What’s up, Colts fans? It’s Sunday, and it feels weird writing this because there’s no game today. Thursday’s game against the Patriots played out about how most expected, at least on the scoreboard.
It’s hard to look at a 38-24 game and find a lot of positives, but we were reminded of this much: No matter the circumstances, this team will compete hard the entire game. It’s a testament to the character of Ballard and Reich, and to the players they’ve brought in.
There’s light at the end of the tunnel, folks. 1-4 doesn’t look pretty, but there are some nice building blocks in place, and the future is brighter than it may appear.
Let’s see what’s on your minds…
Q: Can you explain whyyyyy that call at the end of the game? – Amy Louise
The mailbag was delayed due to the author being lazy and somewhat busy, so Amy’s question is about the Houston game, and Frank Reich’s decision to go for it. It’s possible you heard about it.
I loved the decision to go for it. Look, everyone knew coming into the season that the Colts’ chances of being very good were rather slim. With this in mind, why wouldn’t you go for it? If at the end of the year this game’s the difference between finishing 7-9 instead of 7-8-1, does it really matter?
After a bit of a slow start, Andrew was playing really well. Why not keep him out there? At first I didn’t like the play they ran, but after thinking it over and re-watching, there was nothing wrong with it, either. They did what they’d been doing a lot of: Attacked the Houston corner outside with a quick throw. The difference this time is Andrew’s throw was off line. It happens.
People forget the Colts were down 28-10 with about 22 minutes of game time left. It was a miracle they even got the game to overtime. What about all of the dropped passes? What about Ryan Kelly’s poor snap that gave the Texans a touchdown? When’s the last time Kelly ever made a bad snap? I don’t recall one. What about the defense immediately giving up a 24 yard pass to Hopkins following the 4th down play? I mean, the absolute one guy on their team who has to be accounted for at all times, and he’s wide open?
My point is this: You can’t pin this loss on Reich’s decision to go for it.
Frank Reich. That’s my head coach.
(Author’s note: While finishing up this article, I sat and watched as Rams coach Sean McVay called for a run on 4th and 1 from his own 42, his team leading 33-31 with under a minute to play. The Rams were successful, so now Sean McVay is a genius but Frank Reich is dumb. Ok *eye roll*)
(Additional author’s note: I sat and watched as the Cowboys and Texans went to overtime. Late in the period, Jason Garrett elected to punt rather than go for a 4th and 1 from HOUSTON’s 42. A few plays later, after giving up a big pass to Hopkins – sound familiar? – his team went home with a loss. But Frank Reich is dumb)
Q: Andrew Luck’s arm. Discuss – Steven J
Well, let’s see. Its color appears consistent with that of your typical Caucasian male. It appears to be larger and/or more muscular than that of your typical male. It appears to move front to back and side to side without issue, much like most arms.
Alright, I’ll stop. Andrew’s arm is fine. Any real doubts have been washed away the last 2 games. One thing I’ve noticed is the touch on the deep pass isn’t quite what it once was, but it has gotten better as the season’s progressed. I see no reason why this won’t continue.
We’ve now went from questions about the strength of Andrew’s arm to questions about whether they’re throwing it too much. Even Reich was quoted as saying “it kills me” to have Andrew throwing this much, although my BS radar goes off whenever I hear a former QB say something like that. I think what Reich really means is they need to run the ball better, and he’s right.
Q: Between Leonard, Turay, and Hooker, who makes the Pro Bowl first, and when it’s all over, who makes the most Pro Bowls in their career? – Richard
If anyone out there questioned the value Darius Leonard brings to the Colts defense, Thursday’s game should silence them. Anthony Walker did his best, but he’s not suited for the middle & then he went down to injury too. The Patriots exploited Leonard’s absence repeatedly, It’s this simple: the first time Brady throws the little swing pass to James White and Leonard knocks the crap out of him for a minimal gain, he probably thinks “alright, they got us that time.” But when they call it again and the same thing happens, they start looking elsewhere. Darius isn’t going to be a star. He *is* a star. We’re looking at a Sanders/Freeney/Mathis level difference maker. As a rookie! Anthony Walker is decent playing next to him, but just wait until they get some more talent around him. The sky is the limit for this kid, and right now let’s just all join hands and pray he stays healthy. He’s the easy answer here.
I’m guessing just about everyone reading this lives in B1G territory. Chances are you root for IU, Purdue, or Ohio State. Putting those rivalries aside, I think we can all agree Rutger has no business being in the B1G. The conference wanted a share of the NYC market, and picked the equivalent of St. Mary’s of The Poor. What a disaster. That said, Rutger did give us Kemoko Turay, who has two sacks and five QB hits this season. He’s still a work in progress, but you can see the potential.
I’ve heard rumblings about Hooker’s play not being up to par. I haven’t really noticed, save for one play in the season opener against Cincinnati. Remember, he’s coming off an ACL and MLC injury. This is a different defense. If there’s a knock against Malik this season it’s that we haven’t seen that ball hawking skill we’ve expected. He’ll get there.
Q: So…what’s up with all of these injuries???? – Jodi
There’s been a lot of teeth gnashing in Indy lately over all of the injuries the team is dealing with. Keep in mind, injury reports are fluid and contain a lot of BS because of NFL rules and because teams like to mess with said rules. Keep in mind a TNF game following an overtime game is going to make an injury report look really ugly.
But only having 44 guys available at kick off is a problem. Losing 4 or 5 more during the game means – no matter how good your depth is – that you’re just not going to win 99% of the time.
Everyone’s pointing fingers at the training/medical staff. Normal reaction.
Has anyone asked the question about the playing surface at Lucas Oil? Training staffs change, doctors change, but the injuries still keep happening. At what point does the Indy media start hammering the question about the field? It’s not like they have to keep trying to get answers out of the Colts, there are scores of players from other teams who play there every season. Ask them.
I’m just a fan, I have no connections. But there have been stories circulating for years that the Lucas Oil playing surface is crap – even after a re-surface – and I’m willing to bet it has to do with concessions made in order to get the funding passed to build the place.
I’ll be more than willing to accept defeat if someone can prove me wrong.
See you soon, Colts fans