Thursday's injury report is out, so click the link to see our updated chart. The big news is that Bob Sanders sat out again, but he still thinks he'll be ready. Ironically, there was hope that WR Brandon Stokley would be ready for this weekend, but that now appears to be unlikely. Gary Brackett stated that he's doubtful he'll play even though the report has him as questionable at this stage. Also unlikely to play are special teams contributor and LB Keith O'Neil, who will miss his third consecutive game and, of course, DT Montae Reagor.
Although expectations were running pretty high that reserve safety Matt Giordano would be back at practice on Thursday, he didn't make it. Neither did DT Darrell Reid who is listed with a finger injury, but we're hearing that it may be a broken bone in his hand. Both of those guys are day-to-day at this point.
The Bills only had one change, adding reserve guard Duke Preston as questionable with an ankle problem that kept him out of practice.
Want to know why Bob Sanders smacks ball carriers as hard as he does? Then be
sure to check out the Colts
Chat article at Colts.com. He says ninety percent of his hitting ability is
"If I get a smaller running back – a dude my size – I'm going to try to kill him," he said. "If I can bring a 6-foot-4, 240-pound dude to the ground, if I get a guy my size, I'm winning it every time."
Denver safety John Lynch was on Sirius NFL Radio this evening and the topic came up regarding Colts receiver Reggie Wayne's dominant performance over Lynch's teammate, cornerback Darrent Williams two weeks ago. Lynch said that the Colts were keeping a tight end in for extra blocking and the Broncos really had problems creating an effective pass rush; and in that situation, giving Manning that much time, he's going to find guys open. Lynch said that he felt the team really let Williams down and he felt it was unfair that Williams took the brunt of the criticism.
I think a number of folks have been surprised to
realize that the Colts are dead last in the NFL in sacks after reading my
article that I posted earlier today. By the way, I put an update note at the bottom of the column because there's a discrepancy in the NFL's stats. They've given individual players on the team credit for a total of 10 sacks, which I originally quoted in the article. But I noticed that in the team stats section, they've given them credit for 11 (which is still last in the NFL). I think the 11 is the correct figure.
I heard from one fan via email (thanks for your note!) who suggested that it may be due to the Colts' opponents running the ball more or the new holding rules that I outlined in an article last week. He said, "with the speed of the 2 DEs for the Colts, the refs may not be aware of just how fast they can get there."
In regards to the holding issue, that discretion that the refs now have to decide if the defender was in the area of the point of attack and could have made a play shouldn't really lower sacks substantially unless you're facing a bunch of mobile quarterbacks. For those who primarily stay in the pocket, all defenders are moving to the point of attack, so if there's a hold it should be called. I can see where they might not get some holding calls that they got last year on plays where the QB is rolling away from their side, but I don't think it's substantial enough to reduce the sacks by half.
The other point about teams running the ball more against the Colts really intrigued me as we've all assumed that's the case. But I honestly didn't know off the top of my head if the play mix called against this year's defense was that much different or not in comparison to the last couple of seasons. So I took a look.
Over the first nine games, the Colts have defended 488 total plays with 236 of them passing downs (48 percent). By the end of the season last year, they had defended 953 plays, including 555 pass plays (58 percent). So it's a valid point to say the defense was getting about 10 percent more opportunities to make a sack than last year.
With 46 sacks last season, the Colts got a sack on 8.3% of the passing downs. If you apply that standard to this year's number of passing plays, the Colts should have 19.5 sacks right now, which would put them just barely above the middle of the pack in the NFL. So while it's a great point that I didn't account for in the article, it only covers a small portion of the deficiency. I know our fans in our forum have tossed out some of their thoughts on this, so if any of you want to put in your two cents on it, be sure to click the link below and join in the conversation.Check back later for more updates. Talk about this update in our fan forum!