Monday, November 19, 2012

Colts Observations, Week 11

Trial by Foxborough. It's tough to win in New England unless you play for the Patriots. The Colts had to play a nearly flawless game just to stay competitive. They did not.

The turnover bug. Four turnovers led to 21 points for the Patriots, including two "pick six" returns. Another turnover--a fumble in Colts territory--resulted in an easy, one-play drive for the score.

That's quite a turnaround. It's 14-7, the Pats just missed a field goal. The Colts do nothing with the ball and punt. The gunner gets whistled for a false start. Julian Edelman returns a punt 68 yards for a score on the next punt. After the kickoff, Andrew Luck throws an interception to Aqib Talib, who returns it for another score. In the span of a minute, the score goes from a 14-7 Colts lead to a 21-14 deficit. BOOM. That just happened.

Gronked. No answers for the Rob Gronkowski, although apparently late-game extra point blocking is Kryptonite for his forearm.

We're in no rush. The Colts were supposed to unveil the Jerry Hughes-Dwight Freeney-Robert Mathis pass rushing package this week. It didn't matter.

Just Brady bein' Brady. It was one of those games where it was a victory when the Colts didn't give up a touchdown after Brady let loose a pass. Third and long was no challenge.

"I coulda been a contenda." The Colts came out firing on all cylinders to start the game. After the missed field goal, I thought maybe the Patriots would have to sweat a little before winning this one. That's not exactly how it played out. Still, the Colts control their own destiny with some winnable games ahead.

Reggie Wayne. He's over the 1,000-yard mark. That is all.

T.Y. Hilton. The explosive wide receiver had a big catch...and also nearly Triple Lindied his way into fumbling a punt return. Secure and advance, kid. Secure and advance.

Staying grounded. When the Colts could afford to run the ball, they ran it effectively. Unfortunately, they got down real quick-like and had to throw it almost every play.

An exercise in head scratching. Not sure about the Colts' time management at the end of the first half; seemed like a wasted opportunity to score some points. Also, with the game out of hand and the Colts unable to stop New England, the Colts punted on a fourth and four. I was shocked they didn't go for it.

Still some positives. It was miserable to watch--particularly in the second half--but the Colts showed a few things. They finally got off to a good start on the road, something they've failed to do. The offensive line opened up holes in the running game and protected Luck early. The offense also had several big-play opportunities.