Sunday, December 30, 2012

Colts Observations, Week 17

Welcome back, Chuck. So great to see Chuck Pagano back on the sidelines for the Colts. I knew it was coming, but it was still great to see it. We often talk about athletes as heroes, but nothing was more heroic than Pagano's homecoming.

We are the Texans, the mighty, mighty Texans. I said it when Houston got off to its great start: until the Texans win the doggone Super Bowl/actually do something to show they're a real contender, they will always be the Texans. They needed just one more win to clinch homefield advantage in the playoffs. Not only did they fail, they looked absolutely shellshocked.

Dome Sweet Dome. Even when the Colts were at their worst last season, they beat the Texans at home (the primary reason for the observation above). The Colts are now 11-0 all-time against Houston at home. It won't last forever, but it's certainly entertaining.

Isn't Deji a type of mustard? The Colts got a HUGE lift when Deji Karim took a kickoff return 101 yards for a touchdown. Karim has had a couple nice returns since joining the team...but this one was key. The Texans just scored to go ahead and the Colts needed to respond. I don't think anyone touched him during the return.

The longest drive. The Colts put the game away with a final drive that consumed more than nine minutes of clock. Think about that.

Vontae Davis. That trade really looks good now. After struggling with injuries earlier this year, Vontae Davis has been a beast in the last part of the season. He drew a couple flags today, sure, but we'll take the interceptions. While Andre Johnson caught 12 balls for 141 yards, he didn't sniff the end zone.

Woulda, coulda, shoulda. It's a moot point now, but this is why I wish the Colts had played just a little better in the first meeting of these two teams. The Texans clearly aren't as elite as they'd like to think. If Indy had managed to eke out a win at Houston, they could've hosted a playoff game. Think about that for a second.

The Greatest Third and 23 Ever. Yay! Reggie Wayne caught a pass! First down, Colts! Wait? Holding? On Castonzo? Oh, crap. Third and 23? There's no way we'll ever...wait! T.Y. Hilton down the seam! A 70-yard touchdown! That's pretty much my thought process during that entire span.

"The Mayor" bottled up. Not a big game for Vick Ballard, who managed just 2.9 yards per carry. The Texans frequently beat blocks and stopped Ballard in the backfield for no gain/negative yards. But you know what, it didn't matter because...

They closed it out. ...Ballard got tough yardage on the Colts' final possession, helping the team run out the clock and keep the ball away from the Texans. The Colts have been able to pick up key first downs in several situations this year.

And yes, Reggie Wayne, the clock will keep rolling. On third and two, habitual gambler and ex-interim head coach Bruce Arians elected for a pass to Reggie Wayne. Number 87 caught it, picked up the first down, and the clock kept churning.

You want yards? Take 'em? You want touchdowns? We're stingier about those. The Colts have a knack for keeping teams out of the end zone. They seem to clamp down in the red zone.

Welcome back, pass rush. Although the Colts didn't get pressure in a few situations, the pass rush was generally pretty good this week. They finished with four sacks on the afternoon.

We salute you, 93. Dwight Freeney had a sack in what could be his final home game with the Colts. You never know, though. Everyone thought Reggie Wayne had played his last game at Big Oil after the team beat Houston last year. Still...I don't think Freeney is an ideal fit for the defensive scheme and will be too expensive to retain, even if the Colts have a lot of cap room.

Dwayne Allen, running back. We've seen it a few times this year, but I like the change of pace of handing the ball to Allen out of the fullback position on a third and short. The Texans were gunning for Ballard on that play, giving Allen just enough room to get the first down.

Kneel before Zod. When you're on the winning side of things, there's nothing better than the kneel down from the victory formation.

A little help, please? Oh, thanks. The Colts avoided a big-time turnover when the officials overturned a sack/fumble and called it an incomplete pass. I consulted my Oakland Raiders Tuck Rule Book, but still couldn't figure it out. To me, it looked like the Texans defender batted the ball out of Luck's hand. NFL officiating guru Mike Pereira tweeted the following explanation:

Fleener sighting. Coby Fleener caught one pass. It was a touchdown.

Cassius Vaughn: Open field specialist. I really like what I've seen from Cassius Vaughn at corner. He's a tremendous open field tackler.

Some Guy had a sack. Lawrence Guy sacked Matt Schaub. I think it's fitting that his jersey has "Guy" on the back because, really, no one knows who he is. Did you realize he's appeared in nine games for the Colts? He also had eight tackles last week.

Bring on the Ravens. Someone somewhere will do some stupid story about how the Colts used to play in Baltimore and people will cry about it and scream "Mayflower" and "stolen from the night" and "Bob Irsay" even though Baltimore stole the Browns from Cleveland and has won a Super Bowl since coming to Baltimore.

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Studicus Selects 2012

Once, long ago, I posted on the internet as Studicus, a in-joke nickname related to a skit from high school. When I first started blogging, I called my year-end entries "Studicus Selects." The tradition has continued since 2005...although I skipped 2006 for some unknown reason.

You'll find past entries here (scroll down for the 2012 picks):

Studicus Selects 2011
Studicus Selects 2010
Studicus Selects 2009
Studicus Selects 2008
Studicus Selects 2007
Studicus Selects 2005

Coolest Moment, Writing Career: They call it the "George McFly Moment"--when the book you've written shows up on your doorstep. There really is nothing like it. My first book, I, Crimsonstreak, came out in May from Candlemark & Gleam. After starting the book in 2007 (you can read about my journey to publication here), my love letter to superheroes and pop culture finally saw print. It's been a fun ride...and I look forward to more.

Also fun: Book signing at my hometown bookstore.

Best Crimsonstreaking Moment, Local TV: Friend/mentor/PVC king/TV host/all-around good guy Tracy Forner interviewed me about the book on Indy Style. The appearance was a bunch of fun...and there was Crimsonstreaking.

Most Unexpected Development, Professorial: I took an adjunct position at Franklin College to teach a class on Writing for Broadcast News. I had a class of 15 fantastic students who never tied me to a chair or pelted me with spitballs. It took me awhile to feel my way out, but we had a great semester. I especially loved forcing my students to use blue books for their exams.

Most Unexpected Development, Major League Baseball Category: Matt Adams got called up to the Big Leagues. Never saw that one coming.

Most Insane Undertaking, Reading Category: Atlas Shrugged. Why am I reading this? I don't know. Will I finish it? I guess so. Could I kill a man with the paperback version? Absolutely.

Favorite Summer Movie: The Avengers, hands down. A great mix of action, character, humor, and heart, the movie was everything I hoped it would be. I don't know how Joss Whedon and company managed to pull it all off...but they did. After getting the Blu Ray, I watched it for two weeks straight. Fantastic movie.

Best Film, Historical: Lincoln. This is a stunning achievement...which is a pretty bold statement considering we're talking about Steven Spielberg and Daniel Day-Lewis, two guys who've won just about every movie-related award ever created. I loved it. A gripping, intimate portrait that turns a legendary figure into a flawed human being. To me, Lincoln's nearly untouchable--a figure who almost approaches demigod status. Here, we see him in his human imperfection...and somehow his legendary status still seems perfect.

Abject Failure, Movie Blogging: Typically, I don't care what people think in their end-of-the-year lists; everyone's entitled to an opinion. Well, everyone except Yahoo! Movies, whose "Best of 2012" list leaves The Avengers AND Lincoln out of its top ten (they're 21 and 19, respectively) and behind films such as Magic Mike, Django Unchained, and Zero Dark Thirty. I'm sure those are fine films, but you get the feeling Django and Zero are on there simply because one's a Tarantino film and the other's by Kathryn Bigelow. And as for Magic Mike...Channing Tatum. Sure.

Favorite Movie Moment, Avengers Category: Cap gives the order. Hulk obliges.

Honorable Mention, Favorite Movie Moment, Avengers Category: "Doth mother know you weareth her drapes?"

Worst Hit Me Over the Head Moment, Dark Knight Rises Category: Listen, there was no way the third Batman movie was ever going to top The Dark Knight in the eyes of most people. While it surely was a spectacle, I think Christopher Nolan--he of the top is spinning/the top isn't spinning Inception ending--should have refrained from showing a certain image at the end of the film, letting the audience come to their own conclusion instead.

What did Alfred see? The Joker? Bruce? A spinning top? Let the audience fill in the blank.

Favorite New TV Show, Cheesecake Category: Arrow is pure cheesecake with beautiful CW people. The main guy is kind of a psychotic Chris Pine knockoff. Someone occasionally uses a bow. People look longingly at each other a lot. Everyone's rich...except for the guy who lost his trust fund because his dad's evil. Or something.

Most Bizarre Scene, Walker, Texas Ranger Category: Chuck Norris and Haley Joel Osment together in the most awkward episode of Walker, Texas Ranger ever made. And it was a two-parter.

Best Discovery, Flavored Water Category: While the holidays brought me back to soda, I do keep Mio and its store-brand imitators around for a change of pace. Pro tip: Do not, under any circumstances, drink Mio or its store-brand imitators without diluting them. You've been warned.

Best Gift, Human Fund Category: My brother-in-law bought the entire family a llama named Ishmael that will serve on a working farm in Peru. He managed to top the "Richard Kimble" trimmer I acquired for him last year ("Kimble: For the Man on the Go").

Favorite Twitter Fad, Seinfeld Category: I really dig the Twitter feed for Modern Seinfeld. Using the @SeinfeldToday handle, the account imagines Seinfeld characters in the modern world. My idea: NBC renews interest in “Jerry” after pilot DVD sales skyrocket. George blows deal over streaming/DVD royalties. Kramer gets a Soda Stream.

Most Shocking Moment, Corporate Acquisition Category: Remember when Disney owned everything that ever made you smile? Somehow, Yoda will end up using the Force to lift Epcot Center. I know it.

Most Insane Realization, Sports: The Indianapolis Colts, minus their leukemia-stricken coach and with a rookie quarterback surrounded by rookies and people I've never heard of, surrendered 350+ yards rushing to Kansas City yet still managed to win the game and go to the playoffs.

Hardest Goodbye, Sports Legend: We said goodbye to Peyton Manning this year. Some of us didn't handle it well at first. Some of us got nostalgic. Some reminded us that history has a way of repeating itself. Some rewrote the lyrics to "Luck Be a Lady" in hopes that Andrew Luck would be good. And by "some," I mean "me." What a ride that was.

Most Unlikely Year in Sports, Sports: The Colts made the playoffs after a 2-14 season. The Notre Dame Fighting Irish are ranked #1 and in the National Championship Game. The Indiana Hoosiers were ranked #1 before a setback against Butler. The Cincinnati Reds made the playoffs...while Joey Votto missed the stretch run with an injury. No matter how things end, this is one of the most memorable years for my sports teams. Wow.

What's in store for 2013? We'll see a new Crimsonstreak novel, II Crimsonstreak: Subtitle Undetermined but Probably a Bad Running Pun. I'm fairly certain about that. As for the rest of the year...who knows?

Here's to 2013!

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

A little local pub for Crimsonstreak

A pleasant surprise for Christmas...local paper the Palladium-Item featured I, Crimsonstreak in a piece on gifts from local authors.

Here's a scan of the article (you should be able to click to enlarge):

You can also read the article here, but be forewarned that the Pal-Item is a Gannett newspaper, which means you can read 30 articles a month for free...and if you're over the limit, you won't be able to access it.

Monday, December 24, 2012

Colts Observations, Week 16

"You kiddin' me? Playoffs?" They're in. Unbelievably, unexpectedly, and unfathomably, they're in. The Ghost of Mediocre Seasons Past takes the form of Jim Mora, who delivers the greatest postgame monologue in the history of professional football:

And this is why you lose. Kansas City--a team that battered the Colts all game long with a two-headed running game--decided to go for it on fourth and inches with a quarterback sneak. This is why you lose.

And this is why you lose, part II. Interception returned for touchdown. Interception thrown in the end zone. Fumble in the red zone. Missed field goal. Holding penalty. False start. This is why you lose.

Not their best day. Perhaps the only reason the Colts won this game was because they were playing Kansas City (see above). Offensively, they were out of sync. Defensively, our run defense transformed into "run matadors" (term courtesy Nate Nocton via Tony Latello) who stepped aside so KC's backs could find daylight.

352 and 13. This is how many rushing yards Kansas City ground out...and how many points they managed to score. Perhaps I should've titled this section, "And this is why you lose, part III."

Vontae Davis intercepted two passes. The final box score doesn't note this, but Vontae Davis intercepted two passes. Somebody wrote "pass interference" next to one of them by mistake.

We're going streaking! At one point, Andrew Luck lit up the scoreboard by throwing eleven straight incompletions. He then proceeded to hit 6 of 8 passes on what turned out to be the game-winning drive.

No hand? No problem! Even with his hand wrapped in a hard cast and soft foam shell, Jerrell "The Mountie" Freeman led the team in tackles. Actually, that would feel like more of an accomplishment if the Colts hadn't given up 352 rushing yards.

Could you find one that fits? Brady Quinn's helmet didn't look like it fit. Actually, Quinn himself didn't look like he fit in the NFL either. That's too bad. His fantasy football logline from ESPN: "Quinn completed 10-of-22 passes for 162 yards and two interceptions Sunday against the Colts. He also added 11 rushing yards on five carries." ESPN's fantasy football analyst failed to add how important the potential 12th rushing yard could've been.

10.3 yards per carry. Jamaal "Give Me the Ball" Charles' average on Sunday. I once averaged 10.3 yards per carry during an entire season of Madden football.

Reggie! Five catches, 81 yards, and a touchdown. That is all.

The bullet. Take another look at Luck's game-winning touchdown pass. He absolutely rifled that ball! I'm just glad the momentum didn't carry Reggie Wayne out of the stadium. Seriously, #12 fired that thing.

You're not getting it back. After the Chiefs failed at life by running with Peyton Hillis on third and long with less than three minutes left in the game, they punted. The Colts got the ball back, forced KC to drain their timeouts, and then faced a crucial third and ten. Vick Ballard took the ball around the left side for 13 yards. Game. Over.

Drops. Drops. Drops. This was a less-than-stellar performance by Colts receivers. I remember a lot of dropped passes on a day when Luck needed some help.

Rookie records crumble. Luck may get perceptually out-flashed by Robert Griffin III and out-underdogged by Russell Wilson in the rookie of the year race. They have fewer turnovers. They have more rushing yards. They have better completion percentages. But Luck's team has demanded more of him, and he's set rookie marks for passing yards, completions, and attempts. So if he doesn't win ROY--an award I'm guessing he couldn't care less about--he'll have his records. And, again, I'm guessing he couldn't care less about those, either.

Merry Christmas, everyone!

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Movies in the News: Body found in water

"Pentagon sources confirm a startling discovery tonight after a recovery team found the remains of a man lost decades ago...

"The remains belong to Captain America, an iconic hero lost in the waning days of World War Two when his plane crashed in the Arctic..."

"Sources close to the recovery mission revealed Captain America's real name as Steve Rogers, a Brooklyn-born soldier who was reportedly part of a special joint military program..."

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Movies in the News: Post-NYC hearings

I'm starting a new feature here on the site called Movies in the News. It won't be anything major...but it will take my love of pop culture to an unhealthy level. The concept is pretty simple...I'll feature images from movies and present them as graphics you'd see during a TV news broadcast.

We'll debut with Tony Stark and a post-Avengers concept.

Colts Observations, Week 15

Bye-bye, division. Listen, the chances of the Colts actually winning the division were slim...but they were real. Now they're just gone.

Stuck with 'em. The Colts haven't been good on the road...and I expected the Texans to blow them out. Instead, Indy played Houston tight. The running game and defense looked playoff-ready.

The Mayor. I've liked Vick Ballard since the preseason. Now I like him even more. He's quick and has some pop when he runs into defenders. Or over them.

Luck running out? Cue the crappy Luck pun for the week. Andrew Luck hasn't looked particularly sharp over the last three games or so. I'm not ready to say "rookie wall" or "league's figured him out," but he's certainly struggling.

Run for your life, son. Sometimes it feels like the offensive line thinks its job is to let people hit the quarterback. Luck got pounded again this week.

Maximum Watt-age. J.J. Watts. Wow. That guy has a motor, doesn't he? It felt like he was Exponential, the Amazing Multiplier Man, able to be in more than one place at the same time. I was impressed (if annoyed).

Quiet Reggie. Reggie Wayne had three catches but was mostly quiet. I wonder if it had something to do with getting whacked so hard early in the game.

T.Y. "Calle Me T.D." Hilton. The rookie provided the only big play for the Colts in the passing game. I really think the Colts should try some more screens with him. He's explosive.

Punted. Sometimes you punt the ball, sometimes the other team blocks your punt and returns it for a touchdown. That play broke the game...and was the pivotal moment.

Injuries. We know, we know. Every NFL team deals with injuries. We got that. For the Colts, it meant a fumble by Mewelde Moore and a missed blocking assignment from Dwayne Allen. Don't tell me injuries have no effect on NFL games. They do.

Let's deal that wild card. The Colts remain in position for a playoff berth. Win against Kansas City this week, and they're in.

Containing Foster. For the most part, Indy did a good job against Arian Foster. He got loose a couple times in the second half before putting the game away with big runs late in the fourth quarter.

Jerrell Freeman. That guy's a tackling machine.

Solid "D"? After seeming so thin on defense to start the year, the Colts are coming together. No one will ever mistake them for the '85 Bears, but I've noticed solid corner play from Cassius Vaughn and Vontae Davis. The linebackers are all over the place. The pass rush hasn't been as dynamic as I'd like, but the run defense has been better than expected. I see flashes of a team defensive identity.

So the replacement officials returned...again. For the second week in a row, the officiating was noticeably horrible in a Colts game. The crew missed an obvious facemask call, a play where Indy ripped the helmet off an opposing player's head, and added a few more bonehead calls into the mix. What gives?

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Man of Steel trailer un-breakdown

Warner Bros. gave us a taste of Man of Steel with the first full-length trailer. I was actually very impressed with the trailer. I think the movie looks solid...a kind of Batman Begins vibe for the Man of Steel.

Check out the whole thing here:

I had a few thoughts during the trailer that I wanted to share--a frame-by-frame breakdown of what I glimpsed.

Opening: That song from Gladiator (except it's not)

Arms outstretched, bearded Jesus Superman doesn't remind me of Superman Returns at all.

Overcome by sensory overload, young Clark Kent struggles with New Wave music.

Against the advice of his father, Clark pushes a bus off a bridge just to see what happens.

He has second thoughts and saves everyone.

Pa Kent: Do you want to have catch?

This haunts me.

Wait...did you just say I should let an entire bus full of children plunge into the water without saving anyone?

Clark wanders onto the set of Prometheus in an effort to untangle the plot. Not even his keen Kryptonian intellect is up to the task.

A super Pez dispenser.

Meanwhile, in a different movie, Superman visits Ice Planet Hoth. Many tauntauns die.

Clark after biting into a York Peppermint Patty.

Up, up, and away.

Presented without comment.

The aliens from Independence Day return along with the tanker truck from Twister. Alternative theory: Unicron is back and he's pissed.

Jor-El promises he'll find a good home for his son. His wife doesn't realize his "plan" involves sending their child to a distant planet in the off chance he won't land in water.

Henry Cavill really wanted to play the Human Torch. This was a concession.

General Zod appears. Instead of demanding that Superman kneel before him, he asks nicely.

The result. Well, nicely is a relative term.

Stuff blows know, because Hayden Christensen watches from faraway Mustafar.

Superman leads an elite team of...wait a second...he's in handcuffs.

"Hey, Dad. Remember that time you won the science fair for me?" Clark recalls wistfully. "Why didn't I have that catch?"

Pam from "The Office" makes an appearance, tells Clark to stop mugging at the camera every five seconds.*

*I realize that Amy Adams isn't Pam from "The Office"

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Colts Observations, Week 14

Locker is their offense. Especially in the first half, Jake Locker was on target. He also had a big run on the first TD drive. That's probably the most I've ever been impressed by him. He was not nearly as effective in the second half.

By the way...did Chris Johnson play? What? He did? 19 carries? Are you sure? (checks stat sheet). I guess he did play with a meaty 2.3 yards per carry average.

Vontae's back. A second consecutive start for Vontae Davis. I can see why the Colts wanted to trade for him--he played well and should've had an interception or two. This is what fans wanted to see from him.

So glad we saw this game. I feel sorry for anyone who had to sit through Jacksonville/New York Jets.

Not a good start. Unless you're a Titans fan. That was, however, a great throw from Jake Locker and a nice catch by Jared Cook.

So close. T.Y. Hilton, wide open. Andrew Luck, off target. Blast!

Great play fake...then REGGIE! As great of a season as he's had, Reggie Wayne hasn't gotten into the end zone as much as he would've liked. Great to see him snag one on a fantastic play-action pass.

Get that man a bathtub full of Ben Gay or equivalent store brand pain relieving ointment. Other teams have hit Luck well all season long, but the Titans reign supreme. They absolutely battered him this week.

Sometimes you need more than Luck. Hat tip to the defense. Luck was hurried and harried all day. When he did have time, he was often inaccurate on his throws. In the second half, the defense stepped up, getting pressure on the Titans, creating turnovers, and scoring points.

Colts, first down! How about Vick Ballard banging out a big first down at the end of the game? How about Luck hitting Dwayne Allen for a first-down pass? The Colts made sure the Titans couldn't give them a dose of their own medicine by keeping the ball away.

Cassius Vaughn. He's been solid for much of the season, but his interception return completely turned the game around. After a rough first half, the Colts secondary (and defense in general) played much sharper after halftime.

The Mayor. Vick Ballard was quiet in the first half. In the second half, he went off, finishing with 94 rushing yards on the day including that key first down at the end of the game. Luck wasn't on...and Colts compensated with a strong running game and defense.

Another comeback. If the Colts ever got off to a good start, I think I'd be worried. They got down early and often in this game before taking over in the second half.

Apparently, the replacement officials came back. From a blown review to a missed false start to two BS pass interference/defensive holding calls that extended a Titans drive to a miscommunication on a first-down spot for Tennessee to a missed 12 players in the huddle call against the Colts...the officials were very, very bad today. At least they were equally bad for both teams, I guess.

Curious result. The Colts ran more plays than Tennessee yet finished with nearly 100 fewer yards. With constant pressure and throws that were off the mark, the Colts were not easy to watch on offense.

Still a few bullets left in the old gun. Adam Vinatieri added another field goal from 50+ yards this afternoon. And to think almost everyone thought Vinny was finished. The kick was welcome relief after Donnie Avery let a TD ball bounce off his helmet.

Let's rag on the officials some more. Antoine Bethea had a nice stop on third down that didn't count due to a BS PI call. The Colts earlier ended that same drive with a sack...which again didn't count because of a BS defensive holding call. Later, Dan Fouts ("he didn't hold anything back!") would comment on how well the Titans offense responded with a long drive held together by numerous defensive penalties that weren't actually defensive penalties. It was kind of amusing, actually.

Sometimes a play just dies, Luck. Video evidence that Luck's knee was down before he released the ball notwithstanding, Luck still needs to learn that it's okay to take a sack instead of make a desperation heave that gets returned for a 40-yard touchdown by the other team. We take the good with the bad, though.

Pat McAfee deserve Pro Bowl consideration. The guy is having a monster season. He also deserves credit for Cassius Vaughn's touchdown because his coffin corner punt backed the Titans waaaaaaay up.

Fourth quarter hero. While this wasn't a great performance by Luck, he still brought the team back and got credit for his sixth fourth quarter comeback of the season.

Not quite as efficient. The Colts were only 4-12 on third down--an area they've excelled at this season. They made a couple of big conversions--just not as many as usual.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Crimsonstreaking past 40,000 words

The blockbuster sequel to the blockbuster sequel to the original blockbuster hit I, Crimsonstreak is Crimsonstreaking onward!

I've hit the 40,000 word mark in III Crimsonstreak: Subtitle Undetermined. It follows II Crimsonstreak: Subtitle Undetermined and the first book, I, Crimsonstreak, which had no subtitle.

Currently, our hero is trapped in the 1970s, an era that confounds and frustrates him because no one gets his pop culture references. To reveal more--such as the reason he's there or who he's with--would spoil both the book and its predecessor.

I should probably add that its predecessor has neither been released or its existence confirmed in the form of a binding contract.

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Colts Observations, Week 13

The How Did We Win?/How Did They Lose Corollary? The corollary goes like this: the Lions. I realize this makes no logical sense.

75 yards and 1:07 to victory. With no timeouts and facing a five-point deficit, Andrew Luck and the Colts had to cover 75 yards with just over a minute left in the game. A field goal was never an option. Luck coolly led the team the length of the field--making plays with both his legs and arms.

Let us review:

Play #1: Feeling the rush, Luck takes off, running up the middle for a more than manageable second and one.

Play #2: Luck spikes the ball to kill the clock. Make that third and one.

Play #3: Luck finds Reggie Wayne for 26 yards. Wayne makes a great catch on a throw threaded between two defenders. First down.

Play #4: Luck spikes the ball to kill the clock.

Play #5: Eyes downfield and no one open, Luck outruns Ndamukong Suh, moving along the right sideline for a 16-yard gain. Best of all, he gets out of bounds to stop the clock. The ball is now at the Detroit 24.

Play #6: Incomplete pass to Donnie Avery; probably best that he didn't catch it.

Play #7: The Colts flood the left side line; Luck hits Dwayne Allen underneath for a first down. Allen gets out of bounds to stop the clock at Detroit's 14 yard line.

Play #8: Luck finds Reggie Wayne in the back of the end zone, but Don Carey breaks it up.

Play #9: Facing pressure, Luck fires the ball to Reggie Wayne, who's double-covered. The play never had a chance and the ball caroms out of bounds. It's now third down on the 14 yard line. The Lions call a timeout, presumably to discuss the most dramatic way to lose the game.

Play #10: Luck tries to hit Avery on the right side, but there's little chance for a completion. Fourth down at the 14. Four seconds left.

Play #11: Luck takes the snap out of the shotgun and buys some time. He rolls right and finds Donnie Avery, who's running an underneath drag route. No one's in Avery's area code.

Touchdown. Game over. Colts win.

The final play. I don't usually get into X's and O's, but the last play merits some examination:

The Colts come out with Luck in the shotgun with an empty backfield. The receivers are Donnie Avery, T.Y. Hilton, Dwayne Allen, Reggie Wayne, and LaVon Brazill (at least I think that's how it goes).

Four of the receivers take off for the end zone. Avery, the fifth option on the play, runs a drag route across the formation.

The Lions are playing to keep everyone in front of them and loading up the end zone to prevent the ball from getting in. Since the other receivers are going upfield, Avery is immediately left by himself with no one in sight.

Luck steps up in the pocket and begins drifting right. His eyes remain downfield. He doesn't like his options and sees Avery running all by himself.

Luck flicks the ball to Avery. Again, there's nothing but open field ahead. Avery explodes toward the end zone.

By the time the Lions see what's developing, it's too late. Avery is already inside the five. All he has to do is split two defenders. He has a huge running lane. Ball game.

Galvatron. Calvin Johnson was unstoppable. Even when the Colts had him covered, they couldn't contain him (think about that one-handed grab against good coverage from Cassius Vaughn). I downgraded Megatron to Galvatron only because the Lions lost.

First time for everything. Score an interception for Robert Mathis...the first of his career. It was a huge interception because Luck had just turned the ball over. This kept the Lions from getting more points.

Still more than half full. Luck's completion percentage was 44% for the game. He's definitely a different quarterback on the road. His three interceptions brought his season total to 16 on the year. He's had nine fumbles and lost five of them. Still, the glass is half full because he's winning games and showing big-time poise.

Road woes. Even though they've won some games away from Lucas Oil, the Colts haven't exactly been impressive in their wins. It's not just that they're playing close games on the's that they look like a completely different team, racking up turnovers and penalties. If Detroit had any semblance of a defense, this one would've been over early.

T.Y. Hilton. This rookie receiver is having a fantastic year, including a 60-yard grab that set up an early touchdown.

Donnie Avery. Two touchdown grabs for Avery, including the game winner. When he's healthy, he's explosive.

Fleener sighting. Luck found Coby Fleener on a monster touchdown in the first half that covered 26 yards. Fleener didn't do much else...and I mean that. It was Fleener's only catch of the game.

The Mayor. A solid performance from Vick Ballard, who found some running room early in the second half. His touchdown run was a nice combination of speed, power, and shiftiness.

Settling for field goals. This observation is even more of a no-brainer than the title of Bob Kravitz's column ("Comeback win versus Lions a signature moment for Colts QB Andrew Luck," he boldly proclaims). The Colts defense did just enough on a few drives to keep Detroit from scoring touchdowns. For instance, after an interception from Luck in Colts territory, Indy held Detroit to a 33-yard field goal from Jason Hanson. After giving up a 67-yard run to Joique Bell, the Colts also kept the Lions out of the end zone. These stops made the deficit manageable.

This will end with a whimper. The Colts went into a second half coma after an impressive drive to open the third quarter. Four punts, three three-and-outs, and an interception followed that score. When the Colts got the ball back with about four minutes left, they trailed by 12 points...things didn't look good.

And then...two touchdowns in 2:39. The first one has to boggle your mind if you're a Lions fan. LaVon Brazill gets past the defense when the philosophy has to be "don't let anyone get behind you." Luck evades the rush, shuffles to his left, and then uncorks an on-target throw to Brazill in the end zone for a 42-yard score. After a defensive stop, the Colts get the ball back...and know.

Scoring before the two-minute warning. Another key for the Colts: the touchdown to Brazill came before the two-minute warning, essentially giving the Colts another timeout. This came in handy after the team gave the Lions a first down on a pass interference penalty.

The day Fozzie Bear choked Grover. I didn't hear the broadcast, but my favorite message of the day came from my buddy Nate, who wrote, "You need to listen to Bob Lamey for your blog. He sounds like Grover and Fozzie having a screaming match." My father also said Lamey didn't have his voice. I wish I'd listened.

Playoffs?! Are you kidding me, playoffs?! Um...yes...playoffs. Barring an epic collapse, the Colts will make the postseason and finish with a winning record. I...I...really can't believe it.