Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Colts Observations, Week 9 vs. Giants

Quick summary:

The Colts rebound from last week's lopsided loss against the Steelers to kick around Eli Manning and the Giants. Andrew Luck breaks 350 yards in relatively ho hum fashion.

Monday Night beatdown. The final score was in no way indicative of the game, as the Colts absolutely trounced the Giants in every aspect of football.

Crying Reggie. I think Chris Botti should perform the national anthem before every game Reggie Wayne plays. What a moment.

Ageless Reggie Wayne. While I'm on the subject of Mr. Wayne, I should say he looks fully recovered from the injury he suffered against the Bengals. He missed the Pittsburgh game because of it, and I say that's a good thing. He flashed some vintage Reggie on a 40-yard catch-and-run (I could watch the replay all day). He finished with 4 receptions for 70 yards. It may not sound like a lot, but Luck really spread the ball around this week.

Fleenered! Leave it to Coby Fleener to fake out the defense by kind of not/maybe not completing a catch and then running completely open as the Giants fail to throw their challenge flag on time. Great job by Luck and the offense to hustle it up and run a play while the Giants were still pleading for their coach to throw the challenge flag. This is why the flag should be kept in a fanny pack wrapped around your waist at all times. Indy really needed the score there, too, as they were dominating the Giants but had little to show for it.

I've got T.Y. Hilton in my fantasy arm wrestling league. How weird was that? Luck throws a ball up for grabs, and it looks like Antrel Rolle's all over it. Then T.Y. "Don't call me TD" Hilton rips it away from him. Hilton didn't light it up this week (3 catches, 71 yards), but you definitely felt his impact on the game.

Feed Moncrief! One catch, two yards.

Don't feed Moncrief! Previous point redacted.

Grudge match. I think Hakeem Nicks and Ahmad Bradshaw had this one circled on the calendar. Nicks (3 catches, 44 yards) made a couple big catches and Bradshaw ran hard. Bradshaw's stats (3 catches, 29 yards; 7 rushes, 50 yards) weren't eye-popping, but he was running angry out there. I kind of like him when he's angry.

The Andrew Luck Shooting Gallery. I'm not talking about his throwing acumen here. Luck was harassed all day for the second straight game, and an offensive line that provided solid protection earlier in the year struggled for the second game in a row. I know Luck holds onto the ball too long sometimes, but he still shouldn't be getting rocked every time the Colts call a pass play. Oh, by the way, he attempted 46 passes.

Solid defense. The Colts were embarrassed last week. Against the G-Men, they made it all better. For the most part, receivers didn't find much room in the secondary and running backs didn't find much daylight. The pass rush struggled at times again, but I saw some good things from Jonathan Newsome out there. He ended up with a couple sacks while Zach "Dancing Bear" Kerr notched one of his own.

A little off. When a guy throws for 354 yards, 4 touchdowns, and no interceptions, there's not much he did wrong during the game. Yet, those numbers could've been huge. Luck missed a few throws Monday night, especially early in the game. Just imagine how good this guy will be when he's consistently accurate for four quarters.

Was the secondary that good? Vontae Davis was definitely solid. No doubt about that. However, I'm trying to consider if I'm giving the secondary too much credit. The Giants' receivers were awful in this game, dropping pass after pass after pass. Is that good coverage or does Eli just have a bunch of Featherstones out there?

Sergio or LaRon? Do the Colts have a choice to make? What do you do with Sergio Brown when LaRon Landry comes back? Brown, who made his bones as a special teams stud, brings a lot more range to the position than Big Contract Landry. Yet Landry has that big contract. I think Indy might platoon these guys a little. Landry is (supposedly) stouter against the run while Brown is (in reality) a far superior cover safety.

The turnover battle. The Colts forced one turnover, and probably should've forced a couple more. On the other hand, they very nearly turned the ball over several times themselves, so I'll just count them lucky.

Weird stuff. There were some really strange plays last night, including the Fleener touchdown/challenge play and T.Y. Hilton's "give me the ball" TD reception. Don't forget that weird play where the ball bounced off the offensive line and back to Ahmad Bradshaw, who ended up getting a good run out of it. Strange things, man.

Bye, then Uggs. The Colts get to rest after compiling a 6-3 record so far. Since the Texans have Texaned themselves, Indy has a two-game lead in the AFC South. Next up: Tom Brady and the New England Patriots. Good luck covering Gronkowski, guys.