Monday, January 5, 2015

Colts Observations: Wild Card Round vs. Bengals

Quick summary:

Like kicking a baby tiger.

Was it ever in doubt? Well, okay, it was after Boom Herron fumbled at the end of the first half, giving the Bengals the chance to make a miracle 57-yard field goal to pull within three points. Other than that, though, the game wasn't very close.

Luck's big heave. You know the one I'm talking about. It's the play that broke the game open and gave the Colts the cushion they needed to win. I'm still not quite sure how he did it, but I'm glad he found Donte Moncrief.

Boom service. I thought we'd see a good deal of Boom Herron, but I didn't expect the all-around "Boom-centric" offense we ended up seeing. The Colts used Herron a ton this week. He ended up with 22 touches: 12 carries for 56 yards and 10 catches for 85 yards. He was very effective.

D'oh! But Boom's big weakness also came to the forefront. He lost a fumble at a key moment in the game, giving the Bengals a faint heartbeat. He also fumbled later in the game, although the Colts recovered that one. Until it stops, people are going to talk about it.

At least there were no Andrew Luck turnovers. To be honest, I kept waiting for it--that moment in the game where No. 12 holds onto the ball too long and gets sacked or decides to chuck the ball down the middle of the field while in the grasp of a defender. It never came. Luck didn't turn the ball over one single time.

Drop it like it's Hilton? My goodness, how many big plays did T.Y. Hilton leave out there on the field? The Colts could've crushed the Bengals and gone on cruise control for the rest of the game if No. 13 had been able to snag a few of those precious passes. He wasn't the only one with a drop, though. Coby Fleener got in on the action, too (of course). On the plus side, Hilton finished with 100+ receiving yards.

"I am Zurlon from the planet Tipton." With Trent Richardson out this week with a sprained ego, the Colts turned to backup Zurlon Tipton to spell Herron/secure the ball. Tipton ran 11 times for 40 yards. I liked what I saw.

Touchdown! Oh...wait. Nothing worse out there as a fan than the "oh, there's a flag on the play" moments. It happened after Luck hit Fleener for a touchdown...and the replay showed Moncrief leveled his man from behind.

Vinny's still got it. Even though he broke his consecutive field goal streak last week, Adam Vinatieri started a new one, connecting on four field goals to make sure the Colts didn't completely squander their numerous scoring opportunities.

Does Bjoern Werner still play for this team? Yeah, I saw him get leveled by an offensive lineman. He's still out there. Zero tackles, people. Zero tackles.

Is that Jerrell or Jor-El? Jerrell Freeman was all over the place this week. He was credited with 15 tackles (seven solo) and 1.5 sacks. He also slammed the door shut with a sack-strip late in the fourth quarter.

A statistic that surprised me. Erik Walden finished with only two tackles. He seemed to be around the ball a ton this week, and I could've sworn he had more than two tackles.

Does Andy Dalton hate Gio Bernard? I ask only because he floated another pass out into the flat so Vontae Davis could tee off on him. I'm sure Bernard is thankful he didn't get belted as hard as he did before.

Tight ends aplenty. The Colts went with a lot of two tight end and three tight end sets this week. They didn't have a huge influence on the passing game (7 catches, 57 yards combined for Fleener, Dwayne Allen, and Jack Doyle), but their presence was definitely felt.

Off to Denver. The Colts get to go to Denver next week to play Peyton Manning and the Broncos. I can't wait to see how many times people feel it's necessary to point out that Manning used to play for the Colts.