Tag: Indianapolis Colts
Andrew Luck finally managed to win two games in a row for the Colts as he guided a brilliant come-from-behind effort by Indianapolis on the road. Things couldn’t had been better for the rookie quarterback that at 4-3 for the season, already has got more wins than his predecessor, Peyton Manning, in his rookie year where he pretty much got chalked all season long. The Colts have had a very emotional year since their head coach, Chuck Pagano, was diagnosed with Lukemia and had to take a leave of absence to undergo surgery and radiation therapy. Still, under the leadership of interim coach Bruce Arians, this young squad has managed to prove themselves once again. Sure they lack experience; sure they are coming back from their worst season ever, and a huge change in their paradigm, since letting go of Manning. But Luck has come in to fill the void and so far, he has done quite a job.
Luck finished off the night with 26 of 38 passing for 297 yards with 1 touchdown and 1 interception. He connected with the acrobatic Vick Ballard on a 16-yard pass in overtime with 4:49 left in overtime to close the deal and give Indianapolis a 19-13 win over the Tennessee Titans. Ballard finished off the drive taking a screen pass while running towards the left end of the field. The Titans’ defenders managed to get the rookie’s feet knocked out from underneath him in an attempt to get him out of bounds. Ballard responded with a fascinating and acrobatic twist in the air. He crossed the goal line upside down with his head hitting the pylon for the winning TD. After the review, officials opted to stick with the initial call and ruled it a score.
None of this would had been possible had Andrew Luck not completed two brilliant 80-yard touchdown drives. On the first one ha managed to set up Delone Carter’s 1-yard TD run that tied it at 13 a piece with 3:24 left in the fourth quarter. On his second drive the No.1 overall pick in the draft managed to set up the play with Ballard that would give them the win. “Andrew, I thought, was fantastic,” Colts interim coach Bruce Arians said in the postgame press conference.
Matt Hasselbeck, the Titans quarterback, guided his team with 22 of 29 passing for 236 yards and one touchdown pass with no interceptions. After the game you could really tell that he was very disappointed in how things had worked out. Truth is that the Titans looked as if they were going to have a chance to close the deal. “It’s a huge play and huge time of the game,” the Titans head coach Mike Munchak said. “You wish it had gone the other way where you let the play go, and they can decide if the guy is down by contact. When you rule forward progress, then you can’t review the play.” After all Hasselbeck had managed to get the Titans back in contention, but Tennessee opted to punt with 56 seconds left rather than let Rob Bironas, who beat the Colts with a 60-yarder on this field in 2006, try a 58-yard field goal with a stiff wind at his back. This was by no means Muchak’s finest coaching moment.
Considering that Peyton Manning is not going to be around for the rest of the season and that up until the previous game, the Colts were 0-13 for the season, it is quite evident that something good is finally happening at the Colts headquarters. Then again, winning this late into the season, when there is nothing but self-respect and professional dignity to soothe an ailing and falling team, one can only wonder what is going to be the best tactical decision in regards to the final game of the season. On January 1st, 2012, the Indianapolis Colts are going to play the Jacksonville Jaguars to finish what has seemed as an unbearable season.
If not many fans were expecting the Colts to win last Sunday, they were certainly not even considering for a second that they could pull off a 19-16 win over the Houston Texas on Thursday night. What happened here is that this time, the Colts found themselves fighting for a prize, but just not the usual prize, a pass to the postseason, or a run at the Super Bowl. But this time, the Indianapolis Colts might want to consider fighting for the only positive thing they could possibly pull off from this mess of a season: the number one draft pick.
But then again, even when you are going for a league worst trophy, there still seems to be some competition. This season both the St. Louis Rams and the Minnesota Vikings are 2-12 going into their next game. Definitely nothing to be too proud of, but they could each finish the season at 2-13. That would actually mean that unless the Colts lose their last game of the season against the Jaguars, they might not only finish the season with one of their worst records ever, they might also lose the first round pick of the 2012 NFL Draft, which probably means, they will miss out on having Andrew Luck.
So as we speak St. Louis and Minnesota are both in the fight for a chance to sign Luck for the following season. But it still looks like the Colts have the upper hand. On the positive side of things, the Colts’ .547 strength-of-schedule percentage is going to only worsen after playing the 4-10 Jaguars. The Rams’ and the Vikings current strength of schedule percentage is .587.
The scenario is quite simple for the last weeks of football. If the Colts beat Jacksonville and the Rams and Vikings lose their last two, the Colts would not get the top pick. On the other hand, if the Colts beat the Jags and St. Louis and Minnesota also finish 3-13, the No. 1 pick would go to the Colts.
The Colts won their Thursday Night Football game against the Houston Texans when Reggie Wayne decided to get back on his winning game, when there were only 19 seconds left in the game. He pulled off one of his outstanding maneuvers to give the Colts a 19-16 win at home and prove that he’s still got a little of that magic that made him a 5 time Pro Bowler.
This was a bad weekend for streaks in general. On the one side, the Green Bay Packers snapped their 19-game-winning-streak when they fell unexpectedly to the Kansas City Chiefs on Sunday. The same happened with the 13-game losing streak that the Indianapolis Colts had been recording ever since they franchise quarterback, Peyton Manning, underwent surgery in the preseason. The Indianapolis Colts have proved that, despite the popular belief, they can actually pull a win without Peyton Manning when they managed to defeat a lessened Tennessee Titans 13-27. So there you have it: it took the Indianapolis Colts only 14 games and three quarters to figure out a way to win with a quarterback other then Manning, who had been with the team for over 14 years.
Perhaps the most interesting side of the story lies behind the quarterback. Not Manning, that’s for sure. He’s been throwing passes to his teammates but we all know he isn’t coming back as a starter anytime soon. Not Matt Hasselbeck, who despite having a chance to secure the Titans a spot in the playoffs had an awful game against the up to then winless Colts. No, the good story lies behind one Dan Orlovski, a quarterback that was going to put the extra effort to secure that the Colts didn’t get their first ever 0-16 season. Orlovski was a starting quarterback for the infamous 0-16 Detroit Lions of 2008, so he certainly had much more at stake here then just soothing the Indianapolis Colts sore egos. He was pushing for a win for himself.
It’s been over 50 weeks, that is, 350 days since the last time the New England Patriots won a single game. But that wait is nothing compared to that of Orlovski. The seven-year NFL veteran was 0-9 in his previous NFL starts. So it doesn’t come as much of a surprise that when the celebration came in for the Colts, it was all about Orlovski and his quest to a win. On the press conference, Orlovski, who didn’t really had an amazing game, just good enough for a win, was quite humble in his opinions about the Colts first win of the season. “I think in my career, I’ve learned not to take them (wins) for granted.” Perhaps that’s exactly what the Indianapolis Colts management did: give all the Peyton Manning wins over his career for granted and not come up with a plan for when he was going to be out.
This is a very significant loss for the Tennessee Titans. At 7-7 for the season, the Titans could have managed to make it into the playoffs by their own merits if they had managed to win their three final games of the season. Even thought their playoffs chances are still alive, they are now going to depend on whether their rivals win or lose the next two games in order to clinch a playoffs berth. But there’s no one other than the Titans to blame for the loss. Consider for starters that Matt Hasselbeck completed only 27 of his 40 passes for the game for 223 yards with no touchdowns and two interceptions. That’s just not going to cut it. Not even against the Peyton Manning-less Indianapolis Colts.
Drew Brees was just a little short of reaching perfection as the New Orleans Saints crushed the Peyton-less Indianapolis Colts at the Superdome on Sunday Night. The MVP of Super Bowl XLIV finished the night with 31 of 35 passing for 325 yards with 5 touchdown passes and no interceptions as he guided the Saints to a 62-7 crushing of the Indianapolis Colts. It was a painful experience for the Colts fans.
The Colts fans had grown used to finishing a successful season after the other. This time around, they are learning about that other end of the game. Not only did the Saints crushed the Colts, they also managed to do it with style. The Saints just kept on breaking records all night long. With 62 points scored, the Saints managed to make the most points against a team since 1985 when the Tampa Bay Buccaneers got slapped hard by the New York Jets. No other team sine the NFL merger has scored more than the Saints. But there’s even more, with a 55 point difference, this is the highest winning margin since the 2009 Patriots crushing of the Tennessee Titans in 2009.
We all knew that Peyton Manning was one heck of a player. We knew that he was an essential part of the Super Bowl winning and playoffs qualifying Indianapolis Colts. Little did we know that he was not only its franchise player and biggest star but their sole engine, the backbone not only of the Colts’ defense but of the organization as a whole. It’s not just a matter of suffering a 0-7 season that makes this group of players seem so weak and weary. No, it’s more than just that. The Colts are officially broken down. Drew Brees and the New Orlean Saints defiled the Indianapolis Colts in such a way that no one on their right mind would have ever imagined to happen had Peyton Manning been playing in the field.
At one point, the fans in the upper deck of the Superdome stood up and turned their back to the field. They wanted to salute the New Orleans Saints head coah Sean Payton. For the first time, he wasn’t calling his offensive plays from the sidelines. He had been down in the field since he first took the job as a head coach in 2006 with the Saints. That all changed after he was caught up in a tackle along the sideline during a loss at Tampa Bay last week. Payton underwent had surgery on Monday and didn’t attend a practice until Thursday. But he was happy with what he saw from the top of the Superdome. Down below, offensive coordinator Pete Carmichael Jr. called plays for the first time.
Brees was flawless. He connected two touchdown passes to Marques Colston and one to Darren Sproles in the first quarter alone. Number four and five went to second-year tight end Jimmy Graham in the third quarter. By the fourth, Brees and the Saints weren’t even trying.
The winless and Peyton Manning-less Colts are guaranteed to have fewer than 10 victories in a season for the first time in nine years. It’s a shame. Not even veteran Curtis Painter has been able to right this sinking ship. Finishing the game with 9 of 17 passing for 67 yards and one interception, it really seems that the Colts might not need more than a hand to count this season wins. Even then, that might just be two or three fingers too many.