The Indianapolis Colts lost to the Cincinnati Bengals 28-42 on Sunday afternoon. Despite another ugly loss, and thanks to the Broncos victory over the Titans, the Colts are once again AFC South Champs and have clinched a playoff spot.
As you might know, Greg Cowan is back and next week's Monday Morning Moaner will return you to regularly scheduled programming! In the meantime, please share your thoughts on this game in the comments section below!
I went to the game and, honestly, although the final score was ugly, I don't think it was quite as bad as all that.
Maybe it's because, after Reggie's injury (compounded with all the others), I've lost all expectations for this year's Colts team (it would be awesome if they became this year's Ravens, but I'm not holding my breath), I didn't leave Paul Brown feeling discouraged.
The offense couldn't click in the first half and the defense had some serious issues in the second half, but...
The Bengals are a good team, playing at home and while Dalton is inconsistent, when he's good (as he was yesterday), he can be great. In between the 4th down stop that got called a touchdown and the Bengals drive early in the third that was extended by the phantom PI and questionable unnecessary roughness calls, the refs damn near gifted the Bengals two TDs, And while you got to get over it, I have no doubt that had a demoralizing effect on the defense (not to mention the other third down stop overturned by the taunting call) and...
Outside of the complete inability of the defense to generate QB pressure and/or turnovers, the offense looked a lot better. Da'Rick Rodgers has great size and made some great plays and, if he keeps it up, I might get over the fact that we could have traded for Josh Gordon instead of Richardson. Hell, even Hayward-Bey caught 2 of the 3 passes thrown his way and I'm not sure the third pass was catchable.
The Colts are in the playoffs, where anything can happen, we get a chance to see whether Rodgers, McNary and Odongo are actually diamonds in the rough and - despite frittering away our first round pick next year for an under-producing running back - there's a good chance we come back even better next year.
Things could be worse...
Thought the O line looked much better. Luck is having some serious timing / accuracy issues. Richardson still looks really slow and I'm amazed that someone that big can't even fall forward when tackled one on one. Triplette proves again he is the worst ref EVER! Our d-coordinators need to start being more creative with blitzes / stunts as we are not getting nearly enough pressure on opposing QBs. Apparently I didn't know what "out of the pocket" means for intentional grounding (I thought it meant outside the pocket.... my bad) and WTF happened to our secondary? Do you remember when Bethea was good, Davis could cover and Butler would get burned but also sometimes make great reads and jumps on the ball?!
I think I figured out what is wrong with Pagano besides him being too conservative, he's too nice. If you saw the post game he just seems like he's in denial, and he doesn't want to be the mean coach who tells his players that they had better shape up. He probably in the locker room said how proud he was of the guys fighting back. When he should be telling them that all these slow starts are not acceptable and right the ship. Getting blown out is never acceptable or OK, but he makes it seem like this was some big moral victory. Denver was a moral victory, this wa s a bad loss. He's too conservative, and seems too delusional t o see that his team can't start games correctly or the defense sucks. He just seems like he wants to be their friend more than their coach. Which is a huge problem
Something that has been bothering me this season - perhaps coinciding with the post-Denver game malaise - is the lack of discipline, especially on defense. I would be really interested to see just how many drives have been extended by our defense committing utterly inexcusable personal fouls. I can think of several examples off the top of my head: the SD game; the Titans headbutt game; yesterday's helmet rip (and a second one, taunting). That nonsense isn't Indianapolis Colts football, and if anyone in the front office disagrees, then they need to go. Those aren't the players we want. And they have had an adverse impact on our team's performance this year. Is it personnel? Is it coaching? Whatever it is: it needs to end.
Not that it would have won them the game, but the fact that Triplett came out and said that he didn't even look at the action in the backfield on the 4th down play is utterly unbelievable, but sadly not a surprise of an answer from this man. I read Peter King's series on the life of an NFL official and I grew a new respect for these men at all levels of the game. But all are clearly not created equal and Triplett clearly has fallen into a Schaub/Texans-like rapidly accelerating downward spiral. And he was one of the worst to begin with. As soon as I saw we had him, I knew it'd be bad. That was only one of many questionable calls, many (not all) of which went against Blue.
@rogcohen I loved seeing the Colts try to get some RB screens and dump offsin the mix, even if a bunch were batted down or throw in (relative) garbage time. That was probably my biggest objection to Arians' offense. I was less than thrilled to see Richardson run down by Carlos Dunlap from behind. Dunlap is fast for a DL but he's not exactly Freeney or Jevon Kearse.
@chip_bennett They are pretty low on the overall penalty rankings... unless this was EXTREMELY low the first 5 weeks and then has taken a bit of a nosedive. Still and all, we're not the Raiders. (For which I give thanks in so many ways.)
Greg Rakestraw made a good point in his post game show. Head Referees have so many distractions running their staffs and the game that you can not expect them to instantly morph into video analysis experts at the drop of a hat. A separate video analyst expert official and not a part time "peep show booth" official should have the say on video reviews. It takes too long for the head official to make the video review calls anyway.
A video review expert could have zeroed in on Chapman's hand and determined if he made contact with the Cincy RB's foot. Triplett does not have that capacity from the sidelines. It still leaves the Head Referees subject to be second guessed by the network announcers with ever improving video technology. The whole idea of video review was to prevent that from happening.
Triplett may not be a great Ref, but I agree with Rakestraw that it is primarily the system that is at fault here.
@thellamajockey the system at fault here? Nonsense. The standard is "irrefutable visual evidence". The call on the field was "down by contact". The ball carrier clearly hit the ground. The replay review needed to prove - with INDISPUTABLE VISUAL EVIDENCE - two things: 1) what caused the ball carrier to lose his footing, and 2) that said cause was not contact by a defender. Failing that, the call on the field should have stood. Period.
This exactly. It was an "easy" call from that perspective. Look at the interface of chap's hand and BJGE's foot a couple times and it is obvious you cannot say that he was not touched. Can you prove he was? No, and mainly because chap is wearing gloves that match the ball carrier's shoes. But no human being can look at that video and say indisputably that he wasn't touched.
Is the system in need of improvement? Of course. However, these officials watch as much as if not more film than players and are all experts in this type of thing. HE DIDN'T EVEN LOOK AT THE ACTION IN THE BACKFIELD! HOW DOES THAT HAPPEN?