Saints 30 Colts 17
Saints 30 Colts 17
Hey everyone, I'll be checking in at the end of every quarter. I am reading and keeping up on all the comments as well.
Here are your inactives:
The Colts: K Adam Vinatieri, WR Sam Giguere, TE Colin Cloherty, DT John Gill, OT Michael Toudouze, G Mike Pollak, DE Erwin Baldwin, DT Fili Moala.
The Saints: Southlake Carroll's own Chase Daniel is the third QB, RB Lynell Hamilton, LB Anthony Waters, G Jamar Nesbit, TE Darnell Dinkins, TE Tory Humphrey, WR Adrian Arrington, DE Paul Spicer.
The Colts dominate the first quarter of play, forcing two punts on defense. The line, including Freeney is pushing the pocket back in Brees's face, making it hard for him to complete passes. The Colts convert an opening drive into a field goal, and then go 96 yards for a touchdown, capped off by a sweet TD pass to Frenchy on third down. Indy is running the ball at will up the middle on the Saints. This is the key drive for the Colts. A stop for the defense, and the blowout could be on. 10-0 Colts. So far, so good.
The second quarter was a grind it out session. Dwight Freeney came up with a brilliant sack to hold the Saints to a field goal. The Colts offense had a chance to put the game away, but Garcon dropped a critical third down pass. It looked like he had room to run, and the ball would have been out near midfield. Instead, the Saints drove down to the goal line, but failed on third and fourth down runs. Brilliant coaching by Sean Payton left the Colts on the goal line with two minutes to play. The Colts played too conservative, running a terrible play on third and one. The Saints got the ball back and drove in position for the long field goal. The game is 10-6, and the Colts are still in control, with the game being played to their liking. The Saints have yet to really stop the Colts, so there's every reason to hope for a score to open the second half. Brees is feeling some heat, and the Colts defense looks fast. Ultimately, if the Colts lose this game, they'll have to point to the dropped pass on third down as the real turning point, as well as the over conservative play calling to end the half. A 'drive' where Peyton Manning doesn't throw is not a drive at all.
The third quarter was back and forth. Great coaching by Sean Payton led to an onside kick. With Freeney on the bench, the Saints easily marched for a touchdown to take their first lead. Manning responded with a brilliant drive capped by a Joe Addai touchdown. The Saints answered with another long field goal, to cut the lead to 17-16. The Colts need to keep putting up points to match the Saints. This game feels like it will come down to a key fourth down call.
So here it is. 15 minutes to play. 1 point lead. Colts ball. Hold on to your hats.
Caldwell coaches the Colts into a corner with an unforgivable decision to kick a long field goal. The defense gives up points on the final four Saints possessions.
Down 7 with 3 to play, Manning throws a pick six, and that's the game.
I've been thinking lately about what winning this Super Bowl would mean to me as a Colts fan. Tonight a flood of ideas hit me out of nowhere.
1.) Winning XLIV will make breaking every last passing record a lot less important. Manning will spend the final years of his career hunting records that almost universally belong to Brett Favre. After tomorrow it won't matter nearly as much. We love stats and that will never change. But we won't be forced to pull them out in anger nearly as often.
2.) Winning would mean a lot of baseless digs at Colts not currently featured on this team. We've already seen this begin during the past month. People will rip Edgerrin James, Marvin Harrison, Tony Dungy, and Bob Sanders. This will piss us off and likely start a few internet shouting matches. (It is only fair to mention the downside of winning.)
3.) Winning means the end of the Atlanta Braves comparison forever. I can't tell you how much that possibility excites me. I hated the Atlanta Braves dynasty. There was just something trashy about those teams. Whenever I think about them I think about their failures rather than their immense and sustained success. It is grossly unfair, but people think of the Colts run of success in the same light. A second Super Bowl championship would put an exclamation mark on more than a decade of dominance.
4.) Winning would mean Tom Brady can feel Peyton's hot breath on the back of his neck. Okay... that came out horribly wrong, but you get the idea. We can start talking about how the Colts have won two of the last four titles. But hey, the Pats have won three of the last nine!
5.) Winning means I can add to my collection of
bootleg highly questionable fully-stitched Colts Super Bowl jerseys from China parts unknown. I got a #88 and #29 from XLI. DZ got a #21 and #18. We paid a total of $125 for four jerseys. Totally real looking. Ebay rules.
6.) Winning would make DZ's forthcoming book an absolute must read.
7.) Winning would punch Bill Polian's ticket to Canton. It would also greatly boost the Hall chances of Jeff Saturday, Dwight Freeney, Reggie Wayne, and Dallas Clark.
8.) Winning would complete one of the most impressive seasons in NFL history. Winning convincingly would start a debate that might last for years to come. Where would you rank the 17-2* Indianapolis Colts?
9.) Winning means another Peyton Manning appearance on SNL. Huzzah!
10.) Winning XLIV means fan nirvana. The Colts never lost a game they tried to win? Peyton won his fourth MVP? There is life after Dungy? Yup -- we are one win from fan nirvana. I can't believe we are this close.
For two weeks now, we've hashed and rehashed this game. There's nothing left to talk about it. It's time to just play it.
Come Monday, you will all either be so happy that nothing I could do would add to it or so depressed that I won't be able to help you.
Today however, we're all nervous, excited, bored, worried, whatever. I figured that maybe I can cheer you all up.
Today, I offer it up to all of you as a happy distraction. Back when I worked at a video store, a buddy and I used to play a game where we re-wrote the endings to movies. Every movie had to end with the main characters saying the title of the movie and giving each other a high five. The movie would end with them in freeze frame. Makes sure you click the link (and read the comments) for some very good examples. Without further ado,
18 Movies Endings Greatly Improved By A High Five Freeze Frame
1. The Usual Suspects-Kevin Spacey limps out of the police station and meets his lawyer. Before getting into the car he says, "They never guessed that I was Kaiser Soze! That's because I wasn't one of the Usual Suspects!". They high five...freeze frame.
2. Return of the King-Frodo looks at Sam and says, "I guess we showed Sauron who was the real Lord of the Rings!". They high five...freeze frame. Disclaimer #1: I know the movie isn't called Lord of the Rings. Sue me. Disclaimer #2: This movie is almost disqualified, because in Fellowship of the Ring, they practically did this scene. When Elrond proclaims "They shall be called, 'The Fellowship of the Ring!'", all that was missing was the high five. Great movie...awful scene.
3. Top Gun- Tom Cruise says to Ice, "I guess we showed those Russians who was Top Gun!". Sexually ambiguous high five, freeze frame. Alternate ending #2: Tom Cruise tells Ice, "Would you like to see my Top Gun?".
4. Return of the Jedi- Obi Wan, Yoda and Anakin appear to Luke as force ghosts. Obi Wan turns to Anakin and says, "Now that's what I call a Return of the Jedi!". Ghostly high Five...freeze frame.Disclaimer: This may actually get edited into the Blue Ray version.
5. Chinatown- Walsh turns to Jake and says, "Hey, whatta you gonna do? That's Chinatown!". High five, freeze frame. Disclaimer: That's more or less what happened anyway? Right?
6. Platoon-Taylor says to the chopper pilot, "Man, that was one badass Platoon!" High five, freeze frame. Disclaimer: If Charlie Sheen had written his own lines, that's what would have happened.
7. Raging Bull-An old Jake La Motta greets patrons at the restaurant with the line, "When I was younger, I was a real Raging Bull!". He high fives the customers...freeze frame.
8. The Matrix-Neo steps out of the phone booth, turns to Trinity and says, "It won't be long before we take down The Matrix!" High five...freeze frame. Disclaimer: This would have vastly improved The Matrix: Revolutions.
9. A Beautiful Mind-The Nobel committee announces, "We'd like to give the Nobel prize to Russel Crowe because he has A Beautiful Mind!" Norwegian high Five, freeze frame.
10. The Sound of Music-After escaping the Nazi's Mr. Von Trapp says to Julie Andrews, "Hey! The hills really ARE alive with the Sound of Music!" Musical high five, freeze frame.
11. Brokeback Mountain-Jack says to Alma Jr."You're getting married? May I suggest a honeymoon on Brokeback Mountain". Uncomfortable high five...freeze the frame.
12. Inglorious Bastards-After carving a swastika in the head of Hans Landa, he screams, "You Inglorious Bastards!" Aldo and Utivich high five, and freeze frame. Tarantino would have done this had it occur ed to him.
13. Pride and Prejudice-Elizabeth says to Darcy at the wedding, "I'm so happy we overcame our Pride and Prejudice!" Darcy gives her repressed Victorian eyes which say, "Oh yeah, we are doing it tonight!". High five, freeze frame.
14. Star Trek II-Kirk turns to McCoy after watching Spock's body soar toward the planet below and says, "I never knew how much we'd feel The Wrath of Khan!" Somber high five. Freeze frame.
15. There Will Be Blood-Plainview says to his butler who is shocked at the murder, "I told you all along that There Will Be Blood!" The butler shrugs, laughs, and they high five. Freeze frame.
16. Cider House Rules-Homer performs an abortion on a patient, who declares, "The Cider House Rules!". Effeminate Toby Maguire high Five, freeze frame.
17. Dead Poets Society-Instead of saying, "Oh Captain, my Captain!" Ethan Hawk stands on his desk and shouts, "Thanks, Robin Williams for helping us start the Dead Poets Society!". Everyone stands up and cheers and the camera freezes on a group high five. Way better if you ask me.
18. Guess Who's Coming to Dinner-Spencer Tracy turns to Kate Hepburn and says, "I guess next time I won't have to Guess Who's Coming to Dinner!". Classic actor high Five and freeze frame.
Feel free to add your own suggestions to the comments.
18 Things to Watch for During the Super Bowl
I'd think they'd be playing for something better, really.
Two weeks ago, the Colts punched their ticket for Miami. Now it's finally here, and the media attention is through the roof. I considered not doing an Eyes in the Backfield for this game, because I figured that no more digital trees should be cut down to feed the hype machine. Then I realized that digital trees actually hurt the environment, and that I'd be doing the world a favor by adding my long winded opinions to the mix. So for the Colts, the city of Indianapolis, and yes, the Earth itself, I offer you this column. Here's what to watch for come Sunday...
1. Watch for Wolverine. Dwight Freeney is the big story, face it-the only story, this week. I'm echoing the thoughts of others, but something is off. My first clue was Jim Caldwell's rather thorough description of the injury on Sunday night. When have the Colts EVER given that much information that specifically about an injury. All this started when an anonymous source tipped off Adam Schefter that Freeney popped a ligament in his ankle. Then, all week we see him walking around in flip flops. What? Flip flops hurt my feet on a good day. Now Raheem Brock announces he'll play RDE if Freeney's out. Huh? Just a hunch, friends, but I'm thinking 93 plays and plays a lot. Otherwise, the Colts have just been extra nice to the media on Super Bowl week. Oh, did I mention that no one has seen Polian in forever? Hmmmm...
2. Watch Greer. FO's numbers show that Saints corner Jabari Greer is significantly better than the other corners New Orleans has. Granted, he's no Revis, but it could lead to another quiet night out of Reggie Wayne. I know Wayne wants to have a huge day playing his home town team in the city where he went to college, but with a bevy of deadly receivers to choose from, Peyton could be content to let Reggie Wayne occupy the Saints best corner (and maybe a safety too), and throw to Collie, Garcon, and Clark.
Can we PLEASE stop talking about how much better our coverage units are this year? It's all about McAfee, not the coaching.
Based on FO measures, McAfee was the best kickoff man in the league this season. Take out squibs and onside kicks, and McAfee leads the league with 70.8 yards per kickoff. The problem is that the Colts were just average in net kickoff value because their coverage team gave almost all that value back by allowing long returns
This deserves more of an airing. From the Footballoutisders:
The Colts rarely blitz, sending at least five pass-rushers 24 percent of the time (29th) and at least six pass-rushers just 4 percent of the time (31st).
So, yes. The 2009 Colts blitz about twice as much as the 2008 Colts, but they still only rank 29th in the league in blitzing, and 31st in big blitzing. I think the 'Coyer has changed the Colts defense' story is a bit over blown. There are more blitzes, but still relatively few.
The Freeney situation has been bugging me all week. Not just because I want him to be healthy, but because there are certain aspects of it that just don't add up. That's why I'm so thankful for this email from reader Dr. Ben. I'm glad to know that a professional is just as confused as I am. This is what Dr. Ben says about the injury:
So you know where I'm coming from, I am a physical therapist who just graduated with my doctorate in PT this past summer (from the University of Indianapolis) and currently work in the workman's comp arena. That is to say, I do NOT work in sports medicine. However, as both are under the umbrella of outpatient, orthopedic medicine, it's a similar injury set (with patients that are far less in shape!)
What I can tell you is that this all seems a little...off to me. I saw the injury in person and later watched the replay, thinking very little of it. Freeney walked off under his own power-rather casually. No one walks off with a grade three ankle sprain when the consequences of said injury are decreased stability of the ankle.
70-80 percent of ankle sprains are to the Anterior TaloFibular Ligament or the CalcaneoFibular Ligament or both. Freeney's was probably the ATFL, judging by the replay. These ligs both guard against rolling the right ankle with cutting to the left. Obviously crucial to Freeney's game.
With muscular injuries, there are always more surrounding muscle fiber to "pick up the slack." You can mask the pain or play through it, often without significant drop off in production.
Ligamentous injuries are different. Stability is the casualty. without stability there is more motion which screws up timing, speed and confidence...even when taped and with pain shots. The brain knows something is not right.
There is divergent opinion/protocol for this ruptured lig: surgical and conservative (non-surgical). Studies show that conservative treatment is no different in long-term stability but allows earlier return to function with less residual (long-term) pain/swelling. Obviously conservative course of action being taken as early surgery has the best outcome for the surgical option.
Conservative protocol includes crutches for first few days (mild ankle sprains) up to first two weeks (severe ankle sprains). Return to activity is achieved gradually due to the nature of the healing process: maturation of the collagen cells that restore integrity to the ligament takes weeks to months to complete. In this time, the lig is more susceptible to re-injury in its weakened state. And this is not to mention regaining other crucial factors as well, such as proprioception.
A lot is made of Freeney's history of fast healing and the 24 hr care he is receiving. Also Methodist Sports Medicine has advanced protocols that are much more aggressive than those used in the "typical" patient. However, you can only speed up a process (that takes several weeks to months) by so much without risking re-injury (or potentially, a career)--not to mention how ineffective one would be in the process of playing too early with such an injury.
That is why this does not make sense to me. Different types of injuries heal at different rates and I do not see how one (or a whole medical staff with hyperbaric chambers etc...) could speed up this injury- as serious as it is being reported.
My guess is that an initial manual test of ligamentous integrity was performed on the sideline, indicating a grade III sprain (perhaps even influenced by residual laxity of lig from previous ankle sprain) and the Colts ran with it, knowing full well (or not wanting to know) that it was not accurate.
This fits with Freeney's appearance at the time of injury and his demeanor in the interview you posted but not with the Colts MO, historically speaking. The Colts are guarded about information but not misleading (or deceitful at worst). Furthermore, the Saints organization has people even more watchful and experienced than me that must be watching and would see this as well. So what gives?
It is either being overstated, or Freeney is Wolverine.
All of this is to say that all the reports do not jive with what I've seen and experienced from my perspective as a physical therapist. I think there is something a little fishy about the whole thing.
There is information about schools online at Guide to Online Schools for people who are interested in careers in the medical field, and possibly interested in sports medicine or physical therapy, like Dr. Ben. I'm optimistic based on what I know and saw...but then again, I've been wrong before. I'm still eating crow on McGwire.
For real this time. You can hear my interview here.
I believe it's archived at the same place, so if you missed it, go check it out later!
I hate the extra week before the Super Bowl.
One moment everything is happening, it's all action and excitement, and then a giant H-bomb of confetti goes off, and the whole slate is wiped clean, reset. The only thing I can do about it is wait. Waiting drives you crazy. When the AFC Championship game ended, I was pumped. It was as excellent a penultimate chapter as could be hoped for. Now I'm waiting for the final episode of the 2010 post-season, and all I can do is hope that the ending doesn't suck, somehow invalidating everything that came before it.
I feel like I'm trying to take in two divergant realities. In the first, the quest is successful and everything goes back to normal. The hero is safe and sound (though still battling father issues). Old favorites who should have died a long time ago are inexplicably still around (Del Rio, cough).
But if they should lose on Sunday night...I don't even want to think about it. Everyone will wake up disoriented and bloody, not sure where they are or what they are supposed to do next. It will feel like all that is good and right and pure is dead. Oh sure, there's will be hope whispering from the grave not to give up. Peyton will dust himself off and keep plugging away in his efforts to save everyone, but most of all himself. I've seen enough of the previous episodes to maintain some flicker of faith that by the end of it all, I'll get a few more thrills and be satisfied, but I can't help being nervous about the whole thing. There isn't that much time left. What if all the loose ends aren't tied up? What if I never get my happy ending? What if the whole thing just sucks until it's done?
I shouldn't be so uneasy, after all, I've seen enough to know that on the island that is the NFL, no one is dead until they are dead. One more comeback is always in the works. So what if one of the heros is crippled? You never can tell when he'll rise to his feet, miraculously healed.
This Super Bowl is driving me crazy, because it's hard to root against the Other team. Half the time they seem like they are on your side. Sure they are crazy dangerous and their offense is weird as crap, but after the way they treated the evil Patriots, should we really be so distrustful? Maybe they really are Saints, devotees to some ancient NFL religion sent to us to help our hero complete his arduous tasks?
The one trap we can't fall into is trying to read all the tea leaves and decipher every little clue to the ending. Whatever happens, it won't unfold like we think, and all the signs and arcane numbers will just lead us down the wrong path.
There's nothing we can do now but wait and watch, and pray that damn plane doesn't crash again.
Wait, what was I talking about?