Grading the Colts

The grades are in from for the Colts' effort against the Seahawks last Saturday.

Not a bad day's work for backup QB Jim Sorgi, who played the final three quarters for the Colts. QB Peyton Manning started and hit nine of 12 passes for 116 yards before leaving. Sorgi was given more to do in this game than he was in his last extensive game action, last year's regular-season finale at Denver. The second 
quarterback handled himself well for the most part. WRs Troy Walters and Brandon Stokley played most of the game with WR Marvin Harrison out with a hand injury and WR Reggie Wayne seeing just one quarter of work. Walters had a career day, and Stokley had his best receiving game of the year. The Colts, however, missed some open receivers in red-zone opportunities.

The Colts have struggled to get a consistent running game going the past two games. RB Edgerrin James played just barely into the second quarter and ended up with 41 yards on 13 carries. Backup RB Dominic Rhodes, though, had minus-4 yards on five carries. Rhodes has struggled at times this season when given the opportunity to run the ball.

Indianapolis allowed Seahawks QB Matt Hasselbeck to complete 17 of 21 passes for 168 yards and two touchdowns, but the Colts' young backups did a fairly respectable job. Hasselbeck was sacked twice, once by LB Gilbert Gardner and once by LB-turned-DE Mike Labinjo.

Seattle RB Shaun Alexander ran for 139 yards on 21 carries and rushed for a pair of touchdowns as the Seahawks had 173 yards as a team on the ground. The Colts played without their two starting defensive tackles, Corey Simon and Montae Reagor, due to injuries.

A blocked field goal (that snapped PK Mike Vanderjagt's string of 16 straight successful field-goal attempts), poor kickoff coverage, inconsistent kickoffs from newly signed PK Jose Cortez, and an unsuccessful onside kick added up to a negative day for the Colts' special teams units. The lone bright spot was the performance of Walters, who had two good punt returns. In fact, he was one block away from taking one return all the way for a touchdown.

Considering the situation -- the death earlier in the week of Tony Dungy's oldest son -- assistant head coach/quarterbacks coach Jim Caldwell and the rest of the Colts' coaching staff did an outstanding job of keeping the team together under very trying circumstances. Indianapolis kept its poise and focus while playing 
backups for most of the game. The Colts had just one turnover, a fumble by Sorgi, and four penalties.

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