Hello, Colts fans. The key to football is to score more points than the other guys.
I know this and you know this, but our friends in the media need something to talk about in order to justify their jobs. Earlier this summer, a certain baseball announcer acknowledged to me that yes, I was right, the team really does just need to score more than the other guys. Yet each time a game rolls around, there he is giving us keys to the game that never include the bit about scoring.
As he is a highly-compensated professional, I figure that the creation of keys that turn no locks must be a growth industry. So now, it’s my turn.
Welcome to Why The Colts Will Score More Than The Other Guys
Who: The Pittsburgh Steelers vs. the Indianapolis Colts.
What: Week 12 of the 2016 NFL season.
Where: Lucas Oil Stadium, Indianapolis, IN.
When: 8:25 PM Eastern, Thursday, November 24. TV: NBC. Just three short days ago, Thanksgiving’s slate of games were looking like some of the best of the entire season. Minnesota and Detroit. Washington and Dallas. Both huge games for playoff positioning. The Steelers are fighting for a playoff spot, and the Colts seemed to have started to turn the corner – at least in terms of scoring more than the other guys – but no, we weren’t allowed to prosper. Instead, it’s looking like this for the Colts game: 1) No Andrew Luck 2) No Andrew Luck against a team that has kicked the ever loving crap out of the Colts for like the last 40 years (it just seems like it). 3) No Andrew Luck against a team that has kicked the every loving crap out of the Colts for like the last 40 years AND the entire country watching AND Cris Collinsworth behind the mic. We can’t win. When Sunday rolls around and you find yourself going “When do the Colts play?” before realizing Sunday is like a bye week, you can find what games to watch here. I don’t mean to be a spoiler alert, but if you find yourself missing Spero Dedes and Solomon Wilcots, then you’re in luck if you live in Indiana. The Terrible Twosome will be on the CBS call for Tennessee vs. Chicago. Rejoice!
I’ve written more than 20 of these “score more” pieces, and that is easily the most I’ve ever written in the beginning section. It may be longer than the main part. Maybe.
Why the Colts will score more than the other guys:
1. Win One For The Mitt
Word spread today (Wednesday) that Colts season ticket holders received an oven mitt to commemorate (?) the first home Thanksgiving game in Indianapolis history. I mean, it’s not the worst gift. They didn’t have to send anything, right? Here’s what it looks like:
I’d use it without shame.
The gift sparked some debate. Some (okay, me) felt like earmuffs, or blinders, or poker chips would be effective gifts. They each fit into the philosophy of Chuck Pagano. You could use earmuffs to mute the voices of your annoying relatives, blinders so you don’t have to see your drunk, crazy uncle do something stupid, and poker chips for the annual family poker game. Actually, you could use all three for the poker game. Others had different, but equally valid gift ideas:
Anyway, so what does this mean? I don’t have the slightest idea, but let’s just go for it….
Jim Irsay’s oven mitt generosity was spread to his team as well. Chuck Pagano interprets the gesture as a vote of confidence (ugh) and implores his team to don the mitts during the game. Most do.
Playing in place of the concussed Andrew Luck (sigh), Scott Tolzien comes out ready to go. Buoyed by the improved accuracy of Tolzien (oven mitt FTW), the Colts march 84 yards for an easy touchdown on the opening drive. Later in the quarter, Tolzien finds Jack Doyle for a 7-yard score. It’s 14-0.
The Colts’ defense also plays well from the start, pressuring
noted sex offender Ben Roethlisberger on multiple plays and frustrating the Steelers offense. After one 2nd quarter sack by Erik Walden, an obviously irritated Roethlisberger kicks Walden’s oven mitt. He’s later fined $19.95 by the league for intentional destruction of “the fair market value of league property.”
Leading 14-3 at the half, the Colts take the field and seemingly take control in the 3rd quarter after a 1-yard Robert Turbin (aka The Touchdown Vulture) scoring run.
21-3? Oven mitt FTW.
It can’t be this easy with the Colts though, right? Right.
In the 4th, Roethlisberger comes alive. He hits Antonio Brown for an easy 50-yard score. A few minutes later, Leveon Bell punches one in from a yard out. The Steelers go for two, and it works when Roethlisberger hits Brown in the corner for an easy conversion.
It’s 21-18. Gulp.
On the ensuing drive, the Colts move the ball down the field. They’re inside the 10, about to salt the game away, when….Lawrence Timmons busts through the line and destroys Robert Turbin, forcing a fumble that bounces right into the hands of William Gay. Gay races down the sideline with only Tolzien between him and what’s probably the game winning score, when he inexplicably cuts towards the middle of the field and is brought down. After the game it will be revealed Gay was playing with stitches in his leg due to a domestic violence incident earlier.
Pittsburgh isn’t done, though. A couple of plays move the ball into field goal range. On the second one, a 15-yard completion to Brown on the sideline, the cameras catch Pat McAfee holding his oven mitt over his face in case Brown decides to kick him again.
Mike Tomlin brings out Chris Boswell for the 46-yard kick to tie the game. Boswell has made 6 kicks of 40+ this season, so it looks like we’re headed to overtime with Lady Momentum riding shotgun in Pittsburgh’s oven.
The ball is snapped, the hold is good, the kick is up….
The kick sails way right. So way right the upright would’ve had to have extended 30 yards over for it to have a chance.
NBC sideline reporter Michele Tafoya grabs a jubilant Chuck Pagano and asks how his team pulled off the win without their star QB.
“You know, we’ve got a lot of good football players with culinary skills. Jim Irsay gave us these oven mitts and I said to the team ‘so what, now what?’ and the guys responded. I told them ‘trust the mitt next to you’ and they did. Our guys did a terrific job of keeping their hands in the oven at the right time.”
After being asked during his post game presser how the anemic Colts pass rush managed to get 5 sacks and numerous pressures, Roethlisberger replies with “we had oven mitt problems.” He’s roundly criticized for throwing his offensive line under the oven.
It’s time to exorcise the demons, folks. Oven mitts FTW.
Oven Mitts 21, Steelers 18