Monday, October 22, 2012
Colts Observations: Week 7
A win is a win. Call it ugly, boring, milquetoast, the Browns...I didn't expect the Colts to be around .500 at this point in the season. They've won more games than last season and have matched Peyton Manning's win total as a rookie. They could have a winning record...if not for Cecil Shorts.
Running? Running? The Colts were extremely efficient in the running game this week. I was excited when the team drafted Vick Ballard, and he showed a good burst, effectively putting the game away late with a 26-yard scamper. Delone Carter also had a nice game.
Reggie Forever. Reggie Wayne flashed his magic orange hands again this week. He wasn't quite as jaw-droppingly terrific as two weeks before, but he was still solid. I can't emphasize how big it was for the Colts to bring him back.
Pass rush, underwhelming. Robert Mathis is out and Freeney's missing his burst because of an ankle injury. It meant Brandon Weeden had plenty of time to find receivers (and sometimes they caught the ball). The Colts hurried Weeden a few times, but never sacked him.
Solid "D." Despite the lack of a pass rush, the Colts defense was solid. I know, I know...it's the Browns. Still, the Colts held them to only two touchdowns and didn't give up "the bomb" (even though they were very, very close to doing so). The Colts surrendered only 55 rushing yards after last week's disaster against the Jets.
Reeling him in. Joshua Cribbs is frequently regarded as one of the Browns' top playmakers. The Colts kept him in check all game, including a great tackle by LaVon Brazill near the end of the game.
A unique style. So...Bruce Arians has a unique coaching style. There was the time he threw a challenge flag even though he knew it wouldn't do any good a couple weeks ago. This week, he called a timeout just before halftime, allowing the Browns to attempt a Hail Mary after the Colts were flagged for having too many men on the field. And then there was his aggressive call on fourth and inches in Colts territory. The hard count worked. I guess what I'm saying...I don't know what I'm saying.
RG3? How 'bout AL1? Luck has made plays with his feet all season, but this week he put points on the board by scoring two rushing touchdowns. In both cases, it looked like he read the defense quickly and then took off. I don't expect we'll see the read option any time soon, but Luck's athleticism can't be overstated.
Who are those guys? Look, the Colts had enough roster turnover after Veteran Fan-Favorite Cut Day. With so many guys injured, I didn't recognize many of the players out there on defense. Still, the unit played a pretty good game.
Tight ends. As the games go by, tight ends Coby Fleener and Dwayne Allen seem to be getting more touches. The Colts need to keep this up...I especially like how Allen finishes plays. Fleener is doing a better job of holding onto the ball as well.
Angerer returns. Good to see linebacker Pat Angerer back in the fold. He saw limited action, but did give Weeden a couple love taps during the game.
Not cracking 200 yards. I know Luck can't pass for 300 yards every week, but I was surprised that he failed to crack 200 yards after having a very productive first half. The second half turned into this grind 'em, pound 'em game where the Colts played defense and field position.
Them's the breaks, Cleveland. A botched hold on an extra point. A dropped, sure-fire touchdown pass. These are the kinds of things that seemed to happen to the Colts last year; I bet Browns fans will tell you these are the types of things that have been happening to them forever.