Ding-dong, the witch is dead!
Hopefully all of my CP brethren are over the post-MNF hangover, as we celebrated a dominating victory over Fashion Mogul Bill Belch and his New England nincompoops!!
To be quite honest, I never really did develop a loathing for the Pats, unlike, say, the Titans or, in years past, the Dolphins. They have been a great team, with great coaching and great players who emphasize teamwork, for the past number of years. But I certainly did enjoy watching Friar Dungy and the lads turn the tables on them on Monday Night. A few highlights:
THE TIMES, THEY ARE A-CHANGIN'
Leading up to the big game, NFL Network replayed last year's postseason loss in Foxboro. In one segment, Cory Dillon was shown charging thru the middle of our defensive unit for a big gain. Colt defenders evident in the clip: Brad Scioli, Rob Morris and Idrees Bashir. What a difference a year makes. Of course, having those three replaced by Cory Simon, Gary Brackett and Bob Sanders may help a little as well.
But hang on…after losing his starting job in the middle, Mister Morris turned in a somewhat spectacular special teams game on Monday Night. In on just about every tackle, stuffing ballcarriers and would-be blockers with equal vim, he also made a nice SQUASH-BLOCK of some poor Pats DB on the opening kickoff, where Dominic "Dusty" Rhodes rambled out near midfield. Huzzah for Roberto, doing whatever he can to help the team win.
NOTHING LIKE AN ICE COLD BRUSCHI!
The All-Pro understandably received a ton of praise and media attention as he returned to the field, which then went a tad overboard, leading to quite a bit of mockery. I thought it was great to see him back on the field, and that, in his second game, it was even greater that the Colts offensive line rendered him a complete non-factor. In what I believe is a first since he donned a Pats jersey and took the field against us, the long-time Colt Killer made ZERO big plays.
HEY, YOU - GET OFF OF MIKE CLOUD!
Remember when seeing a Colt defender make a tackle in the backfield was less likely than seeing a UFO? Well, on one play Monday, Pats RB Mike Cloud was gang-tackled for a three-yard loss by 3 Shoemen – Robert "Johnny" Mathis, The Simonizer, and Bob Sanders, aka Bob The Impaler. This D is suddenly pretty stacked with playmakers.
Speaking of which, does anyone else think Nick the Pick should be considered for the Pro Bowl? Harper is playing lights out thus far. And for the weekly "who's gonna step up" role, how about The Raging Bull, Raheem Brock? He, along with Reagor and Mathis, were really picking up the slack on the D-line. Freeney continues to play great ball, but it does look like the foot is slowing him down some. Brock was a constant thorn on Monday Night.
Marvelous continues to display his cranky side, with his opening drive MEGA-SPIKE, as well as a later PANCAKE block on a run play! Dungy must have him on strict TastyKakes rations. Stay angry, Marvin my good man!
But for all the great play of the D, and for the great personal performance of Peyton and his cast of unsung receivers (who we ALL continue to take for granted – I believe they, as a group, had their usual ONE drop in the game), my personal star of the game was the entire offensive line. Bill Polian stated last year, that we had to get better at running the football and stopping the run. The addition of Simon on D, and having Sanders for the full year, were bound to help out with the latter. But without a personnel addition (actually losing Rick DeMulling), Howard Mudd and the line have transformed themselves into a run-blocking band of latter-day HOGS. I'll be the first to admit that I didn't think it was going to happen, but it has. This team can play physical with anybody, on both sides of the ball, and this was evident in the extreme as the offense pounded the ball, in the words of Dick Vermeil, "down their frickin' throats!"
Watching the game again later, the way the linemen were finishing their blocks was awesome. And the receivers and tight ends were also caught up in the fray, with Marvin, Wayne, Clark and Stokley all fighting to the whistle. The team has completely bought into the "new" system for scoring W's, and these hustle blocks will pay dividends as the season continues.
Final thought on the game? Edgerrin James, my fave, is a beast.
Ahem. And now it's the rematch with The Houston Texans, aka, "Team Trapgame".
They're playing better. They're hungry. They would make their season by beating us.
They have no chance.
I don't like saying stuff like that, but seriously. The Colts were in the same boat the last time, coming off a big MNF matchup. Only now, the game is in Indy. And Domanick Davis is nicked up.
Philip Buchanon should make like Lester Hayes, the Stickum-clad cornerback of the Raiders in years past. Except Buchanon would be better served slathering himself head-to-toe in Peanut Butter and Jam instead of Stickum, because he is gonna end up being 190 lbs. of Texas Toast come Sunday afternoon.
Enjoy the game, and enjoy the ride!
The Times, They Are A-Changin'
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