Monday, September 10, 2012

Colts Reflections, Week 1

Good Luck: The kid doesn't get rattled, has great pocket presence, and knows what he's doing out there. Bonus points for the drive before halftime in which he got the team in field goal range.

Bad Luck: The Colts left points out on the field. The end zone interception was a killer. Luck threw two other picks (one on a really, really nice play from Tim Jennings) and also fumbled. Overall, Luck had four turnovers--and with such a slim margin of error, those things can't happen.

Reggie, resurrected: It was a pleasure watching Reggie Wayne dominate out on the field. While many think of him as "the guy after Marvin," Reggie's a tremendous receiver in his own right. The Colts did their rookie QB a big favor by re-signing #87. Let's hope that's one guy who will retire a Colt.

Worse than a work in progress: The offensive line needs a lot of work. One starter was missing and another left the game with a concussion. Luck endured three sacks and took several hits. He's got a quick release and bounces back well, but the Colts can't afford to have him under pressure all season. Sadly, I think he will be.

Road to nowhere: Not much running room for the Colts either. Donald Brown had a few nice runs, but that was about it. It's hard to gauge how effective they'll be given that they fell behind early and had to throw a lot. Let's just say I don't have a rosy outlook on things.

Two-drive special: For two magical drives, the Colts defense and the Bears' offensive ineptitude made Indy look like a force to be reckoned with. It didn't last. The Bears found their groove, Dwight Freeney got hurt, and the Colts couldn't stop Chicago's passing attack.

Keep your eye on the ball: Donald Brown was, in the words of Dan Dierdorf, "a textbook example" of looking downfield before catching the ball. It happened twice--again we defer to Dierdorf, who called both examples "blatant." The first one probably hurt the most, as it looked like Brown had plenty of room to showcase his breakaway speed.

Tim Freaking Jennings: I remember a game--it's a 2008 game against Green Bay--in which Tim Jennings had a handful of penalties (four) and was generally horrible. I carry this memory of Jennings with his very impressive play came as quite a surprise. Tim Freaking Jennings.

So close: I don't think the result would've been different if the Colts had made a few plays, but the score may have been closer. Antoine Bethea had the chance to end a scoring threat, but couldn't hang onto the ball. Colts defensive backs had opportunities to intercept Cutler, but couldn't pull it off. I think we'll see a lot of this during the season.

Almost special: Again, the Colts dominated the first five minutes of the game. This even extended to special teams when Joe Lefeged downed two of Pat McAfee's punts inside the five. So that went well. Of course, LaVon Brazill's fumble wiped out most of the good. Again, the result of the game would've been the same if not for Brazill's fumble, but it only made things worse.