Well, it was a great run while it lasted. This will go down as one of the most enjoyable and entertaining teams colts' fans have ever watched. The way the pulled out games all season, and played the Ravens pretty close in the first half. Andrew the Great is an incredible story, athlete, and leader of this team. He should be the ROY, hands down! I do not think it will be long before Luck is playing in his first super bowl. Now it is time for Mr. Grigson to go to work and improve this team, so we can win our division again a, and get a home playoff game in 2014.
@unitas19 I think all three of those qb's are legit ROY candidates, but Luck has definitely done more with less around him.
If they hit on a few free agents and two or three of their draftees, this team could be the envy of the league shortly. Irsay might be a strange person, but he sure knows how to get the right people to run his team.
In the Manning era I was always frustrated when the Colts spent top draft choices on offense instead of their woefully deficient defense. Now I'm on the other side -- the defense still is a mess, but their #1 priority must be upgrading that porous O-line. Luck is obviously a strong kid but how much more punishment can he take? Get this guy some more protection, pronto! Draft or free agents, bring 'em on.
@Questions Authority I'm right with you there. I hope the Colts realize they need about three new starters on the o-line. They worry about consistency, but they need to get more talent first.
Ironically the Denver Broncos are the team that Polian fail to build in his tenure. I can't see the Ravens being within 17 points of the Broncos. Ravens have to hope that Peyton reverts to his playoff numbers instead of his regular season numbers.
2012 Colts, my favorite Colts team
@silentkmantab I really loved that 95 team, and the 06 super bowl championship season, of course, but I'm with you. This 2012 team was quite possibly the most memorable. I never thought I'd say that about a one and done, but this year was special.
I agree... we should be talking about hope.
As long as Luck stays healthy, the Colts are going to be competitive. The only question is can they put the right pieces together in the long run and get the breaks to win a Super Bowl.
(Oh, and I hope like hell that the Broncos win the Super Bowl.)
@DougEngland So many times this season I found myself saying "man, if only our QB had time (a legit OL), we could be a juggernaut". No, wait a minute, that wasn't this year, that was when #18 was behind #63. Oh ....
Everything has changed. Nothing has changed.
@DougEngland LOL ... wow, hilarious. Just goes to show you how important cohesion is for the OL unit as a whole. Diem, on his own, quickly became the target of a lot of ire, didn't he?
@matt_has How quickly we forget. That would be the guy that stayed the longest (well besides Saturday)... Ryan Diem.
On the momentum changing 47 yd Rice screen pass at the end of the first half, raise your hand if you saw Zbikowski get outrun by his own LB.
@matt_has I saw that. It was ridiculous. He just stood there and when Rice juked, Zib just raised his arms and just stood there. Terrible. That made me very angry (indeed). Why on earth do we keep this guy?
In a way, I'm happy they lost here. Avoided some really conflicted feelings with Manning playing the Colts in the playoffs (the one thing I never wanted to see when 18 was cut), and also avoided another likely blowout.
Overall, because of the schedule I thought this team might have a shot at 7 wins, I never expected this. Andrew Luck is as good as advertised. TY Hilton is a great talent. Vick Ballard is a solid running back. Dwayne Allen, who admittedly was invisible today, had a great rookie season. Just a great draft class.
Today, we lost to a better team, but the Colts can easily be where the Ravens are next year. They aren't far away, definitely well ahead of the '4-year rebuild' Jimmy had drawn up. This team needs more of an identity on defense (sadly, part of this is getting rid of Freeney and getting players that fit the scheme better), but they already have one on offense. The o-line obviously has to get better, but to me Luck is a Roethlisberger type who is never going to get rid of the ball quickly. I think he's not a guy who is going to make his o-line look better, but aside from health concerns, play your game Andrew.
Can't complain about this season, and I know that many Colts fans will be bitter, or won't care, but now I can, without any internal conflict, go root for that gentleman in Denver.
@dmstorm22 I think you're exactly right on all counts. Jim Irsay should be secretly happy that this amazing season ended here, instead of getting shredded by Peyton next week. In a way, I'm also glad for #18 -- the Ravens will be a better primer to another epic showdown against the Pats.
This year's draft is a great core to build around, and with more picks not at the absolute bottom of the draft (for a change) and all that money to spend, Indy is on a serious upswing. I worry that the extra wins this season will slow the progression next year with a harder schedule (cf. this year's Broncos, thanks to Tebow). But if they can give Luck something better than 4/5 of his lineman as castoffs and backup-caliber players, I don't see any reason he can't lead us to the playoffs again next year.
Worse than losing the game, to me, was that shot of Freeney on the sidelines at the end. Sad that's the last time we'll see him on the Colts, and that his last season here had him playing against all his strengths.
@dmstorm22 Personally thought Jackhammer Fleener was the more invisible TE yesterday. Allen had a couple great instances of bulling tacklers over for some significant YAC, if I recall. But yes, Ballard and Hilton are keepers. Maybe even that Luck kid too.
@matt_has Might be. I didn't really notice either TE much. Will go back and watch the game and I'll make sure to look out for the TEs.
@matt_has @dmstorm22 As a more observant friend of mine pointed out, Vaughn tends to be in the right place, but doesn't get his hands up and often never even turns his head to look for the ball (the latter explains some of the PI calls). these are technique issues. I sure hope he gets them straightened out, but I also hope they have someone better starting over him in 2013.
@matt_has Don't give me too much credit. Haven't gone back and watched it yet. At some point I will. Have watched every Colts playoff loss in the Manning (and now Luck) era more than once, other than Super Bowl XLIV. Not sure why I won't watch that one, when I did watch the '05 PIT and '08 SD losses (which hurt me more at the time). Hell, I even have seen the New England losses again.
@dmstorm22 Bless you. I couldn't watch that again. Not that it was a bad game, but ... just .. you know, unless you've written some sort of script that automatically skips the dropped passes, the Ray Lewis dances, the Boldin/Vaughn pwnings, etc., I couldn't do it.
On that last thought – I'm somewhat thankful that Vaughn didn't make many good plays. I wouldn't have wanted to watch him *celebrate* an overthrow as if he broke up a pass ... only to get Boldin-ed for 50 yds on the ensuing play.
@dmstorm22 I agree there. I really wasn't ready for a Indy v. Peyton playoff game. They'll play the Broncos at home next year though. I'm thinking that'll be a night game.
By the way, Sorry this was a bit shorter than usual, my iPad wouldn't connect to the wifi where we were watching the game, so I literally had to write this thing on a cell phone. #commitment
So... Getting to the play-offs was all fun to watch and I've loved the ride. But could this really hamper the Colts' rise back to the tops of the league? Are they going to be able to repeat even half of what they got from this year's draft when selecting in the bottom half of every round? Anyways... at least they managed to turn my wife around!
@Sinn0331 I think that our $40+ million in cap space to go after free agents should offset drafting in the 25th or 26th (not sure where exactly yet) spot of each round. So I think that despite our draft position, this team will definitely challenge for the division next year.
@Sinn0331 I'm concerned about a let-down. They overachieved, and it did knock them out of getting a high pick. I think after the first round and second rounds, the draft position doesn't matter as much.
But free agency, that's a different story. The Colts will have loads of cap space (I think Greg said 47 mil), and they have to spend a ton of it because the teams are now required to spend at least 89% of their salary cap.
This could be one of the most interesting (hopefully exciting) free agency periods in a long time, and Indy will look attractive to free agent players.
Is it just me, or (other than reading articles on this site) are you guys not in the mood to see any recaps or any NFL shows until the actual games Saturday? I mean, I'm just sick that it's another 8 months until football season again. :-( I guess there's always the draft to look forward to.
@buymymonkey I'm not too much, but I'll be back to normal soon. I can't stand watching the highlights after Indy loses, listening to the talking heads on ESPN praise Ray Lewis...no thanks.
I'll be cheering on that guy in Denver next week, and hoping the Texans (yuck) can knock off the Boston Cheaters.
It does suck that we have to wait so long for football again. Summer sports just don't suffice for me. At least my Pacers are playing well, for now.
@MarcusDugan @buymymonkey Can't for the life of me understand why I continue to turn on espn radio in the morning. M & M are entertaining, for sure, but even they fall into the trap. Greeny was talking about the Ravens/Broncos matchup and mentioned how Manning "always had trouble with that Ravens D". Even without pulling up stats, I can remember MANY games vs the Ravens where Manning had GREAT games. The 2005 playoff game was a tough one, to be sure, but they came out with the win.
And *with* pulling up the stats (to the Google!): he's 8-2, 95.5 rating, and 18/8 TD/INT ... yeah, big struggles.
I hope he absolutely guts the Ravens next week.
What a Year! Ballard,Freeman,TY,Luck, and Davis, who played really tough. I can not wait to see Chapman, and if Nevis could get healthy. Very tired of hearing about the great Ray Lewis, who ran away scared, from his biggest play-----where two men died----Hall Of Shame! He will be great at ESPN-blah blah blah!
No question Luck is special. When he had time in the pocket (a few times) he made some great passes. I'm very concerned about the number of drops. Not sure what will make this go away next year? And I'm talking drops that are right in the hands of the receivers. Shameful.
I'm also concerned with the very conservative offense. I guess I'm used to Peyton lighting up down field. Maybe everyone was covered. But we ran the ball, a lot. Even when it didn't work, we ran it again. Without some backup for Ballard, I don't see us being able to sustain this.
But admittedly this is the first Colts loss where I don't feel like my world came to an end. Very frustrating to see them repeatedly blow opportunities provided by our Defense making stops. Hopefully next year it will be a solid run deep into the playoffs.
@buymymonkey As far as the drops, I don't think Donnie Avery will be back. If they find a quality, reliable replacement for him and his 48% catch rate (only 2-8 in this game), I think they'll be better.
I doubt we'll have to worry about conservative offense much. Arians was in the hospital, so Christensen called the plays. He's a conservative guy, and they were trying to counter the Ravens' pass rush. I just hope they can buy Luck some time in the pocket next season.
It was a frustrating game, but I'm with you. It was kind of expected anyway (though I was hopeful). I'm pretty excited about this offseason. I'd be even more so if there were some big time corners available.
I actually agreed with the conservative play-calling because they were having some success on the ground and the line couldn't block anyone long enough for deep routes.
And I agree, this playoff loss feels so much different than previous ones. Disappointing, undoubtedly, but the future is so bright and there was no pressure to win this year. Benefit of being the underdog, I suppose.
@MarcusDugan @buymymonkey Yeah, I'm interested in him because I think '12 was somewhat of a fluke, due in large part to his hold-out (but also to Roethlisberger's injuries, like you said). His regression this year makes it far more likely that the Steelers will let him go, and also that his price tag will more more reasonable. I would love to sign him to a two-year deal hoping he bounces back to his '10-'11 form -- a deal of that length would limit the damage if he doesn't pan out.
@zgs1288 @buymymonkey I don't think Wallace is the best option though. Here's my issue with him. We see a lot of highlights, but Wallace's catch rate (53.7%) is just over 9% lower than his quarterback's completion percentage, which says he's not especially reliable. T.Y. was slightly better as a rookie at 54.9% - on par with Luck's 54.1% on completions - than Wallace in his 4th year.
Wallace just doesn't look very consistent.
Argument for Wallace would be that his career catch rate is 58%, skewed by his rookie year and this year, when he had Charlie Batch for a couple games. He doesn't look consistent, but maybe he would be an upgrade over Avery.
I knew we were never in a million years winning the Super Bowl. So I'm glad we can finally get down to business with Grigson at the helm. Still, I wouldn't have minded playing Denver in the divisional round; serving Peyton that defense would be a sight to see.
@Coltsheadben I would've also liked to see them win a playoff game, not just because I'm a fan, but because I think RG3 is going to win today. I like Griffin, but some of his fans annoy me, and the mainstream media comparing him to Luck without context for team talent or offensive systems annoys me.