Monday, November 11, 2013

Colts Observations: Week 10 vs. Rams

Well, that escalated quickly. Really, all the Rams needed was Chris Long's fumble return for a touchdown. It was all downhill from there. The Colts looked clueless, punchless, gutless, and unprepared.

Robert Mathis got a couple of sacks. No. 98 was about the only player who had any production on defense. He now has 13.5 on the season.

You know, it's okay to play with a lead. The Legend of Andrew Luck has built itself on the Comeback Win. That's fine. That's thrilling. That's nerve-wracking and simultaneously enjoyable. That said, I'd like to point out that it's okay to come out swinging early in the game and jump on the opponent. You don't always have to be the team that gets stomped on, picks itself up, and wins in the end.

Matt Hasselbeck sighting! Honestly, I think the Colts should've subbed Luck out earlier. He was getting battered and beaten by the Rams defense with no hope of winning the game. The only thing you risk by keeping him in a game that was clearly lost--I mean, the Colts had zero things go right in this one--is an injury. Concede that Luck's not on his game, and stick Hasselbeck in there earlier.

In the time it took to get a bowl of chili, Tavon Austin scored a touchdown. I watched the game at my in-laws' house. I went upstairs to get a bowl of chili, and when I came down to the basement Tavon Austin had scored on a 57-yard pass. I got back downstairs just in time to see the Rams kick the extra point.

How's the running game? Pretty sucky, but then again, so were the Colts.

Vontae Davis transforms into David Macklin. Vontae Davis has had a couple really rough games in a row. He couldn't contain Andre Johnson last week. This week's debacle was Tavon Austin, who did just about anything he wanted. Reminded me of the "good ol' days" when David Macklin routinely got beat deep.

Suck for Luck? More like Suck is Luck. Andrew Luck clearly wasn't himself. Go back and look at that first half--he missed a lot of throws. I can think of a pass to T.Y. Hilton that would've gone for a huge gain and a couple high overthrows to Coby Fleener that would've sustained drives. No. 12 had an "off" game, and his usually sound decision making was a disaster.

Which is worse: Darrius Heyward-Bey or Trent Richardson? I'm going with DHB on this one. I don't think it would've made any difference in this game, but DHB dropped a third down pass that went right through his hands and bounced off his chest. You just can't trust the guy. Richardson, by the way, averaged a meaty 0.4 yards per carry. He also caught three passes for 33 yards.

#GRIFFNATION. Three catches for 36 yards for Griff Whalen. I keep hearing things like he's "average" and "Griff Whalen is just Griff Whalen" and "he's nothing special." I refuse to believe these things. He also got rocked on a 25-yard catch late in the game. I BELIEVE, people. I BELIEVE IN GRIFFNATION.

About that punt return... As it unfolded, you couldn't believe it. It looked harmless enough and then Tavon Austin took it the distance. The return was pretty much a microcosm of this disastrous game.

The division. The Colts have no time to sulk about this one--they're up on Thursday Night Football this week. They'll take on the Tennessee Titans in Nashville. The Colts have a chance to get some distance in the AFC South with a win. An unlikely victory from Jacksonville preserved the Colts' two-game lead on the Titans. I think that result is just as jaw-dropping as the St. Louis-Indianapolis final.

A truly offensive line. They can't run block. They can't protect The Franchise. If I were an Indianapolis Colts lineman right now, I'd be completely embarrassed. The Rams were in the backfield all day, stuffing the run and punishing Luck. True, Indy didn't think Donald Thomas would get hurt, but it's clear this unit is struggling.

Take a knee. Take a knee! Kickoff returns were a joke this week (and they have been much of the season). David Reed refused to take a knee on several occasions, getting buried well behind the 20-yard line on multiple occasions (and trust me, thanks to the Rams' score-a-palooza, there were plenty of kickoff return opportunities). One of the loudest cheers from the crowd came when Reed finally conceded a touchback.

Five turnovers. Most of these came in garbage time (let's define garbage time as "after the first quarter"), but the Colts turned it over five times. One led to a touchdown; three others were interceptions near the goal line.

And it could've been worse. Don't forget that St. Louis fumbled in the red zone early in the game. That drive should've produced points.