Colts 19 Chiefs 9no comments
Colts 19 Chiefs 9no comments
No TDs were scored in the first 54 minutes of play as the Colts and Chiefs traded FGs, until some powerful running from Mike Hart finally put the game away in the last 5 minutes. Jamaal Charles was as explosive as advertised with over 5 YPC, but wasn't allowed to break out. Despite 3 runs of 10+ Charles never got 15 or more in a single touch. The KC return game which had such potential to burn Indy was held quiet. Neither Thomas Jones nor the Chiefs passing game was particularly effective.
Charles contained, no ST lapses, Jones and the KC pass game ineffective means the Colts roll, right?
Indy struggled badly on offense. They kicked two chip shot FGs from inside the 10, kicked twice more inside KC's 30 and turned it over on downs in Chiefs territory before finally coming up with a touchdown on their final drive of the game. Peyton completed less than 60% of his passes for the first time this year, was constantly pressured and threw an embarrassingly bad interception that let the Chiefs tie it up at 9-9. Peyton's passes were often pressured and occasionally errant even when he got time. There were several obvious miscommunications between Peyton and his targets. On the ground the Colts started with Addai and finished strong with Hart, but the ground game was ineffective for a long stretch in the middle of the game.
The Colts overcame this uncharacteristically bad offensive day thanks to a great performance by the D. Early they put on a clinic in bend but don't break D. The Chiefs reached FG range on 5 of their first 7 drives, but came away with only 9 points. In the 4th quarter the Chiefs went 3 and out on back to back drives before being held to a 51 yard FG attempt in the last two minutes. The Chiefs converted just one of ten 3rd downs and netted only 3 points from their two redzone trips.
A very out of sync day for the Colts offense, but the Colts D stepped up and held KC to an even less efficient day in scoring range.
As always, you can follow the best voices in Colts Twitter at the 18to88.com Game Day Follow List. I won't be around today, but Luke and others will.
For those who don't use Twitter, you can follow the feed right here. Shake will be along to moderate around game time.
18 Things to Watch for in Sunday's Colts-Chiefs Game
Last week didn't exactly turn out the way I envisioned it. A couple of turnovers, some bad defense, and a 59 yard field goal sank the Colts. Now they face a must win game against the undefeated Kansas City
Chiefs. As the Colts try to get back onto the right side of .500, be watching for:
1. Watch the linebackers. The Colts' linebackers have been wildly inconsistent from week to week. They played a good game against Denver, but were a mess against the Jags last week. They say "it all starts up front" and that might be true, but the Indy defense depends upon disciplined play by the backers. Clint Session has struggled with injuries and looked lost on the field in both games he's played. Brackett has been active, but has just missed coming with game changing plays. Phil Wheeler was great against Denver and invisible last week. We need more from this unit.
The most dangerous weapon the Colts will face Sunday against the undefeated Kansas City Chiefs has got to be the electric Jamaal Charles. Charles leads the Chiefs in yardage (238 rushing, 92 receiving) and is 10th in the league in rushing yards per game (9th in total yards) even though he's yet to carry more than 12 times in a game. In just 34 carries he's already ripped off 4 runs of 20+ yards, including one of 40+ giving him an absurd YPC of 7.0. The Chiefs passing game doesn't even average 7 yards per attempt (and that's without docking them for sacks at all). Charles has been used sparingly, but VERY effectively.
Charles is obviously a potent weapon but the Colts D is built around not giving up the big play. This extends even to the Colts much maligned run defense. Last year they allowed only 1 run over 40 yards. Only 4 teams went through all of 2009 without allowing a 40+ and over half the league allowed multiple runs of 40+. They allowed only 9 runs of 20+ all year (with 4 of those coming in weeks 16/17), an effort outdone by only 9 teams last year. In 2008 (also known as the year Indy started DTs averaging 260lbs) the numbers were a touch worse than the league average (11 and 3), but in 2007 the Colts were one of 7 teams not to allow a run of 40+ yards, and allowed the 2nd least runs of 20+ yards with just 4 all year.
In 2009 Jamaal Charles had 5 runs of 40+ yards in just 190 carries. In addition to Charles, since 2005 only Chris Johnson (2009), Steve Slaton (2008), DeAngelo Williams (2008), Adrian Peterson (2007), Frank Gore (2006), LaDainian Tomlinson (2006) and Tiki Barber (2005) have had 5 or more runs of 40+ in a season and only Charles did it in under 230 carries.
The Colts have never faced Charles, but they have played 16 games against the above backs in the last 3 years (3 against Johnson, 5 against Tomlinson, 1 against Peterson, 1 against Williams, 5 against Slaton and 1 against Gore).
In the 203 carries in those 16 games, they gave up a run of 20+ 5 times. Twice to Slaton (41 and 71), Once to Tomlinson (20), Once to Gore (64) and once to Peterson (29). Not a bad total at all in a whole season's worth of games against the leagues top big play backs. Speedster Chris Johnson, responsible for 31 runs of 20+ in 31 games and 10 of 40+ over the 2008 and 2009 seasons, has yet to break a run of more than 16 yards in 3 matchups with Indy. In 2009 Chris Johnson had 22 runs of 20+ of 7 them for 40+ in the 14 games against other teams, but had longs of just 8 and 11 yards against Indy.
These 6 backs averaged 4.42 yards per carry in the 16 games against Indy, absolutely nothing to sneeze at, but that's a pretty elite group of backs.
Limiting the comparison to young backs to look and run like Charles you have Steve Slaton with 2 runs of 40+ in 52 attempts and a 6.77 YPC (vs 4.01 in games against other opponents) and Chris Johnson, with no runs of 20+ in 55 attempts and a 4.07 YPC (vs 5.19 in games against other opponents).
The massive difference in performance between the two backs lies back in 2008 where Slaton victimized the Colts D for 249 yards on just 30 carries, 8.3 YPC, in the two matchups, including both of Slaton's 40+ runs. As previously mentioned the Colts had some issues in run D in 2008. Chris Johnson going for comparatively pedestrian 19 for 77 (4.05 YPC, 16 yard long) in his one game against the 2008 Colts D which Slaton shredded can probably be attributed to the unprecedented departure from the Colts base 4-3 Tampa-2 into a 4-4 front for most of Indy's key MNF matchup against Tennessee.
In 2009, and week 1 this year Slaton was held to a far more reasonable 103 for 22 (4.68 YPC) with longs of 13, 4 and 12.
While the Colts week 1 performance and overall run D stats have many Chiefs fans salivating the real horror-shows for the Colts run D have been big pounding backs like Fred Taylor (6'1" 230lbs), MJD (5'7" 208), Arian Foster (6'0" 230lbs) and, to our eternal shame, Ron Dayne (5'10" 245lbs).
Kasey Klipsch is back with his weekly look at a drive from Sunday's game.A lot of attention has been payed to Jacksonville's last drive this past weekend. While there were lots of interesting points of contention with that drive, at the end of the day it came down to an improbable 59-yard kick. I believe there was another more important drive that determined the outcome of this game. Starting the 4th quarter it had become obvious that Peyton and the Colts' offense had figured out the Jags defense. After halftime the Colts were moving the ball with impunity, the only things preventing them from turning this game into a route were 2 very fluky (yet costly) red zone turnovers. Even with those turnovers the Colts had just driven 96 yards for the game-tying touchdown. A stop here and the Colts would be in great position to take the lead and dictate the final minutes of the game. Instead, the Colts' defense and special teams had one of the most disappointing series that I can remember.
My brother was too tied up with family issues and a serious case of cat scratch fever, so I had to call in the big guns for help with 18 Plays this week.
Derek Schultz, friend of 18to88 and host of the Zone on XL 950, stepped up to take his place. Derek was loaded with insights into the game, despite the fact that his girlfriend taped over the game with episodes of One Tree Hill. We had a great time, as always. Be sure to follow Schultz on Twitter. He's part of the 18to88 Game Day Follow List, and is loaded with great thoughts and insights throughout the day.
As always, you can download the podcast directly from the link above, listen in the embedded player on the lower right hand side of the page, or subscribe via ITunes.
Site note: Charting a drive will post first thing in the morning.
Colts' fans, forgive me. It's been 15 years. I'm owed the right to do a Reds post today.
Walt Jocketty has gotten most of the praise for building the 2010 Reds, but is it deserved? Today I want to look at each member of the 25 man postseason roster and figure out which GM was responsible for bringing him to the Queen City. I recognize that especially with minor league players, one GM may draft a player, but a new GM can still contribute to his development through good organizational philosophy. An example of this would be Votto's comments about how Dan O'Brien's minor league rule about taking a strike helped him learn to hit lefties. But still, let's give credit to the men who brought the guys to Cincy in the first place.
Jim Bowden (1):
Joe Votto. Maybe the biggest piece of the puzzle was drafted in 2002, a year before Bowden was fired.
Dan O'Brien (8):
He was reviled as GM for good reason, but did a solid job drafting. He drafted or signed:
Bruce, Hanigan, Janish, Fransico, Cueto, Wood, Bailey, and Ondrusek
Four pretty solid pitchers and Jay Bruce. Not bad.
Wayne Krivsky (8):
He took unfair heat for the Kearns/Lopez trade (a good deal for the Reds in the end), and ultimately he brought in:
Phillips, Stubbs, Heisey, Arroyo, Volquez, Cordero, Bray and Bruce
There's a lot of talent there, but it could be argued that Volquez for Hamilton was at least a mistake, if not a massive one. Dusty was also hired on his watch (for good or bad).
Walt Jocketty (8):
He gets the credit for the playoffs by bringing in:
Hernandez, Cabera, Rolen, Gomes, Cairo, Nix, Chapman, Rhodes, and Masset.
Obviously, the Rolen deal was critical, and Cabera was an asset. Rhodes has been indispensable, and getting Hernadez for the corpse of Ryan Freel was a steal.
Conclusion: No one man built the Reds into contenders. Jocketty got them over the hump, but without nearly a decade of credible drafting by others, the Reds wouldn't be playing today.
Note: Here's a parrellell article about how the players were acquired. I didn't use it for this piece, but thought it was worth mentioning since I found it after the fact.
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So, now Indy has lost Melvin Bullitt.
It's clearly a big blow, but the larger question is: is this team done?
No, not by a long-shot.
1. Home games-The Colts have already played three road games. They won one. Not up to Indy's standards or our hopes, but probably good enough. The fact is that the Colts still have a major home field advantage. They haven't lost a meaningful home game since week three of 2008 when Manning was still recovering. They play one team with a winning record (Houston) at home the rest of the year. Two games are night games. I can't see the Colts going any worse than 7-1 at home. That's a formula for success in the NFL.
2. Winnable road games-If the Colts can win at home, they need only to win 2 or 3 road games to have a 10 or 11 win team at worst. Games at Oakland, Philly and Washington are all winnable. Suddenly the Pats trade of Randy Moss makes that team look infinitely less threatening.
3. Been there done that-While I so eloquently pointed out that it's not 2008, another reader has mentioned that it does feel a lot like the end of 2006. It sort of feels like 2004 as well. The truth is that this team has come back from slow starts before, just not as often as they've wiped the floor with teams. This offense is better than the 2008 team (which couldn't run at all). If you check the advanced stats, Indy's run game is fifth in power situations and 7th in fewest runs stuffed (a MASSIVE improvement over last year). The 2008 team was 21st and 27th in the same stats.
4. The 'best' AFC teams have bad offenses-It's hard to know what Pittsburgh will be, but the Colts can't be scared of the Jets or Baltimore, even on the road.
Will this team get to 12 wins? It would be difficult without a massive improvement from the defense. Can they get to 10 or 11? Sure, and I think they will. Honestly, if Tony was still around, I wouldn't be worried at all. That's not to say I don't believe in Caldwell, I just don't know if I can believe in him. My doubt has more to do with the fact that he hasn't earned my faith rather than that he's lost it.
My best guess is that Indy heads into the bye week 4-2 and plays for first place in a month against the Texans. After that, we should have a better guess as to what this team really is.