This morning, the Colts announced that they have signed defensive end Lawrence Guy, who spent much of last season and the 2013 preseason with Indianapolis, as well as offensive tackle Xavier Nixon, an undrafted rookie who was on the Washington Redskins practice squad. (continued after the jump)
So, I set out on a quest to find out just that. What follows is not trade analysis. I am not going to tell you who wins or loses a trade less than a week after it was made. What we'll be looking at is what effect, if any, a strong passing game has on the running game and vice-versa.
A Blowout, Yes, but Certainly No Walk in the Park
Yesterday, Indianapolis rolled into San Francisco as 10.5-point underdogs and left as dominant victors. Any given Sunday, right? The 49ers were stunned, incredulous, and certainly dismayed after such an unexpected and total defeat at home.
The Colts, well, you would have thought they eked it out on a last second field goal. According to Pagano, this blowout was no easy task. “That was a 15-round slugfest,” the Colts coach said after their 27-7 win. “That was exactly what we thought it was going to be. It’s what we prepared for. I’m going to give credit to them. That’s one heck of a football team as we know. What a great football game. It was a hard fought football game.
“To be able to run the ball like we ran the ball, move the chains, get first downs, it was tough sledding. We had pep talks about body punches. A 1-yard game, a 2-yard game a 3-yard game, don’t get discouraged. As long as we are not taking negative plays and getting behind the sticks and are staying on schedule, we’ll be fine. In the first half, both sides, third down, it was tough. Points and yards were tough to come by.”
Do we start with an offensive line which gave up 3 sacks and countless hurries and whose poor play never really allowed the team to get into a rhythm? Do we focus on the receivers who failed to create any separation in the secondary and, when the ball was thrown their way, were unable to come up with a big catch?
Or do we look at the quarterback? Called the future of the league in the preseason, he was unable to find any sort of consistency. Too many incomplete passes, too much indecision, too much wild scrambling in the backfield.
Should we turn our ire towards the coaches, who inexplicably stopped calling running plays after the first drive of the 3rd quarter, despite their brutal efficiency (19 carries for 101 yards (5.3ypc))? Coaches who seemed shocked that the opposing defense played a responsible, yet aggressive defense at all three levels?
Yes, that happened. And it's a great day to be a Colts fan.
If you had told me before today that the Colts would need to play a great game to beat San Francisco, I’d believe you. If you’d told me that the Colts run game might struggle against the heavily favored 49ers, I believe I’d be on board with that too.
However, had anyone wished to inform me that the Colts defense, especially their secondary, would play a masterpiece of a game against a very talented 49ers team, I might have had my doubts – even as a fan. Had anyone predicted Indianapolis would roll up 179 rushing yards while blowing the doors of the 49ers, well, we know where this is going. In fact, all the ingredients were in place for a blowout, just not the kind we saw today.
When we last left you, Colts Authority was sitting with an 0-1 record, a crappy roster, and a liquor cabinet full of whiskey. Well, two out of three are still true. While our roster still stinks and our liquor cabinet is still full, we were able to secure a win over an even-stinkier roster, with a 70-58 TROUNCING of the Cowboys blog, "How Bout Them Cowboys."
This week, we're going head-to-head with "Patriots Life." While we're still concerned about our QB situation (Roethlisberger gets to languish against Tim Jennings and the Bears defense while Flacco goes head-to-head with the Houston Texans), we do have a leg-up on the competition, as our opponent has already received a big "0" from Dwayne Bowe.
We did make one roster move: we picked up TE Coby Fleener as we dropped recently-IR'd teammate Dwayne Allen (sad face).
Some tough decisions this week: Kellen Winslow vs Buf or Fleener vs 49ers and Ridley vs TB or BenJarvus Green-Ellis vs GB. Probably going with Fleener and Ridley.
We'll let you know how it goes next week!no comments
12 Things to Watch in Sunday's Colts-49ers game
This Waterboy was devastating. How will the Colts' fare?
Last week, the Colts' bid to to pull out another thriller came up just short as they couldn't finish off the Miami Dolphins. This week, they take on the San Francisco 49ers in a true test of just how far the franchise has come. Here's what to be on the lookout for...
1. Watch for the litmus test. Over the next few weeks, the Colts will face three of the four best teams in football. Along with Seattle and Denver, the 49ers represent where the Colts want to be as a franchise. Forget point differential, DVOA and everything else for a moment. For fans of the good old-fashioned eyeball test, just watch the game. Do the Colts look like they are in the same league physically and talent-wise as San Francisco. Do they compete? Is the game close? Whether or not Indy sneaks into the playoffs with eight or nine wins or not, measure them against the best, and that should tell you how close they are to true contention.no comments
Sep 15, 2013; Baltimore, MD, USA; Cleveland Browns running back Trent Richardson (33) runs the ball against the Baltimore Ravens during the second half at M&T Bank Stadium. The Ravens won 14 - 6. Mandatory Credit: Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports
I've consumed massive amounts of coffee today while attempting to make sense of the AFC South. After two weeks there are more questions than answers and none of the teams look like a great bet. The Texans, still tops in the division, had their second straight slow start against the resurgent Titans. The Colts regressed against the Raiders and are now suddenly injury-plagued. The Jaguars offer the only solace: they still stink.
This week I expected Matt Schaub and the Texans to handily beat the Titans and for the Colts to pull out a win against the Dolphins. Instead we got two close games and an unexpected loss. It turns the division a bit and makes the road to the playoffs tough for Indy.
Let's take a look at how they stack up after two weeks.
This team has come out of the gate slowly in their first two weeks. This week the Texans needed overtime to gut out a win against a division rival. Losing Andre Johnson didn't make the day much better. Overall it wasn't a great day.
One shining moment is that this proves the team has the intestinal fortitude to win tough games. They don't have to blow teams out in order to keep their Lombardi hopes alive. The character gained in these moments will serve the Texans well when it gets tough down the stretch.
Again this week the Texans defense looked pretty good. They held Chris Johnson under 100 yards and kept the inept Jake Locker looking, well, inept. While Locker threw two TDs he only went 17-30 for 148 yards and was a punching bag for J.J. Watt.
Offensively Matt Schaub wasn't great. His horrific interception for a TD will haunt him this week. In the end the offense came up big in OT but it shouldn't take this kind of theatrics to finish off a team like the Titans.
I'm not ready to sound the alarm yet but the Colts badly needed to win this game at home if they wanted the make the playoffs. They didn't protect Andrew Luck and lost guard Donald Thomas along the way. The defense struggled to contain the Dolphins' passing attack and Mike Wallace looked like a great pickup as he dominated the Colts. The Colts needed a better outing as they now face a tough stretch that includes seven road games with only three home outings. They've got San Francisco, Seattle, Houston, Tennessee and San Diego along with the return of Peyton Manning and the Broncos. It's not shaping up to be an easy path to the playoffs.
The bright spot again was Andrew Luck. This week his connection with T.Y. Hilton and Coby Fleener was remarkable. His lone mistake came as he killed a potential game-winning drive by attempting to force the ball and instead lead to an interception.
The real problem this week was mental mistakes. The team blew coverages, gave up costly penalties and didn't execute in all phases of the game consistently. That has to end for this team to be considered a contender.
Adding Trent Richardson in a blockbuster trade is a big change but it's not going to fix the offensive woes the team faces. It won't protect Andrew Luck and it won't help Pep Hamilton disguise his intention. It's bold but only time will tell if it powers this team to the playoffs.
As it stands now Tennessee looks like it's got the goods to make a run at the wild card. I suspect that won't last.
Tennessee took advantage of the Texans slow start and stood their ground against a very good Texans team. The offense however looked lifeless, stalling on countless drives and giving up four sacks. Locker wasn't great but once again wasn't good. The team needs to work on getting him into better situations and getting the ball to Kenny Britt more often. Making Britt a key part of the offense may be tough given the quality of young receivers on the roster. Defensively they did what the needed to do against a sluggish Texans offense. Overall it was a quality outing for the team.
The big problem Tennesse had last week was discipline. Mike Munchak likes to talk tough but his team must not be listening. The flags flew frequently and the Titans paid royally. Had they played with more discipline they might have beaten the Texans in regulation.
Gus Bradley has the same kind of headache I have.
I don't need to write any more do I?
It's clear this is a rebuilding year for the Jags. From a personnel standpoint they are not equipped to play. Their quarterback situation is horrible. They should be calling every veteran they can to get some help. Anything. Even the Tim Tebow rally fizzled in a town that loves him--are these fans willing to suffer through this season with the kind of quarterbacks they have on the roster?
The team has few positives at this point but I still love the coaching staff. They may be the worst team in the league but Gene Smith is to blame here and that's why new GM David Caldwell has a tough road. Let's see how they draft next year.no comments