Heather Lloyd (a.k.a. The Blue Mare) shares her thoughts with Phillip B. Wilson on the Indianapolis Colts after Sunday’s humbling 51-34 loss at Pittsburgh and with a Monday Night Football road trip ahead against the New York Giants.
Phil B: I wanted to tell so many people that were angry the last few days, ‘I told you so.’ I didn’t take pleasure in the Colts losing, mind you, but we’re not hearing anybody ask if this is the best ‘D’ Indy has ever had anymore and we’re not hearing anybody talking about the Super Bowl this week, are we, dear?
Heather: We are not. About halfway through that game, and I texted you at one point, that’s exactly what I thought. ‘Yep, see? This is exactly what I was worried about. Let’s not get too high when they look good and let’s not get too low when they look not so good.’ The minute that game started going the way I thought it was going to go, which was actually real early, I thought, ‘Yep, here it is. Here comes the letdown.’ The lesson is: You take it one week at a time and anything can happen any week. I felt pretty good about them playing there at Heinz Field, but I also knew they were playing the Steelers and you weren’t quite sure of how it was going to go. It wasn’t the way we were hoping it would go. Everyone is kind of regrouping again.
Phil B: That’s the best the Steelers have played this season and, ironically, it might be one of the worst games the Colts have played even though they scored 34. The fact they gave up a touchdown and a safety on offense, made so many mistakes, and couldn’t get a pass rush, I think it was the worst game the Colts have played this season.
Heather: Yeah, it was sloppy. I feel like a lot of the mistakes they had been making before kind of came up again and really came back to haunt them this game. The one thing that’s never predictable, the team that you’re playing is just having a fantastic game and plays lights out. When you look at all the mistakes made and the stuff that went wrong, the Colts definitely didn’t play up to their ability that day and the Steelers may have played beyond their ability, but that’s just how it went on that Sunday afternoon. Those things happen.
Phil B: How much does it shake your confidence in the Colts?
Heather: I can’t say that I feel any differently about the team and the season after one game. I really don’t. I feel like they know what happened. They’re going to go back and try to fix the stuff. I will say this. I do think they’ve had a couple of game plans thrown in front of them that they not only had never seen before but didn’t know how to deal with. It was really obvious. First of all, a Dick LeBeau defense, just get ready because it’s going to be tough and you don’t know what’s going to come at you. And on the other side, we definitely got some stuff thrown at us that they hadn’t seen before and didn’t know how to react to it. On both sides of the ball, they were kind of confused at times and it was sloppy. I’m not going to put too much weight on one game. I feel like let’s move onto the Giants now and see what the Colts can do this week. I know that they have already looked at tape and will continue to and will make changes based on stuff that happened last Sunday that they will be a lot more prepared for down the road. When they played zone, they haven’t done a lot of that. They’re man-to-man. I think they’ll probably do more of that in practice now. That’s where hopefully you take a bad Sunday and you turn it into a stronger team at some point, whether it’s this week or next week or the big picture. You put some more stuff in your playbook and it makes you better later.
Phil B: I was most worried how the pass rush got nothing because Pittsburgh kept six and seven guys in to block. Baltimore didn’t do it. Cincinnati didn’t do it. They paid for it. Pittsburgh looked at the film and said, ‘We’re not going to let them do that to us.’ So now I’m wondering if every opponent is going to have six or seven guys blocking to make sure the Colts’ blitz doesn't have the numbers to get after people.
Heather: Listen, every time that you lose a game in that fashion, you worry that someone just put the blueprint out there. We hear that a lot when other teams do something that works against another team. That’s why I said you know the stuff that was handed to them last week, they’re working on it, expecting to see it again. They might see it on Monday against the Giants.
Phil B: We’ve got Monday Night Football and that’s always exciting. I know the Giants have been inconsistent at best. Ahmad Bradshaw and Hakeem Nicks playing their old team. I hope it wakes up Hakeem Nicks. So what do you think? Big national stage. I think the Colts might be due for a Monday night bounce back?
Heather: It would be a really good week to go out and play really well and get a nice win. That’s what we’re hoping for. But the Giants are kind of like the Steelers in that you don’t really know what you’re going to get. You could get the Super Bowl Eli Manning and, guess what, you’ll have your work cut out for you. Or if we get the Eli we saw much of last season, I feel pretty good about the Colts going in there and dominating. You know what? At MetLife Stadium on Monday night, you’re on the national stage, I think the chances of getting super Eli are a lot better than you getting last season’s Eli. I want the Colts to be prepared for the absolute best, which is the worst-case scenario for us, and I’m sure they are preparing for that. It’s an opportunity. It’s an opportunity for Ahmad Bradshaw. He’s so good every week. I don’t expect to see anything more from him because he’s been so darn good all season. I saw Hakeem Nicks said he’s going to have something a little extra in the tank for the Giants, and hey, I hope that’s the case. And then I hope that is the case every week and he can take that little extra in every week. We need him to and would like him to.
Phillip B. Wilson can be found on Twitter (@pwilson24), Facebook and Google+.