I sat myself down to chart the Colts’ miserable 40-11 loss to the Cardinals thinking I was in for an unpleasant task. When I watched the game live, I thought the offensive line had one of its worst games of an already awful season.
But as was the case with the Rams game a few weeks ago, things weren’t nearly as bad as they looked on first glance. Not good, mind you, but not any worse than the C/C- level at which the line has trudged through most of the season. The pass blocking wasn’t quite as good as it was in the Titans game, but it was far better than in the Texans and Rams games.
As for the run blocking . . . did I mention the pass blocking was good?
Seriously, though, the run blocking was terrible, but they didn’t run much (only 13 plays).
You probably know the drill by now, but an offensive line buddy recently reminded me of how speculative it is to analyze offensive line play. So I’ll reiterate my standard disclaimer: it’s impossible to know how linemen are coached and what their assignments are. My grades are based on whether the blockers bested the guys they appeared to target and are unavoidably subjective. See the bottom of the post for my charting table.
The Indianapolis Colts made some roster moves this evening that may stand out to some fans. Receiver David Reed, after struggling with decision-making on kick returns, has been waived, along with rookie tight end Justice Cunningham, who played fullback in place of injured Stanley Havili on Sunday.
The team also elevated linebacker and Army veteran Josh McNary to the active roster and placed backup safety Delano Howell on Injured Reserve.
The Colts just lost a game 40-11. Two weeks ago they lost a game 38-8. In the last four weeks they've looked like one of the worst teams in football, save for two halves.
How do fans respond?
First, there's the backlash.
The popular response seems to be to call for the firing of head coach Chuck Pagano, which seems a little... extreme. Whether it's tweets, calls to radio shows or fan blogs, the amount of ire that Pagano has drawn over the last two days has been overwhelming. There's been some complaints about GM Ryan Grigson, but the coaching staff has gotten the vast majority of the criticism.
But after the backlash, or sometimes right alongside, comes the cry for perspective.
The Indianapolis Colts lost to the Arizona Cardinals 40-11 on Sunday and I'm starting to think we need to follow up Monday Morning Moaners with Group Therapy Thursdays.
This game was brutal, to put it nicely, and the Colts have now been blown out in 2 of the past 3 weeks. In the comments section below, please share your take on the game and what the Colts need to address moving forward.no comments
You would’ve thought that the 38-8 loss at home against the St. Louis Rams was going to be the Colts’ worst game of the season.
Guess what. Week 12 was just as bad. This time, the opponent was another NFC West team, the Arizona Cardinals (6-4).
After the jump we evaluate the Colts’ offense, defense and special teams after their second humiliation in three weeks, while also choosing the best player on both offense and defense.no comments
This was as showdown between old school and new-school football philosophies. On one sideline, Bruce Arians, Harold Goodwin (and assistant head coach Tom Moore) with their high-flying Cardinals, and on the other, Chuck Pagano, Pep Hamilton and their run and try to stop the run Colts.
Things were a bit lopsided. Running and stopping the run is all well and good, but when a focus becomes a weakness, the best football coaches adjust and find ways to maximize what strengths their teams do have. One can only hope Indianapolis’s popular coach will do just that, and very soon.
At some point, this team simply has to show up better prepared to take on their opponent. Making second half comebacks every week is not something they simply cannot sustain. At some point, the losses come, as this one did, and with them, the questions. Pagano is an inspiring personality who can motivate anyone. He’s also smart enough to know how quickly things can change if losses like this one begin to pile up. Expect Indy to come out ready to play next week at home.
Just like the Colts, the GIFtastic will always come back, even if it's a little dicey for a while!
Apologies for how long it's taken for this to come up, but it's been a crazy week. Big thanks to our staff for their work these last two weeks, as they've done a tremendous job. Also kudos to the readers on the CA Charting Project, which has kicked off and is going to be extremely helpful as we move forward.
Now, on to the good stuff.
The Colts put themselves in a hole again last Thursday, crawling out in the first quarter and falling behind 17-3. But, they put together a phenomenal third quarter and rode it to a 30-27 win and a seemingly insurmountable lead in the AFC South. The Colts now have a chance at a bye in the playoffs, which is a bit difficult to fathom, but will need wins against a few key AFC opponents in order to earn that.
But first, the Colts had to beat Tennessee. Here's how they did it, animated internet pictures style.
12 Things to Watch for in Sunday's Colts-Cardinals Game
Bruce is back, baby.
Last week, the Colts played twice in the span of five days. While they didn't cloak themselves in glory, they did manage to out-suck the rest of the AFC South, and all but tied up a playoff spot. Now with the second seed in the AFC on the line, they travel to Arizona to take on Bruce Arians and the Cardinals. Here's what to watch for...
1. Watch the comparison. Bruce Arians won Coach of the Year for his work with the Colts last year, and his follow-up album is proving his success was no fluke. Despite going into battle each week with the desiccated corpse of Carson Palmer at quarterback, Arians has the Cardinals at 6-4 and in real contention for the playoffs. Chuck Pagano has likewise followed up his miracle season with a 7-3 record, which for all its flaws is still better than anyone could have hoped. It's still not clear which of the two men is the better coach in the long run, but the winner will get his share of friendly bragging rights.no comments
Due to the short week last time, here is a bumper two-week rookie watch for both games against the Rams and Titans. There is still a limited impact so far, but part of that is on the coaches. Particularly in the cases of Khaled Holmes and Montori Hughes, I think they're afraid to use them and I can't quite figure out why, especially with Hughes impressing in patches. Anyway, let's get started with our first round pick...