But there are some positives to be taken from this loss, and there are some things about this game that we'll learn from as the season progresses.
First, we learned that we really do miss defensive lineman Gerard Warren. Our front four on defense simply could not get close to Colts quarterback Peyton Manning. Kudos to the Colts for running a semi-no-huddle, making it almost impossible for us to get substitutions made between plays. It was a good strategy, and it is something we'll need to prepare for, as I think we will likely see the Colts again in the playoffs.
Secondly, we learned that Mike Bell needs to get equal billing, or perhaps even be the full-time starter at tailback. Bell showed much more determination and ability to gain yards after contact yesterday.
Thirdly, we learned that with tackle Matt Lepsis lost for the season, that we do, in fact, need to let Jake Plummer be Jake Plummer. He is much more effective on the move, and his receivers worked hard to get open several times yesterday. The extra time Jake's feet can buy him is vital with Lepsis out.
Fourthly, we learned that we need to rethink how we cover in the secondary against a team that has two legitimate superstar wide receivers. Reggie Wayne and Peyton Manning destroyed cornerback Darrent Williams yesterday. Darrent is an excellent talent, but asking him to cover Wayne was a mis-match yesterday, and the Colts exploited it badly in the second half.
Lastly, we learned that we still have much to learn. Giving up 34 points at home to the Colts will serve as motivation for Champ Bailey, John Lynch, Al Wilson and the gang on defense. There were several key missed tackles yesterday, and everyone seemed to get in on that act. Al Wilson missed a tackle early on Addai, and Ian Gold missed a couple of tackles as well.
The team we lost to yesterday was no slouch of a team. We lost a close game, mainly because our defense could not stop Peyton Manning. There is no shame in this loss, unless we do not learn the lessons we need to learn from it as a team.
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