“A very sound team, and unpredictable. He will pull some tricks out, so you have to be on your P’s and Q’s.” – Robert Mathis on facing a Jeff Fisher-coached team (brings back memories of a certain 2004 game and a flurry of onside kicks)
Yes, one of Indy’s more respected (former) long-time AFC South nemeses is coming to town on Sunday. The Colts will take on the St. Louis Rams, whom Fisher has been quietly molding into something similar to a few of his better Titans teams, with a reliable running game, a 4-3 defense that has a playmaker at each level, and a good, if not necessarily elite, quarterback.
It was a wild finish for the Colts and Texans on Sunday night but in the end not much changed within the suddenly stable AFC South. The pecking order remained the same and the world continued spinning as expected.
How we arrived at this point is bizarre tale however. The Jaguars rested following having their best home crowd this season in London. The Titans knocked off the Rams with Jeff Fisher at the helm on the opposite sideline. The Texans played bully to Andrew Luck until he masterminded another 4th quarter comeback. To say the least, it was a pretty exciting week in the AFC South.
Welcome to Who to Root For for Week 10 of the NFL season.
Each week I break down the schedule in grammatically incorrect fashion. That is, of course, unless you consider avoiding awkward constructions to be the heart of proper grammar in which case this column will be near and dear to your heart. Though it likely means you aren't a big football fan, in which case this will be irrelevant to your life.
EASY CALLS (Home team in bold)
Jaguars over Titans
Ravens over the Bengals
Cardinals over the Texans
Chargers over the Broncos
The big games are the Jags, Ravens and Chargers games. These are simple calculations of rooting against teams with the better record and/or rooting against AFC South teams.
Dolphins over the Buccaneers
Raiders over the Giants
Because the Colts odds of winning the South are so high, we'll root for their strength of schedule to go up. It's hard to see a scenario where the Dolphins and Colts finish tied for a playoff spot at this point. Rooting for the Raiders boosts Indy's strength of victory.no comments
This season, Colts Authority is launching a game charting project involving staff members and volunteer readers in an attempt to gather as much data as we possibly can to continue to pass as much accurate, valuable information on to you, the reader. This is the first part of this project, in which Colts Authority reader and guest contributor Ben Gundy will be charting the Colts' offensive linemen every week. We will have more charting projects rolling out in coming weeks, but big thanks to Ben for getting us started out with a fantastic piece of work. - KJR
Hello, Colts fans, and welcome to the first installment of a series breaking down Indianapolis’ offensive line play.
For the purposes of this project, I rated each lineman’s block on every play good, bad or “not involved.” The latter designation usually means the player couldn’t find anyone to block.
As with all attempts at grading offensive linemen, these ratings should be taken with a grain of salt. It’s impossible to know the linemen’s assignments, and inevitably some subjectivity comes into play. As such, the figures below should be considered ballpark estimates and not precise measurements. Still, it’s usually fairly easy to tell whether a lineman succeeds in blocking the guy in front of him.
Editor's note: Based on my review of this data set, and some of Ben's previous work, he's got a pretty good eye for this. You're in good hands. - KJRno comments
Well, it was a nightmare, then it was just uncomfortable, and then it was elation.
Welcome to the Luck/Pagano/Grigson-era Colts!
In one of the most frustrating halves in Andrew Luck's career, the Colts struggled to move the ball, score and stop the other team, all things that are semi-important in the NFL. Luck completed just 3 of 12 passes in the first half for 56 yards, and was sacked three times as the offensive line decided to invite J.J. Watt in for tea and biscuits.
The receivers weren't helping anything, with just about everyone (T.Y. Hilton, Darrius Heyward-Bey, Griff Whalen, Donald Brown, and Trent Richardson all were culprits) dropping a Luck pass at one point or another. Defensively the Colts seemed completely surprised by Case Keenum's athletic ability and downfield accuracy. Oh, and Andre Johnson? Even though he has over 100 catches and 1500 yards against the Colts in his career (more than double anybody else over that time), the Colts tried to single-cover him.
It didn't work.
So, the Colts went into halftime down 21-3. They left Houston with a 27-24 win and a two-game lead in the AFC South.
How did they do it? We have all the GIFs to explain it!
This year, the Colts have alternated between stretches of difficult-to-watch and astoundingly great play. While it always looks better when they win, the problems still exist, and Head Coach Chuck Pagano is well aware of the egg the team nearly laid on Sunday Night Football.
“You’re exactly right,” he said to a reporter asking about the team’s first half problems. “It’s the big pink elephant in the middle of the room. The win does cure, you can walk around it and avoid it but we don’t do that.”
They’ll come back in here Wednesday morning and a lot of guys are already in here. They’ll be in here tomorrow. They’ll watch that tape. We’ll point out everything in all three phases. Individually, as position groups and go back to work and get the mistakes corrected, get the communication cleaned up, get the technique cleaned up.”
After a painful (and boring) bye week, the Colts were ready to play some football again, this time against a division rival: the Houston Texans.
With a 2-5 record, Houston entered the game as one of the biggest disappointments of the 2013 NFL Season. Still, being a divisional game, it wasn’t going to be an easy one for Indy, especially after losing veteran WR Reggie Wayne.
Let’s take a look at the Colts’ three units, see how well they did against the Texans and pick out the best player of each unit.