The folly of youth! Just after the Texans game, a Steelers fan asked me to imagine what it would be like to root for the worst team in the league. Since I've been a Colts fan since 1977, I can clearly recall rooting for the worst team in the league many times. Since I've been watching, the Colts have ended 1998, 1997 and 1986 with three wins; 1981 with two wins; 1991 with one win and 1982 with no wins at all.
I've seen pretty well every game of every season and I can tell you that the '81 boys were the worst. They were the bottom because they had talent. Nobody expected Mike Pagel and Matt Bouza in 1982 to do anything but try hard, but when Bert Jones and Roger Carr stepped on the field in 1981, you really thought something would happen. And that's where the Texans are now.
It can be fun to watch your rebuilding scrubs go out and almost win, but it's horribly frustrating to see high-priced, much-vaunted talent like David Carr, Domanick Davis and others get hammered. It's not their fault, really. Bad coaching (yeah, I said it) and bad personnel decisions on both lines (their blockers really are offensive), and at linebacker have doomed them.
Ah well, better them than us as my daddy used to say.
You know who I feel most sorry for? Dunta Robinson. An extraordinarily talented young cornerback, he's learning nothing and getting no chances to shine as teams continually pummel the defenseless (and offenseless) Texans into oblivion. It's sad to see him running around pointlessly every week.
Conversely, it's strange to root for the best team in the league. The Colts have had some good teams over the years, but this is the first that they've been considered best by consensus. The Colts are firing on all cylinders with only the occasional ping and are playing as though losing was fatal. It's fun, but strange.
• With little else to complain about, let's nitpick about Peyton Manning. The fumble against the Texans was sloppy and there was no real need for the pick. He was throwing into a mismatch and when Brandon Stokley was pitted against Robinson, Robinson came up with the ball. He'll win that battle almost every time. One last note before I get off the Manning thing — why do they run that silly Manning-in-motion, direct-snap play? They never get it right. The idea of the Colts running a trick play on offense is ridiculous and unnecessary. I was watching my son play Madden tonight and he tried an onside kick when he was up 52-0. He was more sporting than Tom Moore was against the Texans.
• I'm perhaps a bit presumptuous, but has anyone noticed that Edgerrin James has rushed for 282 yards and five touchdowns in two games since I said he wasn't trying hard enough? Whether he reads ColtPower or not, I'm satisfied that I did my job. In those two games, James has run much harder and tougher than he had in the previous five. While he had been keeping an eye on the sideline, looking for a safe way out, he's now looking like the tough back ready to lay some pain that he used to be. Keep in mind that James is in a contract season. Again.
• Dominic Rhodes looked exactly like what he is — a guy who takes advantage of defenders who are tired and aching after chasing James around all game.
• James Mungro got a carry on 3rd and 5? I know the Colts were way ahead and there was less than two minutes left in the half, but that was just weird.
• Wow, Dallas Clark looked like the guy they drafted for a change. Some real tough yards outta that boy against Houston. But, uhm, where did he go in the second half? Even his blocking dropped off. It's a 60-minute game, son.
• Bryan Fletcher, much to my surprise, has established himself as the No. 2 tight end and, even more surprisingly, has thrown a few decent blocks. Did you see that one where he neutered, I mean neutralized, Antwan Peek? An unexpected delight.
• None of the Colts' wideouts did much against Houston, but they could have stayed home considering the gameplan.
• Once again Ryan Diem played like Superman, and the rest of the offensive line played an up-and-down game. Even Tarik Glenn, normally the team stalwart, had a tough time and the ignominy of a sack called against him. By the Texans. He didn't add much in the run game either.
• I love Ryan Lilja's effort, but he's really a swing backup. I wonder what's delaying the Dylan Gandy era? I've only seen him on specials, maybe he's not what we thought he was in preseason.
• Also once again, the defensive line played a game of everyone's a star. Everyone who played contributed and made life tough for the Texans. It was nice to see Josh Thomas get some playing time and some stats. He's a quality player, but with three big-time ends in front him him in Dwight Freeney, Robert Mathis and Raheem Brock, he'll never get his due. Actually, Brock doesn't either. He's not the sack artist Freeney and Mathis are, but he's become a great all-around player since he solved that annoying overpursuit problem. Every time I think about how the Eagles let him go over what amounted to a clerical error, I have to laugh.
• It's true, Corey Simon has made all the difference in the world.
• All season long I've been raving about Cato June and I was worried about how well he'd do once his hernia started acting up. I'm okay with nine tackles and a stuff, although I'm sure some fans are upset there wasn't another interception for a touchdown. Wow, we are so spoiled.
• Carr, like pretty well everyone else this season, avoided throwing near Jason David and Nick Harper made him pay with a pick. Both corners played exceptionally well, as did nickel man Marlin Jackson. Of course, it's easier to play corner when the opponent's quarterback throws nine times and is sacked five times, but they held up well.
• Of course it was tough to see Bob Sanders go down, but Gerome Sapp — a largely unheralded guy, but a ColtPower favorite — stepped in and played well. Sapp also looked like a madman on specials, until that fateful Jerome Mathis kick return in the fourth. The one time the Texans effectively blocked Sapp, they ran for a score.
• Lots of people are blaming kickoff man Dave Rayner for that return, but I don't. His kickoffs went the Houston's 12, 3, 3, 5, 9, -3 and 11, his hangtime was good and he even made a pretty decent tackle.
• I know I'm hard on Troy Walters for all his fair catches, but I haven't even brought up all the punts he gives up on and lets the other team down. Until now. Maybe his blockers are as bad as the Colts' special-teams tacklers.
Jerry Langton's Postgame Observations
Colts Blitz Top Stories
Prescription Notes From Week 4Dr. Roto discusses what he learned from Week 4 of the Fantasy Football season!
Week 7: Waiver Wire & Free Agent PickupsThe Fantasy Exec reveals his top Week 7 waiver wire and free agent pickups!
Scout FantasyWednesday at 12:30 PM
Daily Dr. Roto: Week 7 Waiver Wire WednesdayIt's Waiver Wire Wednesday! Dr. Roto reveals a few players at each position you should consider adding to your Fantasy squad!
Scout FantasyWednesday at 10:27 AM