Heather Hill Lloyd, a.k.a. “The Blue Mare,” shares her Indianapolis Colts thoughts with Phillip B. Wilson, how she made a deal with the “Football Gods” to be positive after a comeback win at Cleveland, all that matters is an AFC South-clinching win Sunday against the visiting Houston Texans and how she can’t help but admire Texans defensive end J.J. Watt.
Phil B: We look back before we look ahead.
Heather: Do we have to look back before we look ahead? (Laughs.)
Phil B: Nice. Do you mean the ‘Cardiac Colts’ didn’t do right by you?
Heather: The weird thing is, we keep saying the same thing every week, but it seems to be getting worse …
Phil B: Yes, we do. Yes, we do.
Heather: But we keep saying they won. That’s what’s important. Again, they won. That was an exciting win, to watch them come back and get that, but, man. … (pause) … I made a deal with the ‘Football Gods’ in the fourth quarter of the Cleveland game that if the Colts won, I wouldn’t complain about how ugly that was. I’m trying to hold up my end of that bargain, and I have so far, but I do think it’s fair to discuss some issues that we have.
Phil B: (Laughs.) That’s funny.
Heather: Because we have some issues.
Phil B: Yeah, you might say that. So you made a deal with the ‘Football Gods?’ That’s hilarious.
Heather: (Laughs.) Yeah, we have some issues. I don’t know where the fumble bug comes from. I don’t know how that starts happening. I don’t now how it gets catchy and everyone has it, but that was unbelievable.
Phil B: Yeah, four more turnovers.
Heather: I mean, yeah, again, that’s the stuff we’ve been seeing for a while. You want to be cleaning that stuff up. I think the most significant thing about Sunday is the Colts really had officially entered the fourth quarter of the regular NFL season. When you’re in that fourth quarter of the season, you really want to have that stuff cleaned up and you want to be playing your best football. I really think that needs to be the focus right now because, judging by Sunday, that definitely was not even close to the Colts’ best football.
Phil B: That’s kind of why I went off a bit in my blog. I’m sure some people didn’t like it because they wanted to be all excited about a comeback win, but I’m sorry, the Browns weren’t playing that well before Sunday.
Heather: It’s always exciting to see the Colts come back and win, it really is, but there were so many things that were happening on Sunday that you have to put that game in the perspective of, ‘OK, yes, we came back and won it. That was great. That’s what was important. But you know the coaches and the players and everyone is going to spend this week focusing on what they really need to get right out of that game.’ And there’s a long list of stuff.
Phil B: That bothers you, huh, there’s a lot of that and we’re in the second week of December?
Heather: It bothers me when it’s still going on in December. You give them that period at the beginning of the season, where you’ve got new people in, they’re learning a system, you’ve got all this different stuff happening. You work the whole season through, but let’s face it, when you look at the New England Patriots and you look at the Denver Broncos right now, they’re playing really good football. When you look at the Colts playing the way they did on Sunday against the Browns, if you put that up against the Patriots or Broncos in a playoff game, that’s not going to hold up. They’re not going to win a game against the Patriots or the Broncos like that. That’s the concern right now.
Phil B: So true, but I don’t want to get you in trouble with the ‘Football Gods,’ so we’ll move on.
Heather: The reality is I absolutely think they’ve got enough time to clean things up and look a lot better than they looked on Sunday. I do. I think they can do it. I don’t know how they deal with the fumbling thing, let’s hope they can, but there’s time to make some changes and get some of that stuff cleaned up. And if they do, then you have to look at it and say, hey, the defense held up really well on Sunday, I think they did a fantastic job, they made some great plays. The offensive line in the second half looked a lot better. Where I’m encouraged is watching in the places where they did make progress. It is always amazing to watch Andrew Luck and T.Y. Hilton connect and change the whole game. One connection and all of a sudden they got fired up. The Halloween music playing at the Browns’ stadium kind of awoke ‘The Ghost.’ When T.Y. made that one catch for a touchdown, you just had that feeling, ‘Whoa, that could change everything,’ and it did. So there are many encouraging things moving forward. The stuff that you worry about holding them back are the mistakes.
Phil B: How do you feel about wide receiver Reggie Wayne?
Heather: Oh, it’s hard. I think we all feel the same way about Reggie. We all know that he’s not playing up to his standards and he’s not playing the way he’s played before. Whether it’s injuries, which it sounds like it is, or age, it hurts to watch that. It kills you. It really does. I don’t mind them giving Reggie a little bit of time before the playoffs and they can bring him back for a playoff game and have him look more like the old Reg. But, yeah, it’s hard to watch those players that you love and hold dear not out there playing their best game anymore.
Phil B: We move on. Win Sunday and the Colts have got the AFC South Division. Bottom line.
Heather: That’s big. That’s the A-No. 1 goal. They have to beat the Texans. And the Texans are not a team you can overlook, either. You look at the last several games, you can kind of say the same thing about all the teams, which is, they might not be playoff teams but you still have to play a good game to beat them. I’m telling you, with the Texans coming in here, they have every reason to want to win this game. They are still fighting for the division. They have never won at Indianapolis before and they hear it every single time they come up here to play the Colts. That’s a huge motivator for them, to come up here and get a win at Lucas Oil Stadium. And then they’ve got all kinds of players who have got their own reasons for wanting to go out there and perform. So, yeah, the Colts are going to have to play better than they did on Sunday. And J.J. Watt, for God’s sake, that guy, a defensive end is catching touchdowns in the end zone? For all we know on Sunday, he could be throwing the ball. You never know when there’s a player like J.J. Watt in there, how or where he’s going to turn up. That’s just one more red flag in there, to be really aware and be on the ball because Lord knows where J.J. Watt is going to turn up.
Phil B: You want to tell me how, secretly, you admire J.J. Watt and you really dig him?
Heather: Oh, how can you not? I showed my nephew that video of him, Watt basically demonstrating his standing vertical jump, basically jumping onto something that’s almost six feet higher. We watched it over and over, like 15 times. J.J. Watt is unbelievable. He just is, the number of ways they can use him. He is the all-around football player. You would kill to get a guy like him. And not only that, he’s also a good guy, he’s out in the community doing great stuff. I do admire him. He’s the kind of player that every single player and every single fan would want on their team. So, yes, I don’t even secretly admire J.J. Watt. I flat out admire J.J. Watt. I would love to see him in blue and white.
Phil B: I would, too. Can we go into Sunday and say as long as they win, we’re not going to care about anything else because that does knock off that first goal, or is part of you still going to be carrying with you, ‘Well, we won again and didn’t play great, and I’m still nervous?’
Heather: I would approach it like I would assume the Colts coaching staff is going to approach it, which is you just have to get that win. So go in there and win on Sunday, no matter how you have to do it. But going forward, every week is still going to be working on the issues that they have. Every week is going to be working on reducing the mistakes, the penalties and the fumbles, because it’s been an issue enough of the year that you have to think it’s going to be a battle every week to reduce that. It’s not going to magically fix itself in one game. It’s something they’re going to have to be aware of and they’re going to work on every single week. As fans, we have to look at it and say, ‘Alright, let’s be patient and just hope they make progress every week towards that.’ It’s not a quick fix. It’s not a magic fix. But hopefully between now and the first playoff game, they will have been able to deal with that and make it a lot better.
Phillip B. Wilson can be found on Twitter (@pwilson24), Facebook and Google+.