ball down to the thirty with a pair of great runs. He's been carrying the ball very well, as the run game has become credible. Frenchy picks up his third penalty of the season with a hold to negate a big gainer by Addai in the passing game. There's no harm as Brown immediately gains 23 on 2nd and 17. The drive stalls on a no gain run and a couple of incomplete passes. Vinatieri slams the short field goal off the uprights, and a promising drive goes by the boards.
- The defense fails to get off the field on third and 10, as they get no pressure. They recover as Freeney is held on a third and six, and the Cards throw short on third and 16. Huge stop by the D. Major league play by Dwight "Yeah, I'm really that good" Freeney. It's time for the Colts to run the ball, and put up points.
- WOW. The Cards blow the coverage and Manning dumps off to Don Brown for 72 yards with a personal foul tacked on to the end. The Colts were set up with first and goal at the 5. Manning dumps to Kid Joe for the score, and Indy again opens up a comfortable lead. Beautiful football, folks. Beautiful. 28-10 Colts.
- So after battling technical difficulties for the last 10 minutes, I missed talking about the following: more great plays by Freeney, a pick by MJax, a horrible decision to not challenge a catch by Addai that was marked poorly, and Dwight Freeney walking off the field hurt. Right now, the thing that most bothers me is that I'm losing my fantasy game by 6 points. I took a -4 when AV missed that field goal...a seven point swing. Arrgh.
- Mathis gets a sack, Warner gets killed, and the Cards go 3 and out. Excellent. This game is rounding out nicely.
- Kurt Warner just took the single worst sack in the history of time. A 28 yard sack on fourth down. Amazing. Colts ball.
- Manning to Wayne on fourth and 8 will help Indy run out the clock. It also gives me the win in my fantasy game. I was trailing by 1, begging for AV to hit a field goal. Instead Manning gifts me with one more catch, 17 more yards and the win. Wow.
I'm putting this one to bed, folks. Needless to say, I've never been more happy to be wrong. Everything that could have gone right did for the Colts. They did every single thing they were supposed to do (pressure, run the ball, find other WRs). It was a classic win for the Colts.