This week marks the first time that we at Colts Authority will be trying a new feature: Colts Authority Conversations, where the staff members discuss each game, and then share the conversation with you.
This week, the Colts got a win against Miami, putting them in the drivers' seat for a playoff spot. What did we think of the win? Find out after the jump, and let us know what you thought as well!
Todd Smith: Reggie Wayne: still good at football. It's apparent that Wayne has to be considered the best receiver in the AFC at this moment.
Josh Boeke: Halftime thoughts: offensively the first half redefined the term one-dimensional, but it was an effective dimension thankfully. Luck's best half of football this season, he's been on point.
Todd Smith: What can Bruce Arians say to this team to get the defense back in it? They certainly have regressed and it's clear there's some serious personnel deficiencies. Some semblance of a pass rush would be a great start.
Greg Cowan: BRUCE ARIANS IS NOT A NICE PERSON AND HE DOES NOT DESERVE NICE THINGS. I AM VERY ANGRY RIGHT NOW.
Kyle Rodriguez: I'm not one hundred percent positive... but I believe Greg is referring to the horrendous decision to not even let Luck take a shot at another play with 12 seconds left in the first half. If that is the case, I concur. No nice things for Arians.
Marco Gutierrez: I don't see any future for this WRs. If it's not a dropped pass, it's a penalty. And that happens with both Hilton and Avery. Seriously. I don't have the exact stats (sorry), but they've killed several drives. TY Hilton had an EASY TD. It's so frustrating.
Marco Gutierrez: This D reminded me of my college football team. And that's MEXICAN college football.
Josh Boeke: I'm not sure about the future of Hilton, he's still a rookie and has shown some good along with the bad, but the Colts definitely need to target a WR in free agency, there should be several good ones available.
Scott Kacsmar: Think of T.Y. Hilton as Luck's version of Jerome Pathon or E.G. Green. Those were the young receivers Peyton Manning played with, and while they had some talent, they were never going to be reliable starters. That's why the Colts will have to search for their new Reggie Wayne to play alongside Reggie Wayne, who has become the Marvin Harrison of the offense.
Todd Smith: Does anyone else find it interesting that Freeney's best game came after the trade deadline? He was listless until this moment. He's playing for a new contract somewhere.
Marcus Dugan: Freeney also said his ankle was doing better earlier this week. But I'm sure wondering if he'd be traded was getting in his head a little bit. The knowledge that he's not part of the team's long-term plans has to be affecting him as well.
Marcus Dugan: Even when things went right for the Colts' defense, they found a way to go wrong. Freeney had what looked like a sack fumble that turned into a 2 yard gain by an offensive lineman. When a sack fumble turns into a positive play, things just aren't going well.
Todd Smith: Neither Carter nor Ballard has given me much of a reason to believe Donald Brown isn't a better option at this moment. As soon as he's 100% healthy Brown should be back in the starting lineup without question.
Brett Mock: I am at the game. What I see from here is that our single safety look defenses are getting abused. Offensively, unforced errors and mistakes still haunt us. Giving away touchdowns and failing to execute when plays are there to be made is the difference between this team burrying Miami and taking its place amomgst the NFL elite and scrapping for a spot as NFL average.
Kyle Rodriguez: The single high safety look hasn't looked good on the tube either. Whenever they allow a big pass over the top/on the sideline is becuase of a single safety.
Greg Cowan: that touchdown to Hilton is the most ridiculous thing ever. I've been feeling a bit emo, as a fan, with how penalties and bounces have gone for (or against) the Colts this week, but that was out of control luck (lowercase) scale. Miscommunication between RB and QB, Luck seems slightly confused, bad blocking, bad throw, but it all works out. WE CAN BUILD ON THIS!
Todd Smith: While the story tomorrow clearly will be Luck's heroic, record-setting day should the Colts win the real secret would actually be the three defensive stops they got in the second half. There were two to start the half and a critical stop with 4:00 to go. If they win that will be the story no one writes. Well, that is unless we write it.
Marcus Dugan: Since both teams were expected to be bottom feeders this season, there was a feeling for many that the winner of this game would prove to be the team that's for real. This was a huge game for the Colts to come out on top. A little luck and a whole lotta Luck ("Whole Lotta Luck" was almost my recap headline).
Scott Kacsmar: Luck tied or set so many records today, it will take a while for me to recap them all. What a game.
Greg Cowan: On the air, so have to be somewhat short, but today was the day for me. I'm all-in. Expectations are there for this team this year. I'm sold. Not on the overall talent on the team, but on Luck. He's good enough to put them in position to win every week.
What Luck did today on 3rd downs... I can't even put it in to words how impressed I was with him today.
Josh Boeke: Obviously Luck was the story but I was also impressed with some of the other rookies. I liked Dwayne Allen a lot before the season but I think I may be in love now, jersey is in the mail. Hilton had some rough moments in the first half but I really respect the way he came back in the second and made some huge plays, that jump ball TD chief among them; I also like that Luck didn't write him off after a couple bad drops but kept coming back to him, it paid off. Vick Ballard had another solid effort against a top 5 rush defense, his run to put the game on ice speaks volumes about the kind of player he is, just wouldn't go down, pushing the pile for 15 extra yards.
A couple other story lines: still no takeaways for a 5th straight game, it's a minor miracle they are winning without any extra possessions at all. I don't know the severity of the injuries of Powers, Mathis, Justice, and Satele, but it they end up missing considerable time (Brown also disappeared after the first series and didn't return) that will be tough to overcome, the roster keeps getting thinner. I do like Shipley though, think he did a good job again in place of Samson.
Marcus Dugan: The whole line improved on run blocking in the 2nd half. They had 11 carries for 22 yards and finished with 97. I think after Reitz settled down (and possibly after Shipley came in - did he stay in?), the line started plowing the road. Pass pro was still kind of shaky, but we saw some clean pockets.
There was much more that we talked about this week, but over 3000 words is far more than any of us really want to read through. Let us know if you enjoyed this feature, and your thoughts on the game!
Am I the only one who thought that after Ballard got the first down (which was great) that it was the Miami defense trying to keep him upright and moving (to strip the ball) while it was the Colts linemen who were trying to help him tackle him?
@Heracleitus you are spot on, man. I interpreted it wrong in my recap. I was still giddy about the win. The Dolphins were trying to hold him up for a fumble, and Reggie Wayne even dove into the pile to try to help get Ballard down. He, along with the o-line, basically tried to tackle him. Ballard told Indystar he was trying to godown at that point.
I also think it is way too early to just write off Hilton. He's had a high amount of drops but it's not fair to write him off after half a season.
I'm also not buying the Freeney "trade deadline" talk. He's not been healthy, lost some of his raw ability, and has not had much help from other members of the pass rush. Mathis is the only proven pass rusher on the team. I'm also sure that he knows there was no possibility of trading him. He's worried about the end of the year and therefore I expect him to give an effort every week. His health and his age will decide whether or not he is effective.
Great feature, guys.
@bradicus18 the freeney trade deadline talk makes absolutely zero sense.
@bradicus18 I've been pretty high on Hilton lately. I don't know what his ceiling is, but I'm not ready to say it's lower than a #2/#3 on a good team. Maybe he's just a guy who is benefiting from playing with a really good QB, but ... for what he's shown as a rookie, I'm going to take some time with this one. Not going to reach a final judgment on him for a bit.
good feature guys. I do think Hilton has the potential to develop into something more than a Green or Pathon. I don't think it's out of the question for him to become a Brandon Stokley-level slot receiver. But he also obviously could simply never develop past what he is now.
Also, another reader (BDiddy) compared Brazill to Garcon potentially in terms of development. Obviously just speculation, but I actually had been thinking the same thing. The guy has shown some flashes.
That said, I agree about the need to upgrade the WR corps. I would really like to see them them target Mike Wallace. His deep-threat ability and past history with Arians could be a perfect fit. But his contract demands might price the Colts out of signing him, seeing as there are a lot of more pressing needs elsewhere on the roster.
I agree about Hilton, he's already had several memorable plays (not to mention two 100 yard games in 7 starts) in a season that is becoming full of them. He's on pace to match what Reggie did in his second season (~50 receptions for ~700 yards). He clearly has big play potential, it wouldn't shock me if he manages to break out a punt return one of these games.I like Mike Wallace, he's a freaky talented guy, but yeah, that price tag may be pretty steep. I would really need to dive into who will be available this offseason, I really don't know at this point.
@Colt_Following @zgs1288 I'm not usually a big fan of bringing in high-priced free agents, but I would be pretty stoked to land Mike Wallace. Can you imagine the room Reggie would have to in which to operate if there was always a threat of that kind of speed taking the top off? And you have to think that Wallace would be more than happy to play in Arians' scheme again given how well it suits his skill-set (as opposed to Todd Hailey's new scheme which seems to under-utilize his speed).
Darn it all to heck. I know my brain knows better than to covet high-priced free agents, but the heart wants what it wants. Sigh... a fella can dream.
@Colt_Following please please please change your avatar if you ever want me to get anything done ever again. lolololol.
The defense locking down the other team after halftime is becoming a trend.
If Luck is really that good...keeping in mind that the Dolphins are bad defending the pass but good at ending drives, and if the defense can keep coming up big in the 2nd half, I don't know where this train might stop. This is not the same team that played the Bears week 1, and the talk of lack of talent but a scrappy team pulling off miracle wins reminds me of the 2010 Butler team (and both seem to have charmed the country with the never-give-up attitude).
Looking at the games to come, I even found myself pausing when I got to the game against the Pats. I dare not consider the possibility that Brady ends up looking like Rodgers or that the 22nd ranked pass defense may look a lot like the 24th ranked.
I'm not sure any game this season will be quite as memorable as this one, but given how Tannehill looked, the Dolphins are going to provide us with an interesting rivalry over the next decade-plus.
Good thoughts here. It's interesting that a lot of the chatter coming into this season surrounded season ticket sales and whether or not Indianapolis would abandon the Colts. If anything the way things have played out the Colts are earning new fans across the country by the day, each emotional win and locker room moment captivating the country in ways few teams ever have. With Peyton Manning doing his usual brilliant thing in Denver it's kind of the best of both worlds. Fun to be a fan of this team right now.
I am actually a Butler alumn and was still in school during that 2010 championship run, it was definitely awesome, the campus was electric for weeks. Hosting the Final Four here with Butler playing in the game was an experience I will never forget. It's too bad the chances of a Colts home playoff game are so remote (very little chance of winning the division). Still a very cool season and one to remember, no matter what happens going forward.
My halftime anger towards Bruce Arians WAS because of the decision to kick a field goal with 12 seconds on the clock and the greatest QB in the history of history under center.
@GregC That definitely was a "Huh?" moment.
@bradicus18 I still can't understand the decision to not even try taking a shot into the end zone there.
@GregC @MarcusDugan @bradicus18 last time they did that there was a miscommunication between Luck and Avery that should've resulted in a pick. what are the chances of actually scoring a TD in that situation, with likely 8 defenders inside the 10 yard line? the chances of a negative (sack, turnover, completion in-bounds) are not negligible there, and you HAVE to come away with points on that drive. i think there's a far better argument to made for going after a 10-15 yard sideline route to shorten up the FG for Poopatieri. but i agree with the decision not to launch one to the endzone.
@GregC I cracked up when I saw that one. I'm thinking with no time outs and a bunch of rookies, he played it safe a play earlier than he maybe had to. My hope is the coaches will start trusting the offense in more of those situations.