12 Things to Watch For in Sunday's Colts-Rams Game
Another Missouri Clemens comes to entertain the locals this week.
Last week, the Colts rallied to top the Texans. Now with a firm two-game lead on the AFC South, they return home to take on the Saint Louis Rams. Here's what to watch for.
1. Watch some bad receivers. After rewatching tape of Sunday's win, the biggest take away was just how terrible Indy's receivers are without Reggie Wayne. Obviously, T.Y. Hilton can play in this league, but we knew that already. After watching Mssrs. Heyward-Bey (-21.8 percent DVOA), Whalen (-30.1 percent) and Brazil slap at balls and bat them to the ground, it became obvious that the Colts don't have an answer on their roster. Whalen made a huge catch late to convert a third down, but he reminds me far more of Blair White than of Austin Collie. This team needs to make a serious investment in the wideout position in the offseason and has to stop signing retread veterans as if they were a fix.
2. Watch for signs of progress. Andrew Luck is amazing, ok. No one is saying otherwise. What's troublesome, however, is the lack of statistical development in his game. His sack rate has actually gotten worse. His YPA is flat. His completion percentage has dipped under 60. Now, I get that his receivers drop passes. I know how bad his line is. But we all saw the passes he left high last week. There were points left out on the field. His major point of improvement is in the area of turnover avoidance. That can be highly volatile and I don't know that he's really going to lead the NFL with the lowest interception percentage all season. The receivers aren't getting better. The line isn't going to get better. Luck is going to have to do it on his own.
3. Watch for the ball in space. We saw Trent Richardson get a couple of passes last week. That was cool right? Pagano made a point this week to mention they want to do that more. The bad news? You know how Richardson's DVOA of -14.5 percent sucks right? Well, his receiving DVOA is actually way way worse. He's fifth-worst in the NFL among qualified backs with a -39.1 percent and a catch rate of 52 percent. So...pass blocking? The numbers say he's about the same as Donald Brown since he joined the Colts, but a little worse if you add in his Cleveland time. I'm not really sure how he should be used at this point.
4. Watch the alternate reality. In January of 2012, the Colts were looking for a new coach. Jeff Fisher was the popular name, but never materialized as a major candidate in Indy, in part because Jim Caldwell was still employed at the time. Instead, the Colts went with Chuck Pagano. Fisher has done a nice job in Saint Louis, taking a 2-14 team to 7-9-1 and had them looking back toward .500 this year before Sam Bradford got hurt. We obviously know what the history has been with Pagano here in Indy. The biggest difference is that Pagano has overseen real improvement defensively. Indy has gone from 27th against the pass in DVOA in 2011 to 14th this year. The Colts have a credible, but below average defense. The Rams are still bad.
5. Watch the clone. When I watch Zac Stacy run, I see shades of Marshall Faulk. They have similar body types, and Stacy has been terrific this year for the Rams. He's averaging 4.6 yards per carry and has started to break out with hundred-yard games each of the last two weeks. The Rams have to be kicking himself he didn't play more in Week Two against Atlanta in a winnable game. The Colts struggle against the run, so Stacy could have a huge game. He's also a fifth-round pick. Interesting, huh? Can you imagine? A fifth-round pick having a good year at running back? Unheard of.
6. Watch the bounce back. Robert Mathis was shut out of the sack column against the Texans, but look for him to pick up one or two this week to get back on pace. Kellen Clemens has an astronomical sack rate. He's gone down once for every ten pass attempts on the season. Jake Long (another big what if for the Colts) has been fantastic, but the rest of the line hasn't. Right tackle Rodger Saffold (another what-if guy) is a poor right tackle, so Mathis should be able to get a good rush on.
7. Watch the press. The Rams have one of the lowest yards per completion marks as a team. They average only 10.6 YPC on the year, and Clemens has been worse than Bradford was. The Rams don't have the protection, receivers or quarterbacks to go long. The Colts corners need to be up in the grills of the receivers this week. If they get beat deep, so be it. Throwing long is not this team's game. Clemens is just 2-for-7 on long balls this year, and on passes over 10 yards, he's just 9-for-24. Chris Givens has the best yards per reception on the team, but he's only cuaght two passes over 20 yards in the air all year.
8. Watch the Oregon Yankee in King Arthur's Court. Ol' Kellen Clemens is a spinner of yarns who has taken up residence along the banks of the mighty Mississippi. He much for fence paintin' or adventurin', but he'll get a team or two to believe in whatever outlandish story he's peddlin' that day. You might be more familiar with his work under his famous pen name "Brady Quinn Twain". Ok, so the whole Sam Clemens thing is crumbling around my ankles, largely because making fun of Clemens is unnecessary. It would have been easier just to post his career stats as my obligatory absurdist humor reference of the week.
9. Watch for the AFC Central. Can anyone explain to me why we can't have Saint Louis, Tennessee and Indy in a division together? This should be a regular rivalry. Indy got screwed out of a division with Cincy, Cleveland and Pittsburgh (move Baltimore East and Miami to the South, duh), but the next best thing would be a home and home with the Rams. I call it the AFC Central. For this to happen, we move KC to the Central, Houston to West and the Jaguars to L.A. and put them in the NFC. This all makes way too much sense not to happen. Instead, the Colts won't play what could be a perfect natural rival again until 2017. But hey, at least we get two games a year with the Texans!
10. Watch for the chip. The Rams have the top pass rush in football. Did you see that coming? They lead the NFL in adjusted sack rate, and defensive end Robert Quinn already has 10 sacks through eight games. Anthony Castonzo is the Colts' best pass blocker, and he'll have his hands full. Indy didn't do a great job with J.J. Watt last week up the middle, and now they'll have to contend with one of the game's best edge rushers. If Luck has time, he'll find a man, but with Quinn and Chris Long coming at him, that won't be easy to ensure.
11. Watch the difference a QB makes. The Rams and Colts have nearly identical special teams ratings. They have virtually the same defensive ratings. They both have issues at wide receiver, and Saint Louis is better at running back right now. Want to find the reason Indy is 6-2 and the Rams are 3-6? It's quarterback play. Bradford and Luck were having similar years, but since he went out, the Rams have lost three straight games, and all were fairly close. Bradford and Luck were two statistical peas in a pod. He's gone now, and the Rams are back to being the Rams. It's a cautionary tale, people. Do you feel appropriately cautioned?
12. Watch for professionalism. Through the years, Colts fans have grown accustom to a team that never seems to lose games it's supposed to win. This a chance for the New Colts to prove they have the same ruthlessness as the Old Colts. Last week, they had a gut-check win. Now it's time for them to have the kind of win that shows they are contenders. Colts 24 Rams 13.
Can we start some sort of petition for #9? As a displaced Colts fan in Columbia, MO, knowing the team would be coming every year to both KC and St. Louis would be heaven.
Great point about Mathis. He's got a good shot to pick up a sack or two against this O-line and Clemens.
Move the Jags to LA and the NFC? What, is that code for Los Amsterdam and the Netherlands Football Club or something? The Lower Arctic division of the Nordic Football Confederation?
Watch to see if Pep has learned from last week's near debacle in Houston regarding play calling and QB protection. 6 OL can be used for our vaunted power run game as well as pass pro, with extra linemen out on the edge protecting against ST Louis's DEs. Hopefully our soft gut won't be victimized too much. Worked okay in the 2nd half last week, along with skewed play calling. If they start calling for dive plays into a ten-man box, I may just start following hockey instead.
What is the opinion of people re. Luck's check downs when he is on the run. To me it seems like he throws absolute bullets as if the receiver was 15 yards down. I have not seen enough football in my days to determine if the receiver should be able to catch those.
I would like to add, that in my efforts to keep up with Peyton, I have sought out a Broncos site that is the equivilant of CA. I am fairly confident I have visited all the Broncos sites and none of them comes close to offering the analysis that appears here. There are some very good sites about news and linking to articles, but none matches the original thinking and analysis by the CA writers.
I was absolutely surprised to see how well St. Louis' defense is getting after the QB. I had always thought KC had the best pass rush. As you said, at least their pass rush comes from the outside and will primarily face our OTs. It will be interesting to see if they try to take advantage of the weak interior OL to improve their odds of getting Andrew. Unfortunately for us, he can hold onto the ball too long sometimes and if receivers struggle to get open, Andrew could take some more hits.
But as you said, Luck vs Clemens at home. I like the odds.
I guess the random ebbs and flows of human nature and fandom will always be a mystery.
It seems from the moment Donald Brown was drafted, Colts fans have been looking for a reason to crush him. Sure, his play his rookie year was far from great, but it seems he was never afforded this "hope" from the fan base that he would get better. And yet he has continued to improve. Still, it seems like he will always be "G** Damn Donald" to a majority of fans.
Yet with Richardson, it seems Colts fans and the media have been making excuses for him even before his first carry for no gain. "If only the Colts wouldn't run him in only obvious situations or get him in space more." "24 games into his NFL career, it is not his fault that he is only averaging three yards a carry." "His coaches just want him to do bad, so they call the wrong plays for him."
Despite playing some really good football this season, Brown's season in the eyes of most fans is dicated by one play, the missed block against Miami.
Whereas, Richardson's play which has been almost completely craptastic is viewed as "why won't the coaches call the right plays for him"?
Just wanted to say that, as a lifelong Colts fan, I sincerely appreciate ColtsAuthority. I enjoy objective analyses that are focused exclusively on my favorite team. I want my team to be the best it can be, and I wonder about things like "why is Satele a starter," "why is a RB worth a first round pick," and "are our coaches serious when they talk about the running game, or are they playing a game with the media?" So many sources of information on the Colts just parrot the organization's own comments. I'm certainly not neck deep in stats, but I do watch football games, and I appreciate all the writers on this website who spend so much time trying to illuminate how my favorite team can be better.
How about #13 - Watch for the BOOM! There's a chance that Trent may be held out due to the ankle. DB will get a majority of the carries, but I won't be surprised if Herron gets the short yardage plays.
Haters gonna hate. Richardson will be just fine. Nate and I disagree on that point. Agree to disagree there.
Everything else I agree with. This *should* be a two-score win, but I still don't trust Pagano to let the offense play to its strengths. Jeff Fisher has a much firmer grip on reality, and knows how to gameplan for the Colts; so this game *could* be more interesting than I'd like it to be.
I stopped reading StampedeBlue due to an exorbitant level of passive negativity directed at the Colts, and decided to set up shop here. I really enjoy CA's write-ups and analysis, but ever since the T-Rich trade, I feel like it's been more negative than positive. I could understand some concerns if our team was 1) losing, or 2) not set up with an EXTREMELY bright future with young, talented players, but neither of those is the case with this Colts squad.
Let's all be excited, and ROOT for these guys to do well, not just reference some vague DVOA and feel validated when they don't play to expectations. I think that's more of less the textbook definition of being a fan.
@Bobman1 Just please, NFL, don't move the Jags to London. Relations with Europe are bad enough as it is.
@Bobman1 It was Mulder's informant "Deep Throat" from X-Files.
(Let's see how many people make the connection... :D)
@LasEspuelas Hard throws can be problematic, true, but take heat off the pass and it risks getting slapped down or picked. I really don't know what a good solution for that is, but the convention agreed on by the players is to zing it and let the receiver work on his end.
@LasEspuelas As John Madden used to say, throw it hard, if our guys can't catch it we'll get you new guys. It's one of the hardest throws to make, you're moving and your target is moving. You can't get your feet set so it's all arm. He does it as well as anyone I've seen.
@DougEngland Mile High Report has some excellent moments - I mean, I've seen some seriously top-notch analysis there before, some of the best I've seen, in fact - but it also has some serious depths of homerism and conventionalism.
@DougEngland A fiend of my really likes "It's all over, fat man!". Have you checked that one out?
@bradicus18 If I was Fisher's DC, I'd definitely rotate my speedy DEs inside, especially on 3rd and long, to take advantage of their strength and Indy's weakness. I wanted Meeks to do that with 93 and 98 a lot in years gone by and I don't think he ever did. Were they afraid the littler guys would get crushed in traffic, or an audible to a run would win big? Dungy always seemed to be a "line up our best 11 against yours and let's go" sort of coach.
When you have a strength that you can deploy against an opponent's clear weakness, you do it, no? Maybe not every time, but once in a while? Man, for a surprise change of pace in a key situation, it seems like a smart move to my uneducated perspective.
@DougEngland That was one excellent post. But I wonder if you actually find that state of affairs to be a such a mystery.
@DougEngland I wish I could like this a thousand times.
@DougEngland I've been as much of a Donald Brown fan from the day he was drafted until now, as I am a Trent Richardson fan.
Which is why I find a great deal of irony in the way that suddenly all the erstwhile Donald Brown haters now love him, having transferred the focus of their ire on Trent Richardson.
And it's not merely homerism to complain about the way that Richardson has been used. The offensive line simply can't open running lanes out of the Power Run set - regardless of which running back is taking the snaps.
Richardson may yet prove to be the pedestrian back that so many claim he is; but right now, scheme and offensive line play are 90% of the problem. Fix those, and then we can worry about Richardson's vision, decisiveness, and explosiveness.
@smonroe STL is really bad versus the run, too. I was hoping for a Breakout game by SOMEBODY running the ball, somebody not named Luck.
@chip_bennett Richardson being just fine still makes him not worth a 1st round draft pick, and there are still major doubts about him even making it to "fine." I would be okay with him just making it to average as far as backs are concerned.
@chip_bennett Haters gonna hate? Really?
@travismj33 Bah! If you want gratuitous positivity, Colts.com is the website for you. Why should accurate, insightful analysis be sacrificed at the altar of fandom. At least here you don't have to deal with the soap opera non-stories.
Some day, you and many other fans will have to come to terms with the Richardson trade and finally be honest with yourselves. He could become a decent back, but he will never be worth his draft pick (either of them).
I have not seen anyone not rooting for this team on this site. To me, well-reasoned and honest analysis is more valuable than trying to spin everything into a positive.
@travismj33 Thanks, now I know why I'm disappointed the Colts surrendered a first-round pick for a so-far sub-par player: I'm using the wrong textbook.
@travismj33 I've never been interested in "being a fan". I am one, but my fandom is expressed via analysis. I treat movies, books, music the same way.
I enjoy picking things apart and figuring out what makes them great, how they could be better and what's wrong with them.
To me, that's the essence of being a fan. I love analysis. That's what's fun to me.
Agree about MHR. Good solid site. (I just don't think their original material is quite up to CA.)
I have. They are great about linking to articles (and making snide comments about those articles) but don't have near the amount of original content as CA.
@chip_bennett @DougEngland I'm with Chip on this. Following Edge was not easy for anybody; I felt Addai was sorely underappreciated. DB seemed to get a lot less playing time than I would have expected, which gave me the impression that the staff was not too in favor of him, either. And there were nagging injuries. DB is a fine runner, great in space, and an easy punching bag. TR is also an obvious punching bag, mostly for other reasons. I don't think he's bad, but I'm starting to think he really IS pedestrian, which can still work okay, so long as your coaches use him right (gulp) and you didn't pay too much for him (gulp). I'm optimistic, but that is starting to fade.
In terms of 2nd/3rd gear speed, Richardson just blew by guys on that 24 yard catch and run last week. I actually thought he might have been more patient setting up blockers, but the camera angle didn't give me a wide enough shot to see where would-be defenders were and would be blockers as well. As far as his 1st gear speed (explosion), I really can't say, but boy was it enlightening to watch Stanford/Oregon last night--the Stanford back rarely got hit behind the LOS, and this is against the #2/3 team in the country! Stanford's OL was titanic. 3 yard rushes were nearly automatic (penetrate LOS, get hit, drive /fall forward for three), and 5s very common on his way to about 160 yards for the night. One drive was 20 plays and 94 yards!
@chip_bennett @DougEngland I agree with the "give Trich time and better play calling" argument, but I just can't get over cost. Particularly since the need for a WR has gone from central to all consuming. DBH just plain can't catch. I'm willing to give Whalen and Brazil the benefit of the doubt, but their inability to get separation or hold on to the ball is worrying.
At this point the Colts offense kinda reminds me of the Panthers, the only other group the seems to drop 5 or 6 passes a game. I shudder the think how good Newton would be if he actually had someone to throw to.
@Payton Yes, I pretty much agree. Thing is, I'd take it a bit farther and state that since the lost draft pick is now a sunk cost, what matters is Richardson improving. My ire at the cost is directed at the front office who willingly blew the pick. Richardson himself cannot help that the Colts overpaid for him.
Right now, I'm just hoping he can be a reliable short-yardage back with a little better line blocking. I'll be sore again come draft time and I see all the first rounders around the slot the Colts would've had, but again: Sunk cost. Gotta worry about what can be controlled; that pick can't be taken back. As long as T-Rich gets to "okay", good enough. The lesson learned now falls to Grigson.
Call me a homer or whatever; I probably am. I tend to root for the players on our roster for as long as possible. Heck, I was pulling for Jerry Hughes up until about his contract year. But I think it's absurd to cast judgement on Richardson at this point, given the current circumstances.
You're right; we should all be upset that our front office made a move to upgrade over the fan-favorite and DVOA Ring-of-Honor inductee Donald Brown with what is still regarded as a supremely talented back, who is also a noted good guy and hard worker. We all know that those first round picks are locked for greatness, as Joseph Addai, Anthony Gonzalez, D. Brown, and Jerry Hughes can attest. After all, we are one of the worst teams in the league, warranting the disappointment of Colts fans across the nation.
@Nate Dunlevy @travismj33 Nate, I dunno, I might say that's the essence of being curious, an intellectual, a coach, or a sports fan in general--"hey, how does this work and what might make it better/worse?" That kind of world view brought us such innovations as fire, the wheel, beer, and Twinkies (among other things).
A fan in specific, tends to be a little more emotional and irrational. Why am I a Colt fan of 40 years having grown up in NJ/NY and living in Seattle? Uh, Johnny U? Well, he's been dead a while, and didn't like the move to Indy much (cough), so I guess he's not the reason anymore. It's purely irrational. I am depressed most of Monday when we lose, and neutral if we win but don't play well. it's a gut thing, like most of rock and roll, as opposed to a technical thing, like Mozart.
Now, to those who think Nate's being overly negative, I think his self-assessment is spot-on--he's just being analytical. He'd pick apart Manning and Harrison the same way, but it was overwhelmingly positive (duh). If/when the playcalling and TRich turn the corner, I suspect the tone of his analysis to do so as well, though he'll likely never be able to accept the lost opportunity cost of a 1st rounder. (to which I will point out that there are many 1st rounders who will suck as bad as TRich--should we reverse the trade and pic one of them? Of course not, but you don't always know who will be Luck and who will be Gabbert.)
I do have to agree with Travis here... I've found that (this season) the majority of the articles on this site have carried a much more negative tone, with 3-4 "talking points" that seem to get beaten into the ground.
I have always enjoyed Nate's writing, but I feel like it's a good bit more mean-spirited and "this is what's right, if you disagree, you're wrong" than I ever remember it being before. And I find that Greg Cowan and, at times, Marcus Dugan, have parroted this.
I don't necessarily disagree with any of the criticism (especially the Richardson stuff) as much as the dismissiveness with which it's presented. For example, I have been frustrated with the "Power Running Game" as much as everyone else, but I also wonder if that has allowed the offensive line to be a little more effective in the 2nd half, or if having TY out there for 70% of snaps rather than 100% allows him to use his talents (speed/elusiveness) more effectively than having him block DBs who are bigger than he is. I'm not saying either of these are true... just pointing out an example of a "talking point" where it feels a like pre-determined point of view drives most of the commentary.
Another example: I think that a number of Hamilton's play calls have been brilliant (the fake bubble screen at the end of the Seahawks game, set up throughout the game and used only at a critical juncture, comes to mind, but there are others)... but the majority of the "analysis" has been just a snarky remark about a FB... or at least that's how it's felt considering we are 6-2.
@NickWalter Yeah, but that's an argument to send them to Syria or something. I like the Brits; I don't wanna piss 'em off.
Could you imagine the response? "We gave you bases in World War 2, unquestioned support for decades, and THIS is how you repay us?" I mean.... I'd just feel so **guilty**... :( I'd rather send them the Patriots; at least they got the word "England" in their name.
@DougEngland I'll just say in fairness, CA is a higher quality than I've seen on any other team site. It's over the top how much good stuff these guys do.
@Bobman1 @chip_bennett @DougEngland I went back and looked at play again. I'm glad they called that play for Trent Richardson. Anything to actually get him productive on the field is a good thing. That said, I can't say it's not something I would expect pretty much any NFL RB to pull off. Once he catches the ball -- okay so Kenton Keith couldn't do this -- he basically just has to outrace Darryl Sharpton, who took a horrible angle, till the DB pushes him out at the sideline.
He gets the ball out in space with Thornton in front of him and McGlynn coming to the same area. Thornton throws a god awful cut block attempt at #36, who runs to the left of Thornton and essentially out of the play. Richardson then runs past Sharpton and McGlynn, which was a smart move since waiting for McGlynn would have likely cost him a few yards since there was another Texan in the area. The safeties were playing deep and he had acres of space to run into.
Reminded me a lot of a Trich production breakdown, specifically the last GIF and paragraph
"You have to make that safety miss there. There was a huge hole, you’re untouched to the second level, and you have a full head of steam. I mean, there are 100 guys sitting around the waiver wire that can gain 16 yards on plays blocked like that, and they won’t cost a first-round pick. If Richardson truly is more than just a guy, he’s going to need to hit a few of these homeruns when he has the chance."
@chip_bennett @bradicus18 I think the play-calling and personnel package issues have been well-covered on this site. I'm not as down on Richardson as Nate is but I'm not just going to dismiss his points.
As for "haters gonna hate" arguments, that's what I expect to see on ESPN and also why I refuse to take part in any discussions there.
Especially when the primary criticism of Richardson doesn't even take into consideration that his carries are coming out of a personnel set that even Donald Brown can't run out of, while being compared to Brown, who primarily runs out of a set that facilitates our line actually creating space to run.
From what I've seen - and I could be wrong - most of the criticism of Richardson derives from people not liking the trade that brought him here, and then holding his performance against him, when 90% of the problem consists of scheme and the offensive line.
So, yeah: I think "haters gonna hate" fits. He's being assessed unfairly for things outside of his control.
@chip_bennett @bradicus18 My issue is not with your disagreement with Nate regarding Trent Richardson. My issue is with your choice of language which, to me, is attempting to marginalize Nate's opinion and analysis with a simple, dismissive statement. Would you not find that disrespectful?
I think most of us are rooting for the players we have to do well. I haven't given up on DHB, though I probably should. Unfortunately, we have to be honest with ourselves on the deal Grigson made to get Richardson. I think that is where Nate's criticism is coming from. The lesson in this is not that we should dislike Richardson but that we should be afraid of how Grigson will manage the team going forward.
@travismj33 Wow, that's was a lot of bales to stick in one straw man. It's one thing for a player not to play up to his first-round status, and another for a player not to be playing up to his first-round status and then give up a first-round pick for him anyway. To be a better match, Polian would had to have seen Hughes for a couple of years as a pro, then travel back in time and select him all over again. Addai? I agree with Nate above.
@hankster Glad to help!
I don't know if it'll actually make any difference, but hey! As long as it helps maintain the enthusiasm for the task, right? :D
@hankster @AJ_ @travismj33 We ARE customers, aren't we...? Well, there are stores that will take returns YEARS later, of stuff you have used and abused. Nordstrom is famous for once taking a customer's tires (which they don't sell) giving them a refund, and then finding out where the tires were really from and settling. REI used to take back tents that were used for years and returned because they were no longer waterproof. (facepalm) That's a bit over the top, but we can see if the Colts as a business can be a little more customer responsive.
Personally, I'd like to return this theoretical game X, where we ran fifteen times into an 8-man box without trying a pass, in exchange for the second half in Houston or the Denver game in which we passed a lot. I think we'd all like to exchange the effort vs SD for the effort vs SF.
@travismj33 It's silly to rewrite a contrary opinion as an extreme one. The focus has been on T-Rich's production, as well as production vs. trade value, and in both cases, he has not delivered as expected. There's valid criticism there, and it's valid on its own merits.
When expectations are not met, criticism will follow. When the expectations being set are due to philosophies contrary to what's known about winning football from the past decade, more criticism will arise. That's the nature of sports fandom. Not all support is "LET'S GO TEAM", much of it is "This is what's wrong; when can we as customers expect a fix?" And there has never been anything wrong with that attitude. There are only things wrong with attitudes taken to an extreme, and that's simply not been the case here. Except with you.
@travismj33 Oh, and it's pretty clear that Richardson isn't an upgrade over Brown. So there's that. He's worse. Much much worse.
@travismj33 Actually Richardson isn't that well regarded any more. And they traded away a first round pick that could have been used to address a REAL need (WR).
Richardson is not a noted good guy or hard worker. His teammates in Cleveland were already done with him.
And don't you dare rip on Joe Addai. That's just stupid.
What is the mistake that has been made?
I admit I'm wrong all the time. This comes to mind: http://www.coltsauthority.com/18-to-88-2010-archives/september/an-open-letter-to-austin-collie.html
"This Colts team can play in any environment."
Based on WHAT? What evidence is there of that?
This team is just as one-dimensional as ever. Exactly what about them makes you think they can "win in any environment". Beyond that, what do you think that even means?
Also, what makes you think there is anything special about the playoffs that means winning the regular season wouldn't translate? There's no evidence that "playoff football" exists with any special formula.
Playoff football is EXACTLY like regular season football except for one thing: the sample sizes are smaller so there is more randomness in the results.
Stanford beat Oregon because of big plays. Not because of "toughness" or "style" or any of the dozen other idiot things commentators said about that game.
@couvy @Nate Dunlevy @travismj33 The point is everybody on CA is never wrong. I enjoy statistical analysis a lot but the statistical analysis in Football is much more subjective than an individual sport like baseball. I think the football metrics are getting better every but will never be baseball like. I don't mind the critical comments about the team at all. You can spin football stats to serve your needs.
I think the CA staff wants to have a one dimensional team that won in the regular season but failed in the playoffs. The CA needs to admit when they make a mistake. This Colts team can play in any environment. If the Colts can play like Stanford did against Oregon I would be happy. Kinda worried about the Rams.
@Nate Dunlevy I agree with this. Thing is, I wonder if the "party line" is being delivered because of upper management. There are times I believe they're pounding the mantra so much because they continually hear it from Grigson and Irsay and realize that's the expectation being set. Probably doesn't hurt that there's so much buy-in by the sports press too, both locally and nationally. I mean, some things you *do* own on your own when in public, and others you follow the boss's lead without comment. Part of me is curious whether you'd get different commentary if you somehow managed to give Pags and Pep a magical truth potion. Part of me thinks they'd say the same thing they're doing now... and part of me thinks we'd hear something different. I just don't know.
I do wish genuine truth serums existed. I'd be curious to give them a dose.
I think there are some of us that are exhausted by the coaching staff spouting nonsense all the time. It's irritating to listen to them talk about things are factually wrong.
I'm trying to find new angles to talk about Richardson. He can't exactly be avoided. Today I focused on his receiving ability because once again, the coaching staff is building a narrative that simply makes no sense.
Honestly, if the staff would just say, "Heck yeah we are throwing it 60-65% of the time (which is what they are doing!!!!) because our best player is a quarterback and you'd be stupid not to!", I think you'd see a lot more positivity from the writers around here.
The frustration you rightly sense comes from being treated like fools every week as the coaches and the rest of the media keep selling something that the tape reveals to be a lie.
I super happy the Colts are 6-2. I just wish they'd stop crapping on the smart philosophy the team was built on for the last 10 years, the philosophy that's been proven to win through out the whole NFL and the philosophy that even the Colts actually employ quite well.
I like Pep, actually. I find most of his stuff inventive. They ran once in the second half before the three clock-kills. That's AWESOME.
Now I just wish they'd own it. I wish they'd say, "Heck yeah we went all pass. That's how you win in this league!".
After all, that's what happened.