How about the effort of safeties Matt Giordano and Dexter Reid on Monday night? Now I'm sure you were one of the few who were fully confident in their ability to step in and hold their own against the likes of Chad Johnson and T.J. Houshmandzadeh, but for the rest of the Colts fans around the world, they had to be both surprised and impressed. Reid knocked away a potential touchdown catch while Giordano knocked heads with everyone he could take a shot at. The second-year player is really starting to resemble the guy who was making opponents woozy on a weekly basis while he was playing for Cal.
|Rob Morris against Dallas (Getty Images/Ronald Martinez)|
Speaking of the linebackers and pride, do you think that Bill Polian calling them out a bit during his radio show and the swap of Morris for Gilbert Gardner didn't perhaps have an impact? The linebackers finished as the top three tacklers against the Bengals. Only June finished in the top three during the previous two games.
Here's an unusual stat you might not have seen or noticed. The Colts have fumbled just 11 times this season, but they lost 8 (73%) of them. Their opponents have fumbled 26 times, and the Colts have recovered 11 (42%). Weird, huh? If they recovered fumbles at the same rate that they lose them, they would have gained eight more possessions off of turnovers so far this season.
For all the criticism pointed Gilbert Gardner's way this season, you have to admire his effort Monday night. Rather than sulk over being replaced, Gardner rolled up his sleeves and made two of the team's seven special teams tackles. Linebacker Rocky Boiman, who was apparently a bit miffed over Morris stepping in at strongside instead of Boiman getting the starter's role, also contributed two tackles. Rookies T.J. Rushing and Ryan LaCasse both had one tackle as did linebacker Keith O'Neil. You'll see the Colts officially had eight tackles, but I'm hard-pressed to acknowledge Terrence Wilkins' being at the bottom of a pile after muffing a punt and turning over the ball as a true ST tackle.
Here's another interesting stat from Monday's game for you. The Colts defense was credited with 7 passes defensed by 7 different players from across all three defensive groups. Both safeties and both corners each had one for the secondary, Brackett got one for the linebacking corps, and Raheem Brock and Robert Mathis each got their hands on one to make sure the defensive line did their part.
While Keith O'Neil was out with his ankle injury, linebacker Tyjuan Hagler was doing a nice job on special teams for the Colts with eight special teams tackles in six games. Last week against Jacksonville, Hagler was put back on the inactive list for game day and Jacksonville tore up the Colts' special teams unit. Monday night, Hagler was back in action and got credit for an assist on special teams. Coincidence? Maybe. But I like the special teams better with him out there. He's got a nice combination of size and speed that helps those coverage units.
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