Tuesday, December 18, 2012

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?