Monday, September 24, 2012

Colts Observations, Week 3

Blaine Gabbert beat you. After Blaine Gabbert completed 45% of his passes for 75 yards, the Colts let him beat them with one throw. Gabbert, who was off-target and generally horrible the whole afternoon, proved that anyone can be a one-hit wonder.

Sloppy is as sloppy does. The Colts racked up 11 penalties for 106 yards. Several of them were killers. Andrew Luck's interception led to a field goal. Adam Vinatieri was off target. Maurice Jones-Drew was...Maurice Jones-Drew. And then...Cecil Shorts.

Vina-terrible. Mr. Clutch got a pass for the Chicago kick, especially after nailing the game winner last week. This week, he missed another chippie, a 36-yarder. His 37-yard kick barely made it through. When a guy's been around as long as Vinatieri--and makes as much money as Vinatieri--he has to make the easy ones. If he had--and you never know how the game will flow at certain points--the Colts would have needed a field goal to tie instead of a touchdown to win (figuring that the Colts have 20 points, the Jags don't go for two and have 23 points).

Maurice Jones-Drew. We've seen it before; the talented running back turned the Colts defense into glue. The killer was the 59-yard touchdown, but the Colts were still surrendering 5.5 yards/carry before that run. MJD ended up with 6.3 yards/carry. Jones-Drew is the only guy who's a consistent threat for the Jags...and the Colts still couldn't stop him.

Offensive coma, part II. After dominating the first half against the Vikings, the Colts went into an offensive coma. It happened again this week. They scored 14 points in the first half, but only three in the second. The Jags, by the way, scored 19 second-half points. The old adage is that teams win with their halftime adjustments...the Colts have lost that battle two weeks in a row.

Take your ball and go home, kid. Please. I like Austin Collie. I like Austin Collie A LOT, which makes it hard for me to say this as a football fan. Multiple concussions, now a knee injury. I don't think a football career with the Indianapolis Colts is in the cards for this guy. Sadly, I believe it's time for him to hang it up.

Luck's two-minute drill. As Andrew Luck develops, we continue to see how well he manages late-game and late-half situations. He got the Colts a late touchdown before halftime and engineered a field goal drive late in the fourth quarter. If the Colts had only needed a field goal at the end of the game, he would've gotten them there, too.

Let him go. While the chances of getting a touchdown at the end were slim, you still had a chance. I was astounded that the Colts were actively pursuing Cecil Shorts after it was clear he was bound for the end zone. If they stop him short, the Jags run out the clock and hit an easy field goal. If he scores the TD, there's a (very) slim chance of making a comeback.

He's their best running option. Andrew Luck is the Colts' second leading rusher, averaging 8.0 yards/carry. He also has the team's longest run of the season (19 yards). I'd say the running game needs work.

Off target. Luck didn't seem quite as "locked in" as last week, missing a couple throws that could've been big. Receivers also had some unfortunate drops (I recall Reggie Wayne and Dwayne Allen specifically).

T.Y. Hilton. I thought the rookie looked good. He's shifty and has good speed. I was particularly impressed by a punt return that covered 32 yards before being called back on a penalty.

And the flag goes to... Vontae Davis, testing the limits of the officials or just feeling particularly handsy, ended up with a couple killer flags. This guy needs to get better.

Injuries. Samson Satele, Vontae Davis, and Austin Collie all left the game with injuries. The Colts had second stringers out on Jacksonville's game-winning touchdown. As I've said before, the Colts stack up okay (just okay) with other teams when it comes to front line players. When you start getting into second and third stringers, there's just not much depth.

Always look on the bright side of life. The Colts are 1-2. The Titans and Jags are 1-2. Hey! They Colts are tied for second place in the AFC South! And...look! The Patriots are 1-2, too!