After spending yesterday grilling steakburgers and bacon-wrapped hot dogs, eating watermelon, and watching fireworks in an uncomforably crowded park, I wanted to incorporate the 4th of July into today's post.
After some brainstorming I came up with a few potential themes:
- Red, White and Blue
- Victory in the face of overwhelming odds
- Ridiculous flying things
After combining all of those things, I landed on the obvious choice, and one that I recently had been thinking about due to some interactions on Twitter: the Colts' unbeaten streak against the Texans in Indianapolis.
The Colts' dominance over the red, white and blue-clad Texans has been one of the most entertaining elements of the past 10 years for Colts fans. Over the past eleven years, the Texans have managed just four wins in 22 tries, three of which have come in the past three years.
The series has been everything a fan could want: improbable comebacks, emotional victories and, of course, the Rosencopter:
While the Texans have managed four wins, all four of those came at home, while the Colts have always managed to pull out the victory in Indianapolis.
In the past two years, it seemed that the Colts' streak would come to an end.
WIth Peyton Manning's injury in 2011, it seemed that the Colts, who had managed just one win heading into Week 16, would get rolled over by the 10-4 Texans, who were playing for a bye in the first round of the playoffs (Even with T.J. Yates as the starting quarterback). It looked like it would head that way when Dan Orlovsky fumbled the ball on the first play of the game, which would lead to a quick touchdown run by Arian Foster. But for the rest of the game, the defense would limit Houston to just nine points, powered by huge performances by Pat Angerer, Antoine Bethea, Robert Mathis and Jamaal Anderson.
But, despite the defense's success, the team still trailed by four after a Neil Rackers' field goal with just two minutes left. The offense struggled to move the ball in the first half, and their two sustained drives in the second half had resulted in two field goals.
Down 16-12, the Colts' got the ball at their own 20, and drove down the field, converting three third downs, including this beautiful grab by Reggie Wayne on 3rd-and-7.
After a couple penalties on J.J. Watt and a pass interference on Glover Quinn, the Colts were set up at the one-yard line with 24 seconds to go. What happened next would be one of the most emotionally-charged moments in the Lucas Oil Stadium's short history.
Despite the Colts' horrible season, Reggie Wayne managed one more great performance in what many assumed to be his final home game in a Colts' uniform. The entire Luke screaming "Reg-gie, Reg-gie" was one of the best moments in Lucas Oil Stadium history.
The Colts had nothing to play for at this point, while the Texans were still playing for a bye, but somehow the Colts still became the first team in NFL history with just one win to defeat a team with at least 10.
The next year, the Colts would once again take an emotionally-charged night that meant nothing in the standings and turn it into a victory against a Texans team fighting for a bye.
This time it was Chuck Pagano's return to the sidelines after missing most of the season battling leukemia that had the crowd emtionally invested from kickoff on. The Colts controlled the game in the first half, with a couple of touchdowns powering a 14-6 lead going into halftime. But with 10 straight points to start the second half, the Texans took a 16-14 lead.
After the field goal that gave them the lead, however, Deji Karim took back the ensuing kickoff 102 yards to give the Colts a 21-16 lead. The Texans still had plenty of time to take the lead, however, especially with their offensive dominance to start the second half.
But, after a missed Shane Graham field goal, the Colts took the ball with a chance to go up by two scores. After a holding penalty on Anthony Castonzo, the Colts were looking at a 3rd-and-23. All the Texans had to do was sit back and keep the Colts from getting behind them, and they'd have an opportunity to win the game. But, T.Y. Hilton did what he did best, and Andrew Luck hit him with a perfect pass.
With the TD, the Colts took a two possession lead that they would not give up, and the Colts' undefeated streak at home against the Texans continued.
While it won't last forever, you have to admit, the Colts' chances to continue the streak look a lot better under Andrew Luck than they did under Dan Orlovsky. And hey, they managed to pull that one out.
EXACTLY the kind of article I needed. This has to be one of the worst times of the year sports-wise. Relatively nothing really going on... middle of a 162 game baseball season, months past March Madness, etc. Shoot, even hockey is done.
Just a couple more weeks and we can all start drooling over training camps rosters.
Rosencopter! What a game that was.... Was that play gary Brackett's return for TD? Or was that the preceding series? That's probably the fastest he EVER ran or ever will again
Freedom? Ummmm, as a Canadian I feel it is my duty to point out that America does not have a monopoly on freedom. America has a lot of great things to recommend it, particularly Football, jazz, and Southern food, but it isn't really land of the free except in its national anthem. A country with the worlds highest Incarceration rates, obscene airport security, low levels of social mobility, and the NSA reading everyone email just plain can't claim to "freest" place on earth and be taken seriously.
Kyle, important off-topic questions about bacon-wrapped hot dogs, which sound awesome: Do you precook the bacon at all? Does the fat melting off it cause major flare-ups? Okay, now I'll read the rest of your article.
As a Hoosier in the USA, I felt compelled to respond.
Aren’t you revealing just a bit of insecurity? I saw no mention of a monopoly on freedom. I saw the word free, but not “freest”.
You had me slightly engaged until lack of social mobility was mentioned. Do you mean economic class mobility? Tell you what, why don't we truck a few million folks from south of the border up to Canadia and drop them off to see what happens to your mobility. I thought Canadians where all about peace, love and save the world. In twelve months time with some planes, boats, and some money from some U2 freedom concerts, you could rescue 10-15 million families from around the globe and let them enjoy the wonderfulness of Canadia. Start with Syria which is a mess right now, no doubt a result of OUR policies and not the 500 mil+ dollars stolen by the Arafat estate. The more we head in the direction of a bourgeoning government bureaucracy which is promoted by the liberals in the USA you seem to align with, the worse our situation gets and the LESS mobility we have.
If by social mobility you mean economic mobility I beg to differ. I live near one of the few bodies of water in the Indy area and there are countless folks who started out in 2 bedroom apartments and now live in 4000 sq ft+ quasi mansions with incomes to support a lifestyle equal to the estate. How about some simple statistics regarding the subject - http://www.creators.com/opinion/walter-williams/income-mobility.html
I have enjoyed many a weekend afternoon away from my 1400 sq ft of simple home to enjoy the hospitality of many of these people in their beautiful homes. So much for social mobility if that’s what you meant. By the way, jazz consumed in any that can be construed as frequent or high quantity is for the pretentious and social wannabe’s who never quite make it. You know, like Diane from the TV sitcom Cheers.
The high incarceration rates are a result of both our freedom as we move towards a larger and larger welfare system. It is a tough problem, but you have to admit, Canada only has the population of California alone. I know you are talking rates, but creating opportunity and reversing decades of failed policies and government largess that encouraged millions to be idle for 10x the population of Canada is a bit of a challenge.
I find it very odd that some from Canada like to take pot shots at the USA and seem a bit on edge about our situation. Are you feeling somehow insecure? Why not just enjoy the recent (two and a half decades) resurgence in your good fortune which is due in most part to your ability to control your borders and therefore your natural resources per capita. Kudo's to Canadia. I just don't understand why you feel compelled to criticize others.
Equally confusing is the inclination of many Canadians critical of the USA to favor the leftists in our country even as they point to their economic success. Beyond any social issues, the economic policies of the left in the USA have encouraged and call for increasing government red tape and costs which is strangling our ability to generate the wealth that solves so many social ills. Kudo’s to Canadians for reducing government spending per GDP over the past twenty years to take full advantage of your wealth from natural resources. But then why align yourselves intellectually with our left? Could it be that you WANT us to fail?
Excepting the national defense questions, the social “issues” of the right would have minimal impact on individuals or society in general. The right or Republicans could control all three legislative branches and there would not be an explosion in crosses burning in yards, beatings of gays, and yes, abortion will never be outlawed. It’s just not gonna happen. As for national defense, there is a very vocal and principled contingent on the right that has had enough of interventions overseas. As demonstrated by history, the USA left speaks peace, but sends troops (in the name of peace of course). Maybe your insecurity stems from the un-provable, but compelling notion that your ability to be so peaceful as a nation over the past 100 years, is in great part because you have enjoyed the defacto protection from your proximity to the vicious USA.
Oh, and if you think the CSIS does not snoop domestically you confuse me even more. I always thought ignorance was bliss, and again you wouldn't feel the need to be so externally focused.
@Bobman1 Haven't ever had problems with the fat. I don't precook it at all. Wrap it around and then throw it in the freezer for a few minutes to help it stick to the dog.
First, I should apologize. this is not the form for political discussion. I overreacted to a pet peeve. Some Americans' equation of freedom with the USA. As someone living a similarly free country and has traveled extensively in other free (or arguably freer) countries Americans going around trumpeting freedom as though they invented it is really annoying.
As for social mobility all I can do is point to the many studies that back up my assertion. America does have lower social mobility than most other OECD countries, including Canada. Contrary to what the "job creators" say having a strong social welfare system directly correlates to high rates of intergenerational mobility (i.e. the kid making more money than the parent). This is primarily due to the greatly increased access to education social spending provides.
I have attached a short study on the topic by economists at the OECD.
Again, sorry to bring politics to a football blog.
@CoverZero Nothing like a large political debate smack dab in the middle of my super enjoyable football article...