Cowboys 38 Colts 35 (OT)no comments
Cowboys 38 Colts 35 (OT)no comments
As always, we'll be tweeting during the game. For those of you who don't use Twitter, you are missing out on lots of bonus 18to88 stuff. I routinely tweet stats, facts, and observations that don't show up on the site. You don't have to have a twitter address or tweet to read me, though. Just go here. You should also follow Luke and Shake.
On game days, I've put together a great follow list with some of the best local and national voices on the Colts.
If you will be tweeting from the game today, please let me know and I'll add you to the follow list so everyone can share your observations.
Of course, if you want to read all of this as part of our moderated chat, use the application below. Remember that I can't see what you write in the chat, so if you want to respond, use Twitter, and tag your comments @18to88. The chat will go live around 4 pm.
The Colts playoff options are more limited than before, so let's start out be establishing our 'dream scenario'.
This would send Baltimore to Indy in round one. We would obviously be fine with that matchup, having not lost to the Ravens in almost a decade. Indy would travel to the Jets in the second round, and then either go to Pittsburgh or likely get the Patriots in the Luke. Tough sledding? Heck yes. Eerily similar to 2006? Um, yes. So, using that as our template let's look at week 13:
Jets over Patriots
We don't want to go to New England. Let's get that awful Pats pass defense inside if at all possible, huh?
Titans over Jaguars.
This would mean that the Colts could come very close to winning the South with three straight wins over the Cowboys, Titans and Jaguars. I have to check the tiebreakers, but a win by the Titans and three Indy wins would put the Jags, Titans, and Texans all at 7 losses and the Colts at 9 wins with two games left. I'd take that right now in a heart beat.
Oakland at San Diego
Again, we want to hurt the Pats with Oakland wins, and we want San Diego out of the playoffs in possible, though the chances of them playing Indy before the AFC Championship game are remote.
Pittsburgh at Baltimore
Our dream scenario is probably the best we can hope for, but if you think the Ravens are better than the Steelers, then I suppose you want to play them later.
Broncos at Chiefs
Technically, the Chiefs are a game ahead of Indy right now, but I can't see them winning out. It's rational to root for them to keep winning for now so as to keep San Diego on the outs. Still, by rule, I'm going to pull against them for one more week until the Colts technically jump them for the 3rd spot.
In what is becoming a weekly tradition, I'll be on the Jersey Johnny show tonight around 7:30.
Tune to WIBC 93.1 FM, or listen here.
Also, don't forget that Blue Blood makes a great Christmas gift!
Obviously, the book is also avaible online or at local bookstores.
If you are planning on going to the game tomorrow and hoping to score last minute tickets, check out our TiqIQ facebook page. It's specifically geared toward the auction/make an offer kind of deals. That's where you'll find weird special deals and last minute ticket hookups. The normal page is more for your typical buy a day or two in advance deals. If you decide on a whim to go down to the Luke and don't want to hassel with scalpers on the street, remember the facebook page, and you'll be able to land a good deal that others might not have seen.
Very soon, we'll be adding the ability to compare ticket prices for the Pacers, Reds, and other events in and out of Indianapolis to the ticket page. It's a sweet service because it's designed to help you get the best deals online, and it helps support the site. Be watching for more updates.
18 Things to Watch for During Sunday's Colts Cowboys Game
Peyton Manning shot JR.
Last week, things didn't go as planned. Peyton struggled. The run game struggled. The officials struggled. And the result was a loss for the Colts. The margin of error for the 2010 Colts isn't quite gone, but it's safe to say they can't really afford to give away another game. With the ever popular Dallas Cowboys coming to town, here's what to watch for this Sunday:
1. Watch the slump. It's all anyone can talk about. Peyton Manning's passing stats have been in free fall since the carnage of the bye week. Peyton has posted a passer rating under 70 in three of his last four games. His yards per attempt has dipped below SIX five times in seven games. Of course, injuries to Manning's most reliable weapons has accounted for much of the slack, but that hasn't stopped the vultures from circling. The Colts need 18 to break out of his funk. I mean, it's been a whole month since his TD/INT ration was 15/2!
If you are looking to score tickets to Sunday's game, TiqIQ will help you find the best online deals. TiqIQ isn't selling you tickets, it's just helping find the best price. When you use the 18to88 links at the top of the page or on facebook (where there are often special and last minute deals posted), you are helping out 18to88.com AND helping yourself find the best deal in the specific seating area you want. Really, there's no reason NOT to use TiqIQ. Even if you aren't buying tickets, it's pretty fascinating to give it a look and see what seats are going for.
Earlier today I read someone comment about the Bills run of 4 straight Super Bowl losses, pondering how unlikely losing 4 straight title games really was. This got me wondering, "What are the odds of winning a title for any playoff team?"
12 teams make the playoffs, if we treat every team as all being equal, then for the 8 wildcard teams the odds of a title maths-out as .5 chance to win their WC game * .5 for the divisional * .5 for the conference championship * .5 for the Super Bowl = 6.25%, 1 in 16. For the 4 teams with a bye the odds if all playoff teams are equal would be .5 for divisional * .5 for conf champ * .5 for Super Bowl = 12.5%, 1 in 8
So assuming all teams to be equal what are the odds a "hypothetical" team with 8 playoff trips, 3 of them with byes would win at least 1 title?
For each playoff trip without a bye there would be a 15/16 chance they didn't win, and a 7/8 chance they didn't win each time they had a bye. (15/16)^5 * (7/8)^3 = .485, a 48.5% chance they wouldn't win a title in that 8 year run.
Obviously all teams aren't equal, since the NFL went to a 12 team playoff in 1990 there have been only 5 Super Bowl winners who didn't have a 1st round bye. If the 8 wildcard teams actually had a 1/16 chance, we would expect them to have won half (10) of the titles, rather than just a quarter. This would suggest that the odds of a 3 through 6 seed winning a Super Bowl is really 1/32, with the bye teams reaping the benefits at 3/16 each, six times more likely to win a title.
With these tweaks are hypothetical team's non-title odds would look like (31/32)^5 * (13/16)^3 = .458. Still slightly more likely than not to win a title, but the margin's slim.
Homefield is worth something right? and better teams are likelier to have earned the home field advantage as well. In the 20 years of 12 team playoffs a #1 seed has won their conference 20 times. 1/2 odds compared to the 1/4 that would be expected if all playoff teams were equal. If we consider the Super Bowl a 50/50 shot since there's no homefield and seeding doesn't rank teams from different conferences against eachother so a #1 seed has much less meaning, then a #1 seed has a 1/4 shot at a title. This eats the #2 seed odds down to 1/8 from the 3/16 for all bye teams together.
Since the NFL went to 4 divisions in 2002, 2 teams have won their conference after losing their division. If all non-bye teams have a 1/32 chance of a title and we consider the Super Bowl a 50/50 shot a non-bye team should have a 1/16 chance to win their conference, exactly what we see from the wildcard teams (2 winners of 32 WCs). 3rd and 4th seeds don't seem to fair any better than wildcards when it comes to making the Super Bowl, and actually do worse winning it with both of those wildcards playing in the Super Bowl taking home the Lombardi. The '06 Colts are the only 3 or 4 seed to win the title in the last 8 years. It shouldn't really be a surprise that wildcards have at least matched the 3/4 seeds given that often one or both wildcards have a better record than a 4 seed from a weak division.
The recent history handicaps the Super Bowl as 1/4 odds for the #1 seeds, 1/8 odds for the #2 and everyone playing in the wildcard round at 1/32.
Our "hypothetical" franchise was the #1 seed in 2 of their 3 years with a bye so would be expected to miss out on a title over our 8 year span (2 #1 seeds, 1 #2 seeds and 5 other berths) at a rate of; (31/32)^5 * 7/8 * (3/4)^2 = .418, 41.8% of the time.
I imagine the identity of my "hypothetical" franchise is pretty transparent by this point, but let's check out the odds of a 2nd title, since they were more likely than not to win at least 1.
The team could win exactly one title in the 8 years, 8 different ways.
5 chances to win as a non-bye: 5 * (1/32) * (31/32)^4 * (7/8) * (3/4)^2 = 6.8%
1 chance to win as the #2 seed: 1 * (31/32)^5 * (1/8) * (3/4)^2 = 6.0%
2 chances to win as the #1 seed: 2 * (31/32)^5 * (7/8) * (1/4) * (3/4) = 28.0%
For a total of 40.8%. A 41.8% chance of no titles, plus a 40.8% chance at exactly one leaves 17.4% for multiple titles. 12.3% of that is exactly 2 titles. Slightly better than 5:1 odds for our "hypothetical" franchise to win more than 1 title in that 8 year span. To have better than 50% odds at winning multiple titles in a 8 year span a team would need to win a #1 seed every year. Slipping just one year to a #2 would bring their expected odds below 50/50.
Winning a title is hard, in the NFL, 31 teams fail every year, 15 of them playoff teams, 7 or 8 of those division winners, even among the teams watching from home on wildcard weekend, 3 or occasionally all 4 won't be lifting the Lombardi. Super Bowl or bust is catchy, but even for the best teams it's a set up for disappointment.
Given all the hand wringing about the offensive line, and seeing as how most of the problems trace back to the terrible tackle play the Colts have gotten out of Charlie Johnson and Ryan Diem, I thought it would be interesting to see where elite tackles come from in the draft.
I made a list of all the Pro Bowl tackles in the NFL since 2007. There are 15 of them (not distinguishing between right and left).
Of the 15, 9 of them were drafted in the first round. 7 of the 9 were taken in the first ten picks, and NONE of the first round picks were taken lower than 19th.
Of the other 6, 5 were second round picks and one (Jason Peters) was an undrafted free agent. The second round picks were all taken between spots 38-50 of the second round.
In 2007, the next tackle off the board after Ugoh was James Marteen at pick 67 in the third round.
In 2008, there were no tackles taken after pick 26 (BEFORE the Colts would have drafted) until pick 68 in the third round.
In 2009, the Colts took Moala at 56, but could have selected Sebastian Volmer or William Beatty. Had they passed on Don Brown, they could have had Phil Loadholt or Eben Britton.
In 2010, they could have taken Saffold at the end of the first round or Charles Brown instead of Angerer.
In terms of drafting quality tackles that's the extent of the Indianapolis choices. If you are wildly in love with one of those players, then you think Indy made a mistake.
There are basically six total tackles the Colts could have had but passed on. I'll be honest, no one on that list excites me at all. The biggest argument might be over Hughes over Saffold at the end of this year's first round, but I'm not sure that a rookie LT would be fairing all that much better than Charlie Johnson right now.
Of the six total tackles, only three were taken before spot 50 (Saffold, Britton, Loadholt).
Pro Bowl tackles are found at the very top of the first round. Once in a while a guy slips deeper.
The Colts have simply drafted too low for too long to restock the tackle position.
I'm still sick, so recording 18 Plays just wasn't going to happen this week. Here are some observations after watching the tape:
1. 3-9-SD 38 (11:39) (Shotgun) 18-P.Manning pass short right to 85-P.Garcon pushed ob at SD 28 for 10 yards (23-Q.Jammer).
This was a strong game from Garcon, as he made a couple of catches like this on third down. Manning wasn't pressured much early in the game, but this is one of the few plays where he got hit. Devan's man came free and knocked into Manning just after he released the pass. Garcon breaks off his route perfectly along the sideline and shows excellent foot control to get both feet down. The result was a big first down on the opening drive.
2. 3-4-SD 4 (9:22) (Shotgun) 18-P.Manning pass short right to 84-J.Tamme for 4 yards, TOUCHDOWN.
Indy goes three wide again with Tamme setup TE left. Manning has to step up because of light pressure, but has a clear pocket in front of him. He has Brown and Tamme tightly covered right at the goal line and goes far right to Tamme who has cut across the field. Good coverage by the Chargers, but just an outstanding throw by Manning and good body control by Tamme to get across the goal line. The Colts clearly knew exactly where to attack the Chargers, and the opening drive was pristine. Anyone questioning the Indy game plan simply wasn't paying attention.