Postgame Spread
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Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Colts' Chances    

Blah blah blah lost three of four, can't stop the run, no good third option for Manning...

So, how bad is it? When I was watching the Cowboys game, I thought they actually did a pretty good job of stopping the run most of the time...until the 4th Quarter. Obviously, that's the most important time, but I came away with the impression that the talent was there, and maybe the endurance was a little lacking. Is that fixable? Of course, I didn't get to see any of the Jags game, but the score certainly gave the impression of major Colts collapse. And I heard the Jags ran the ball right at them, so I'd agree it looks pretty bad. On the other hand...

1) Simmons talking about the lack of running game so much...I don't know, I don't get to watch the Colts very often, but it seems pretty clear that Addai is pretty allright. And Edge looks pretty horrible this year, so I'd say the decision to let him walk was a smart one. Maybe they're not quite as strong at running the ball overall, but at least Addai will be fresh with all the carries that Rhodes has gotten throughout the year. I feel good about the running game.

2) And why are the Colts so bad at stopping the run this year? No major turnover on the defensive end. I mean they lost their best run-stopper to injury, but that's just one guy. Can they fix this?

3) They'll work out a third option. More passes to Addai, more to Utecht, whatever. I'm not buying this as a major problem. And he still has both Harrison and Wayne, who do a pretty good job on their own.

So, I think the biggest difference between this Colts team and the big chokers of the past several years is that the optimism about the positive direction of the defense has worn out. They look a little weaker, but I think they have just as good a chance as ever, ultimately. Maybe going in with something to prove will be good for them. The defense still can tackle runners in the backfield, just not very often. And in a single game, a few well timed tackles for losses could mean everything.

Also, do you guys think they match up better against the Chargers in a way? I mean, Tomlinson can run the ball all over anybody. Maybe by just acknowledging they can't stop him and focusing in on the rest of the offense, they gain something that a team more optimistic about stopping the run wouldn't. Probably not, but I thought it was worth raising as a possibility.



  • 1) Take a wild guess what this is.

    2) I remember my dad telling apocryphal stories about how teams used to "defend" Wilt Chamberlain by refusing to double down. Because they knew Wilt wouldn't win all by himself, so just let him get his 40-50 points and make sure you shut down the backup band. In that sense, LDT wouldn't be an "added" problem for Indy.

    But at the same time, didn't we just watch the Jags go from "effective" to "record-setting" simply by playing Indy? Hell, the Broncos are an excellent defensive team, and LDT just wiped his ass with all of them, one at a time, in a row. For the Chargers to pass would only give Indy a chance for turnovers. What possible reason would the Chargers have to pass the football? Just keep feeding Tomlinson and Turner until Indy cries uncle.

    3) The Colts' offense, at this point, is irrelevant. They would need to regain their 2004 form for the O to have any chance to counteract this rotten D.

    4) Addai has been pretty all right. Edgerrin James was dominant. Obviously not fair to Addai. And obviously Edge leaving was the right call. But the bottom line is that Addai isn't at that "peak Edge" level yet. I have to assume NFL defenses know that, and act accordingly. Until Addai reaches that level where he can control the game all by his lonesome, I doubt Peyton will have it as easy as he used to.

    Well, that was some fun speculation!

    By Blogger Jeff, at 5:47 PM  

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