This is so good, it goes on the front page.
Tip to Stan, the tape of the game (as broken down by a NY writer) shows Manning tore up the Jets
This is so good, it goes on the front page.
Tip to Stan, the tape of the game (as broken down by a NY writer) shows Manning tore up the Jets
Who is the King of the NFL?
Peyton Rex or Rex Ryan? This Sunday we'll get an answer, and though we don't have a lot of data to work with about Manning has played against the Jets defense, we can see how Manning has played against Ds run by Jets Head Coach Rex Ryan. Ryan became the defensive coordinator for the Ravens in 2005.
2005 Week 1 Colts 24 Ravens 7
Manning was 21/36, 254, 2 TDs. Colts scored 17 points and then took the air out of the ball.
2006 Playoffs Colts 15 Ravens 6
Manning was 15/30, 170, 2 INT. Indy goes for five field goals in Baltimore. This is the game the Jets fans have to hope for. Of course, the Ravens lost by 9 with a better O against a lesser defense, but it's still their best hope.
2007 Colts 44 Ravens 20
Uh oh. Manning goes 13/17 for 249 and 4 TDs.
2008 Colts 31 Ravens 3
Manning goes 19/28 271 and 3 TDs
2009 Jets 29 Colts 15
Before Manning gets pulled he posts 15 points (2 TDs, FG), and 14/21 for 192 yards.
That means that in five games against a defense run/designed by Rex Ryan. Two of those defenses (2006, 2008) were better by DVOA than the 2009 Jets. All of them were top 5 DVOA defenses.
Manning's total stats against Rex Ryan: 82/132, 62.1%, 1136 yards, 8.6 YPA, 9 TDs, 2 INTs, 106.1 rating.
Rex Ryan is a marvelous defensive coordinator. His blitz heavy philosophy will be frustrate most quarterbacks.
Peyton Manning is not most quarterbacks. He's the king.
By the way, I saw on a Jets blog this comment:
I am no fool, the Jets absolutely benefitted from the Colts pulling their starters in that game. What I would say, is that the Jets were down just five points when Caldwell removed Manning from the game. The Colts are a team that averaged 26 points per game on the season, so to hold them to just 15 points in more than two quarters, is an impressive showing by the Jets defense in my opionion.
Again, I feel bad for the Jets fans. They may not be fools exactly, but they aren't good at math. The Colts starters played 2.5 quarters or 62.5% of a game. If the Colts matched their same rate of production for the rest of the game, they would have scored 24 points. Considering that the Jets' blocked an XP on Adam "I haven't kicked in two months" Vinatieri led to the Colts essentially losing 2 points (they missed the 2 pt conversion to make up for it)...I'd say the Jets were basically on pace to give up...
around 26 points.
Departing ever so quickly from football, I went to see Sherlock Holmes with my wife the other night. We were both into the movie. I've been a Holmes fan since I read the complete works in 5th grade. I had been begging my wife to read them for years, and she recently started and immediately loved them. I've also been a Guy Ritchie fan since Lock, Stock, and Two Smoking Barrels came out. I also think Snatch is a vastly underrated movie as well and own copies of both. I thought the trailer for the movie looked awful (to my great disappointment), and hadn't planned on seeing it, but once the early word came in that Sherlock Holmes was faithful to the spirit of the books and stories, we were gung ho to see it.
While Holmes is not a perfect movie, I have to say that I've rarely enjoyed myself so much. The acting and dialogue is excellent and Robert Downey Jr. and Jude Law dominate the screen with their wit and chemistry. The most distracting aspect was that we've recently been reluctantly watching the Holmes derivative House MD, and it's hard not feel like you are watching House and Wilson half the time. That's only because they are working with the same source material as inspiration, however. The two lead actors are tremendous in every way. The scenes where Holmes analyzes how to defeat an opponent at fisticuffs are spectacular.
The only negative things I would say about the movie are that several of the set pieces went on too long. The fistfights with the large Frenchman were too long and unsatisfying. I want less action and more dialogue, but maybe that's because at 33, I'm already an old dude and would rather watch snappy banter than a long chase scene. The other modest flaw in the movie is that Rachel McAdams is horribly miscast as Irene Adler. McAdams is a good enough actress, but she just doesn't click with the Law and Downey. The real problem is that she is too young to play the role. Adler is supposed to have outwitted Holmes on various occasions, and in this film, Holmes is played by a 44 year old actor. McAdams is 31, but plays younger on screen. Cate Blanchett, who is 40, would be a much more age appropriate leading lady for this movie and would have had the kind of gravitas that McAdams simply doesn't have.
The movie is meant to be fun, but for the most part manages to be smart as well. I've heard that there are plans to extend the franchise, and as long as Downey and Law are involved, we'll be the first in line. In a way, this movie is similar to Star Trek in my mind. Both films were based on characters and franchises that I care passionately about. Both movies managed to breathe new life into them without sacrificing anything of the original spirit. In fact, this version of Holmes is far more true to the books than any of the other film versions I've seen. I highly recommend and enjoyed the film, and it will be one I chose to own and happily rewatch.
The New York Jets are in trouble.
As everyone knows, they try to control what Mark Sanchez does and put him in positions to make big, but safe plays.
The Jets have scored 38 offensive touchdowns this season (including the playoffs). 11 of them have come from 29 yards out or more. That's nearly 30% of their total touchdowns. In the playoffs, that ratio has sky rocketed. 3 of the Jets 5 playoff touchdowns have come on plays of at least 39 yards. It's clear that though the Jets are a run heavy team, they depend on big plays to take the pressure off Sanchez. When a team has a young quarterback, they know that long 10 or 15 play drives are going to be hard to come by. They seek to exploit mistakes in coverage and set up big plays. They know they can't afford the long brutal drives because they inevitably lead to multiple third downs where the quarter back HAS to make a play. It is a critical factor in Jets wins. On the season they have scored a long touchdown in 6 of their 11 wins. The only teams they've beaten without a big play for a score were Buffalo, Tennessee, Carolina, Indianapolis (though they did have a kick return and a fumble returned for scores), and the Pats early in the season.
Now here's the bad news for the Jets:
The Colts don't allow big play touchdowns. Or big plays of any kind, really.
On the season, the Colts have allowed just 29 touchdowns. Of those, just four were longer than 17 yards, and two of those (21 and 41 yard passes by the Bills) came in the final game with backups playing in a snow storm. Other than that, Indy allowed just two legitimate long scores on the season. One was the 64 yard run by Frank Gore where two players ran into each other, and the other was a 63 yard pass from Brady to Moss. You'll have that every once in a while.
As for big plays of any type, the Colts allowed the fewest passing plays of 20 yards or more in the league with 27 (four fewer than the Jets). They were 8th in plays of 40+ yards, but if you take out the ball Owens caught in week 17, they jump to 5th. They allowed the 10th fewest runs of 20 yards or more (9), but allowed four of those in the final 2 1/2 quarters against the Bills. 5 runs of that length would have lead the NFL. They allowed only one run of 40+ yards this year, the Gore TD.
The simple fact is that this matchup is a nightmare for the Jets offense. The Colts are going to take away the big from the Jets, which means that they'll have to score in other ways. One is obviously special teams. Unfortunately for the Jets, they have only one such score on the season. Granted it did come against the Colts, but it was moments after the players had been informed the starters would be sitting in the second half. That return is also the only one the Colts have given up this season. While it could happen again, the odds would certainly seem to be against it.
So if they can't get big plays and can't count on returns, the Jets will have to lean on their defense to create turnovers and scoring opportunities for the offense.
Ah, but there's the rub. The Colts defense has been ridiculous at keeping other teams out of the end zone after turnovers. Only twice this season has an opponent converted an Indy turnover into a touchdown. The first was at Jacksonville and the second was the Painter fumble that the Jets scored on. If the plan is to create short fields for the offense, it could work, but is seems unlikely those fields will result in touchdowns.
So all that's left to the Jets is to hope for long drives that will end with excellent red zone execution. The problem is that the Jets are just 18th in the league in converting red zone chances for touchdowns at 50%. The Colts defense is 9th in the league at 47%. So that means any red zone opportunity for the Jets will be a coin flip proposition at best.
Let's assume for a moment that the Colts managed to score 17-20 points. That's a safe guess based on the previous matchup. Frankly, I think it's low, but we'll give it to the Jets as their best case scenario. They've allowed 14 points each of their last two games, but both featured multiple missed field goals, and the odds of Indy missing more than one on Sunday are low. My question is how are the Jets going to get the 21 points they'll likely need to win this game? Where are they going to come from?
Finally I'll leave you all with this stat:
The 2009 Jets are 1-6 when allowing at least 16 points in a game. They are 0-5 when allowing 18 points or more.
Your Moment of Zen:
Colts offense vs Jets defense:
Drive one: 2 first downs, 25 yards, punt
Drive two: 2 first downs, 54 yards, TD
Drive three: 3 first downs, 86 yards, FG
Drive four: 2 first downs, 30 yards, punt
Drive six: 2 first downs, 20 yards, punt
Drive seven: 4 first downs, 81 yards, TD
3 and outs: 0
Scoring drives: 3/7
Jets offense vs. Colts defense
Drive one: 0 first downs, 6 yards, punt
Drive two: 3 first downs, 33 yards, punt
Drive three: 0 first downs, 5 yards, punt
Drive four: 4 first downs, 63 yards, FG
Drive five: 2 first downs, 34 yards, punt
3 and outs: 2
Scoring drives: 1/5no comments
I had a whole bevy of Chargers related posts ready to go this week.
I was lining them up all in a row after I spent the entire first half of last night's game angry muttering, "The Jets are the worst team in football". Of course, I alternated that with, "The Chargers are a stupid team.", but in the end I figured the Jets ability to suck would outweigh the Chargers ability to piss away a game.
Obviously, I was wrong.
I've read a lot of nonsense (written some too!), but Greg Doyle of CBS Sports just wrote the most insane column of all time.
Peyton Manning won his fourth MVP in 2009, and he deserved it more than any of his previous three for the simple reason that he has no serious weapons. Receiver Reggie Wayne and tight end Dallas Clark caught 100 passes each, but they averaged just 12.6 and 11.1 yards per reception. If you insist on calling those players "weapons," fine. But specify the weapon. They're pellet guns.
Saturday night was more of the same. Wayne caught eight passes for 63 yards. Clark caught seven for 59 yards. Garcon had five for 34. The Colts' longest play of the game was 20 yards on a pass from Manning to receiver Austin Collie, who had three more catches for 32 more yards.
Weighed down by all those nickels and dimes, the Colts simply couldn't -- and can't -- throw it downfield. Manning tried it twice on the same drive in the third quarter, and Reed intercepted it both times. One pickoff was reversed when Garcon -- a Haitian-American who was playing heartsick and stressed out by the recent earthquake that leveled Haiti -- ran down Reed and forced the fumble. The other pickoff was nullified by a Baltimore penalty. Still, those are bad signs for the Colts. Two long passes, two pickoffs.
Um, Greg, Manning completed the second most 20+ yard passes of his career this year. Did you watch the games at Miami, at Houston, New England, Denver, at Jacksonville...I could go on buy why bother? Did he really just call Clark and Wayne "pellet guns?". I'm not even going to dignify that with a response. Then again, maybe he has a point. It's not like Manning ever threw a moster 60+ yard game winning TD pass to Wayne or hit Clark for an 80 yard TD to open a game. Oh wait? He did those things? To those pellet guns? Well, you know everyone always complains how Manning has no weapons.
He goes on to criticize the Colts' schedule:
OK, fine. But against whom? From here on out, it's big-boy football all the way. Not sure if you knew this, but the Colts beat a whole lot of mediocre-to-bad teams to post that 14-2 record in the regular season. They beat two 9-7 teams (Houston and Baltimore). They beat two 10-6 teams (New England and Arizona). And that's it. Everyone else they beat -- everyone else they played -- was .500 or worse.
So, let's ignore for a moment that the Colts have the most wins over winning teams this year (5), and were 3-1 against playoff teams (with the loss being the Jets game) and allow me to ask who did beat anyone?
The Chargers? They went 2-1 against playoff teams. 3-2 against winning teams. They beat Dallas and Philly though, so that's more important in Doyle's mind than losing to a Ravens team the Colts beat twice.
The Cowboys? They went 3-2 against playoff teams, but that's one more game played than the Colts had so I guess they are better.
The Saints? 3-1 against playoff teams, but I guess they beat the Jets so that makes them awesome.
The Vikings? Please, don't get me started. They beat the Pack twice and the Bengals. Whatever.
No one in the league has a schedule or victories any better than the Colts do. This is utter nonsense.
Up next is either 13-3 San Diego or the 9-7 New York Jets -- San Diego an absolute heavyweight and the Jets a virtual heavyweight by virtue of two things. They defeated the Colts 29-15 on this same field on Dec. 27 and, if they beat the Chargers on Sunday, they'd be entering the AFC title game on a four-game winning streak against teams that went 47-17 this season. That's heavyweight momentum.
WHAT? Momentum? No. He did not seriously go there. (banging head against the wall).
Philip Rivers of the Chargers isn't merely a game manager. Neither is whichever quarterback awaits -- Drew Brees, Brett Favre or Tony Romo -- in the Super Bowl. Mark Sanchez of the Jets isn't terribly dynamic, but the Jets level the field with cornerback Darrelle Revis, who would most likely take Wayne out of the game.
Two of those teams stand between the Colts and a Super Bowl. To win both of those games -- hell, just to win just one of them -- the Colts will have to find a faster gear than the one they showed Saturday.
I'm not sure that gear exists.
First off, Greg (may I call you Greg? Trust me, it's better than what I want to call you), Revis did not come CLOSE to taking Wayne out of the game the first time the two teams played. Secondly, to doubt the Colts have a higher gear on offense...again, that's just insanity.
Congratulations, Greg Doyle. You just wrote the worst column of 2010.
I don't think anyone will be topping you any time soon.
Don't you just love it when things go according to script? Let's be honest, what happened tonight in Indianapolis (and in New Orleans for that matter) was what was SUPPOSED to happen. Tonight, the Colts stomped Baltimore and moved on to the AFC Championship game where they'll play San Diego, oops, I mean the winner of the Chargers Jets game next Sunday. It's late, so let's get down to business:
Reasons to Smile:
Reasons to Frown:
The timeout after the first down play by the Ravens under two minutes. Honestly, I thought it was over agressive at the time, but the Colts executed it to perfection scoring a TD with just :02 to play in the half. Beautiful coaching.
In the second quarter, I hated the third down deep ball to Garcon from the 46 on third and 7. I thought they should have played two down football there. Whatever. It's hard to complain about the coaching tonight.
Reasons I'm Flying:
Reasons I'm Dying
The Bottom Line:
Winning feels good. The Colts were the better team. They played a safe, controlled game tonight against a team that had no business being on the field with them offensively. The Ravens were half a team, and half a team isn't good enough to beat the Colts. Had we lost tonight, I honestly might have shut down the blog for good. It would have been that devastating. Instead, we got a satisfying, dominant win over a team that smoked the once mighty Patriots at home last week. By the way, every analyst or commentator who picked this game based on anything other than on the field things should be embarrased (yeah, I'm looking at you Jeremy Green).
There's still a long road ahead, but it leads through Indianapolis.
I wouldn't want it any other way.