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Lessons Learned from Indianapolis Colts vs. New England Patriots

Morality is coupled to temptation. They are inseparable.

To do or feel or be the right thing is never easy.

The Wrong crouches at the door, waiting to reach out and devour those who come too close. Its tentacles reach beyond the threshold, stealthily waiting to pull in the lazy, the weak, the stupid and the naive. It's a broad road and leads to destruction.

In the NFL, The Wrong lurks in the fourth quarters of blowouts and late in the second half of preseason games. Defenses go limp. Coverages grow slack.

The mediocre become spectacular.

It's all an illusion.

In week three, the Colts fought the Pittsburgh Steelers tooth and nail. They played a back and forth thriller, narrowly losing on a last second field goal.

It was the football embodiment of a moral victory. It said something about the team at that moment. They hadn't given up. They weren't terminally untalented. They were still fighting.

Yesterday, the Colts trailed 31-3, but rallied with three late touchdowns to make the final 31-24.

It was an amoral victory.

It said far more about the mindset and talent of their opponents than it did about them. The Patriots held a 21 point lead with less than 3 minutes to play and went to sleep. Unlike defensive players, offensive players rarely 'quit'. You see, on offense you get paid by the numbers. Yards, touchdowns, catches all count come contract time. Eyes light up late in blowouts because an extra 50 yards could make the difference between a new deal and NFL oblivion.

Consider that yesterday with 53 minutes played, Dan Orlovsky was 17/25 177 yards and a pick. That's a passer rating of 71.6. Trailing 31-10, even though the Colts had no mathematical chance to win, he went 12/13 177 yards and 2 TDs for a perfect 158.3 passer rating.

Fans lined up with the superlatives. "Painter has never done anything like that!" "Orlovsky passes the eye test!" "He just LOOKS more comfortable".

Where have I heard those before? I can't quite recall...

When the Panthers took a took score lead the week before, Painter responded with an 11 for 16 run for 156 yards and a score. Yes, he did mix an interception in there, but the point is that when the prevent took hold, he suddenly started completing passes. Painter has looked so terrible that we forget that against Kansas City he went 12/17 for 232 and 2 in the FIRST half. Curtis Painter is a terrible player, yet he still produced isolated pockets of good play. Those pockets meant nothing about his ability to play quarterback, which as we later learned was non-existent. As it turns out, he was just leaning heavily on amazing catches by Pierre Garcon. Hmm, sound familiar? (Garcon had 85 yards in the final 2:15 yesterday).

Dan Orlovsky should be the quarterback the rest of the year, but I told you on Friday this would happen. Don't take his performance seriously. He's a horrible player. Putting hope in a guy who has never won and NFL start and gives the team no chance to win is just as foolish as putting it in Painter was. I still think the Colts will win one of the last four games, almost on accident. They've been too close too often not to have the breaks fall one of these weeks. I hope it's Orlovsky and I hope it's next week. I'm just not counting on it.

It's been a long horrible season, and we are all longing for solace and hope. That loss to the Patriots is not the place to find it. That was not a game 'to hang your hat on'. It was evidence of nothing other than the Patriots aren't very good on defense (hardly a revelation) and that Belichick uncharacteristically took his foot off the gas.

The Colts say they don't play for moral victories. They shouldn't care about amoral ones either.

  • Listened to part of the game on the radio as I drove yesterday. Man, it was a rough day for Bob Lamey. Note to Bob: please do a better job of informing us of the clock and the yardline. Also, tell us what you think the penalty call is BEFORE you freak out about it. I love you man, but you know I can't actually see the action on my radio, right? Thanks. Signed, everyone.
  • Pierre Garcon's last 16 games (including playoffs): 75, 1074, 9 TDs. 75% of those games were NOT with Peyton Manning.
  • Donald Brown's last 16 games with a carry (not including playoffs because they didn't play him): 172 for 747 5 TDs, 4.3 YPC.
  • Want to talk about terrible draft decisions? Ok, let's talk about Delone Carter. Some clowns actually expected him to be a rookie of the year candidate. Um, no. He's lousy. He was a the quintessential bad pick because not only did the Colts not need him (I was screaming for a safety), but he's also not good. The Colts coaches screwed up by not realizing Brown could play, and it led to a draft mistake in Carter. He now has three fumbles in his last 32 carries.
  • I'd complain about how lost the defense was several times, but it's week 12 and they've already fired Coyer, so I'm not going to bother.
  • I watch Collie, Tamme, Garcon and Brown and feel ok about the Colts skill position players going forward. With a competent quarterback all these guys can be excellent contributors in a good offense. Garcon and Brown could both actually be elite.
  • I'm tired of this season. I'm tired of being called biased because I wrote that Collins would be bad. I'm tired of being called biased because I wrote that Painter would be bad. I'm tired of being called biased for writing that Orlovsky is bad. News flash world: all these guys are bad. By the way, go back and read that Collins article, please. Don't let anyone tell you that "No one could have predicted this season for the Colts!". It was remarkably easy to predict.
  • I probably should say something about Tom Brady, but I don't want to and you don't want to read it. Let's just not and pretend we did, ok?


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