Man, I really hate Andrew Luck's goofy looking face and Bert and Ernie voice right now.... you ever heard him talk? He sounds like a freakin' Muppet or something. He's a darn good QB, though. Hats off to the Colts. That was a tough team to play at any stadium... let alone in their house. Moving along at an emotional pace...
I know it's probably not wise to jump into it this soon after the game, but my mind won't stop. That game was a heart attack waiting to happen. It felt like the Tebow days there at the end (minus the miracle win). I'm sick on every level right now - that was a winnable game - my emotions are haywire. Let's cut to the chase...
We can speculate all day whether Manning was messed up in the head or not, but we don't know that. It did seem that way at times, but to say it for certain is BULL. However, something was wrong with Manning for the majority of the game... we saw a heavy dose of it last week.
Here are the reasons we lost the game (hope I remember them all):
We got beat on Special Teams all night long. Indy had great starting field position, we got stuck behind the 10 more times than I care to count. Trindon Holliday's fumble was a wound that ended up bleeding out as the game went along. He's been quiet the past couple weeks and this is not the way I wanted to see him make some noise.
I've said this for a while now, but not having Clady caught up with us finally. Chris Clark is not that good, at all. Manning has been making him look decent up until the past couple games. You take Orlando Franklin away from us too, and it's the nail in the coffin against a playoff team like the Colts in their house. Our offensive line got their asses handed to them, and honestly, it's no secret why. We are missing both our starting Tackles. In what universe does that go unnoticed for long?
Onto the elephant in the room.... Manning. I refuse to put a lot of the blame on him, but he played his part in this loss. Without him there would have never been a shot at a comeback, but Manning... for the second week in a row... looked rattled and noodle armed for a big chunk of this game. I didn't see much fire from him until the 4th quarter. Manning refuses to take a sack and throws a pick when a sack wouldn't have killed us.... but then goes down late at a time when it destroyed any slim chance we had. Honestly, I'm starting to wonder if one of those hits in the Jacksonville game didn't hurt Manning. I know he looked much better at the end... but without extreme luck (the swatted pass to Decker), we never make the game close. Without Welker making multiple circus catches, Manning's throws were severely off! I worry about a QB who doesn't like pressure. Oz is the opposite of Peyton, but may never be ready (which is sad). I hope beyond hope that kid can become a starting NFL QB! Sometimes I worry about Peyton and the playoffs guys (there, I said it). He's already declining from his Sept. play - he's going to need tons of help when the cold weather hits (and I'm not sure we can give him that at this point). Hopefully Manning snaps out of it. He's still the best QB in football right now... even after all of that.
What is wrong with our wide receivers? Are they really THAT finesse? Julius Thomas is a godsend as a receiver, but a hindrance as a blocker (especially now without a Tackle on the roster). DT??? WTF is wrong with DT??? As big and fast as he is, and he can't beat press-man better than that? Decker too!!! These boys are big, strong wide outs, and they've been getting pushed around like little girls the past two games. I can't believe that the Colts secondary is good enough to shut down the Four Horseman for that much of a game! We couldn't do squat until Colt DB's started going down with injuries. I know some of it is because Peyton Manning can't throw a consistent deep ball (he is 37... and he doesn't have the strongest arm), but why doesn't DT get open deep? Why has Decker been our deep ball guy? I'm astonished by this.
The RB core is very average. We should have ran with authority tonight with all those Colt defenders in coverage! Knowshon is a great blocker and receiver... but we need something more as a runner!!! I'm in complete favor of benching Hillman AND Ball for the rest of the season and promoting C.J. Anderson.... which brings me to Hillman. WHY ON EARTH DID WE GIVE HIS FUMBLE PRONE A$$ THE CALL IN THAT SITUATION! Was Knowshon hurt, or so wore out he couldn't tough that one out? Whoever decided that Hillman gets the call there should be docked pay for a month! Take away the fumbling and Hillman looks pretty good as a change of pace, but the nervousness we feel at the end of his runs negates all of it!!!! Shame on Ball too, because if he wasn't in the same exact spot as Hillman with fumbles, maybe he could've spelled Knowshon on that late goal line run!
I can't really gripe about the defense. They played their guts out, and were put in many tough spots by the offense and special teams. They really tightened up as the 2nd half went along. I think we'll see this unit get better and better now that Von's back. We need Woodyard back something awful! How bad is he hurt? Paris Lenon sucks BAD! No two ways of saying it.... he SUCKS! I'd rather see Trevathan start at MLB and Irving in at WLB. Von had a few conditioning problems tonight, but it was expected. Otherwise, he played a good game. Our DT's got too feisty tonight and it burnt us. Luck did flop like a champion (like a good QB should), but Vickerson should be benched next week for that stupidity. I don't think we're really going to miss Champ (who will be put on IR - I'd almost guarantee it). We missed Champ even when Champ was in there, and I hate to say it, but the era of Champ in Denver is over folks (unless he takes a major pay cut and/or moves to FS). I'm hopeful with Woodyard back and Von another game under his belt, this D is gonna be just fine.
There was some weirdness there at the end of the game with the refs.... it was pussified of Indy to toy with the clock that much on what I believe were 2 on purpose penalties to kill clock on 3 punts! They were allowed to kill even more clock by substituting on our FG as well (is that legal?). If Hillman never puts the ball on the ground and Manning doesn't throw that pick, none of that matters. I did see our receivers getting mauled for most of the game, but that's no excuse for Decker not to keep fighting. I saw him give up on 2 catchable balls, mid-route, wanting a flag. That doesn't fly brutha.
I'm sure I'm missing something, but my ranting is almost at its end. It took the offense too long to get into a sustainable rhythm, I'm hopeful this will get worked out. We need Franklin and Woodyard back horribly. Hats off to the Colts and the Chiefs this week. I will say this... the Chiefs aren't going to go undefeated for too much longer (I can promise you that... I feel it in my bones). Tonight wasn't the end of the world for you whiny, chicken-heart fans out there. Good teams lose. The Packers have lost this year.... the Niners got stomped by the Colts. The Seahawks and Patriots and Colts have all lost as well. The Chiefs won today on a busted play against a hideously off team in the Texans. They are a good team, but no way they go into the playoffs 16-0, or even 14-2. If we can get our heads out of our butts, there's plenty of time left to surpass them.
Goodnight. We're 6-1. We have a lot to work on, but this is still a dynamic, playoff bound team. I'm actually happy we got that first loss out of the way. Think how nerve racking all the undefeated talk would be going into the playoffs. I won't even cry if the Chiefs win the division. It seems like here of late, the lower seeded teams have the best luck (screw a 1st round bye week).
I'll leave you with this...
Remember how we beat the Ravens in the regular season last year? Remember what the Ravens did after that?