TAKING IT ON THE CHIN
Let me start by saying I think Bill Cowher is a great coach, and very classy (uncontrollable spittle showers notwithstanding). But I would like to personally thank him for the onside kick, and for the Roethelsumthing QB draw on 4th and 4.
THE CONTINUING SAGA OF ANGRY MARV!
Spiking the ball, playing with a cast, wrestling with defensive backs, wrenching facemasks – whatever happened to our Tastycake-eating, gentleman-receiver?
Actually, I love it, and think Marvin should add to his new tuffguy image by playing with a pack of smokes tucked into his upper shirt sleeve. Fonzerelli-style.
The Colts, as a team, seemed to be pretty cantankerous in this game. This, I feel, was a direct result of not just the media hyping up this "Colts are a non-physical, finesse team" junk, but the Steeler players actually buying into it and preaching it thru the week and during pre-game warm-ups.
JOEY PORTER NEEDS MEDICATION!!
During pre-game, there was a huge amount of angry jawing, and it apparently came close to turning into a Falcons – Eagles type of situation. At the center of it? Crazy Joey Porter, the same kook who's started more pre-game punch-ups than good hooch!
In my opinion, Porter is mental and needs to be under a doctor's care. Oh, and he disappeared completely once the game started.
HOW ABOUT THAT BRYAN POLLARD!
I mean, Marcus Fletcher!! Whoever that number 81 impersonator is, he is making more and more contributions, and making this offense that much more difficult to deal with. Nice job.
FINESSE: "ARTFULNESS; SUBTLE MANAGEMENT"
Two descriptors I am completely weary of hearing the Colts described as (or, not as):
1. They're a finesse team.
2. They're not a physical team.
To these I say: What nonsense!!
Compare their offense, and defense, to other teams. The Colts disguise NOTHING!!
On offense, they line up and rarely use motion. Manning examines the defense, and chooses run or pass. The Colts have a very good offense. A very efficient offense.
What is subtle about Edgerrin James pounding the vaunted Steelers defense for 120 plus yards?
Where is the finesse in Reggie Wayne taking a short pass and running it down their throats? The Colts offense plays as physical as any offense, they just do it with a lot more skill and effectiveness than most.
On defense, the Colts don't blitz. They don't try to confuse the opponents with some sort of pigskin wizardry or deceit. They run a basic defense and say, "try and beat us."
So far, no one has.
The Colts exposed the Steelers as being pretty one-dimensional on offense. Allowed to focus on on that one dimension, Indy's defense stopped the run in its tracks.
The Bus? How about, "The Moped"? Staley was stymied.
And to answer the question, "who IS Willie Parker?" He's the guy Bob Sanders was launching into orbit all night! Did Willie Parker steal Bob Sanders' lunch money? Did he say something rude about his momma? Because the way Bullet Bob was hitting young William, you'd swear he must hate the poor man.
Dwight Freeney used the two different Steelers left tackles for an impromptu power-lifting session, Edgerrin James put on a YAC clinic. We're talking "Yards After Contact" here friends, not Tibetan livestock!
So the next time some doofus tries to tell you that your (Colts) team is a finesse team, or isn't a physical team, go MARVIN on them!!
AN IMPRESSIVE DOSS-IER
Hats off to Mike Doss, who made some big hits himself (overshadowed by the torpedo attacks of Bob Sanders), and also showed huge improvement in pass defense, grabbing his second interception of the season.
THE FULL MONTAE
Defensive tackle Montae Reagor continues to be a force. What a great pickup by Polian, snatched off Denver's bench.
Remember how much flak this move generated by Polian haters at the time? Another "non-move", they said. Everyone's screaming for the Colts to sign Hugh Douglas, and we get…Montae "Alex" Reagor?
Well, after Douglas stunk it up in Jax for a year, he returned to the Eagles, where he underachieved for another season. Now Reagor's a Pro Bowl candidate, and Douglas is the offical "ambassador" for the Eagles, aka, "Team Implosion". His PR skills shone brightly as he engaged in some fistic hijinks with T.O. in the hot tub area. Fortunately, like his last couple of seasons on the field, Douglas whiffed with his punches, just like with his tackles.
Reagor's not just a force on the field, but he's also quickly become a team leader.
My final note regarding the defense this week: man, it's going to be nice not reading any, "Jason David stinks!" posts, at least for a week.
16 AND 0 MEANS…NOTHING!!!!
I just read an article that urges Dungy to go for the perfect regular season, even if the last game or two mean nothing in terms of standings, instead of resting starters.
I cannot say how much I disagree with this.
If the Colts are in that position, I hope, and have little doubt, that the starters will play at least a half of these games so they stay sharp. But I think certain players – Manning, James, Freeney, Sanders, and June, to name a few obvious ones – should be, and will be, sat down for a couple quarters. The backups will still be going for the wins, but 16 and 0 will means nothing if the Colts were to lose out in the postseason.
Actually, that's not true – it would mean they'd be forever dubbed "the biggest choke in NFL history", taking over for the Bills dynasty of disaster. I don't think it would be a fair title, but the media would be smacking their lips at the thought of all the, "Colts can't win the big one" crapola, all over again.
If Indianapolis goes undefeated with some of the backups getting the job done -- bonus. But to risk injury to key components, with the playoffs right around the corner, for the sake of saying, "we went undefeated in the regular season!" – that makes absolutely no sense to me.
Nor does it make any sense to suggest that it would be good to lose a game.
What does that do for a team? What positive outcome would it achieve?
People say it lessens the pressure. How so?
The playoffs remain sudden death. If the Colts go 14 and 2, or 15 and 1, once the playoffs start, do you think it will be any less pressure-packed for the players than 16 and 0? I don't. Everyone starts the playoffs undefeated. One loss, you're out. One and done. You can't add any more pressure to that, try as the media might. Tony Dungy knows this, and his players will know it as well.
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