These are Not Your 2008 Indianapolis Colts

It was the last game I attended before coming back to Argentina.

I'm still not over it.  It still makes me mad.

Manning led the Colts on an incredible drive to bring the Colts back.  The Jags responded with a hackneyed drive that somehow got them into range for a 50+ yard field goal.  Scobee drilled it.  It was exactly like when they did the same thing to Indy in 2006 in the Dome.

Reliving that game yesterday was my own personal hell.

I don't think I've ever been quite so sick over a regular season loss before.  I literally want to puke every time I think about it.

When the Colts were facing a 4th and 10 with the game all but over, I was busy hunting for a picture of an ugly dude in a bad prom tux.  The picture for the game was going to be, "Lower Your Expectations".

This isn't the first time in recent memory the Colts have been 2-2.  This isn't the first time they've had some bad losses early in the season.  It happened quite recently, in fact: 2008.

In 2008, the Colts lost their first two home games.  Ironically, those losses contributed to the erroneous notion that Lucas Oil Stadium isn't as tough to play in as the Dome was.  They were the last two meaningful games Indy has dropped there (they did lose the Painter game last year).  Given the fact that Indy opened with three of four on the road in 2010, I suppose you could argue that they are no worse off than they were before.

You'd be wrong.  This is not 2008.

The Colts stumbled to a 3-4 start in 2008 in part because Peyton Manning wasn't back to his old self.

In 2010, he's playing the best football of his life.

Manning leads the NFL in passer rating and touchdowns.  He's second in yards and completion percentage.  He's 6th in YPA.  His only pick should have been a first and goal at worst.  Peyton Manning is playing the position of quarterback as well as it can humanly be played.

This is not 2008.

There's no slate of December cupcakes coming to coincide with a hot streak from 18.  The cupcakes are in October, and we played one yesterday.  The hot streak is now, but the Colts still lost.

Seriously, how much more can Manning do than what he did yesterday?  At one point he was 22 for 28 passing with four incompletions coming by dropped passes.  When Collie, Clark, and Wayne fail to haul in balls, you know you are in trouble.  When text book passes to tight ends over the middle become freakish interceptions, you know something is wrong.

Yesterday the Colts got no breaks.  Part of the reason is because they didn't make any of their own.

Before the season, the Football Outsiders called for the Colts defense to collapse.  Apparently they knew something.  This looks like the worst defensive squad in some time in Indy.  Yesterday, we saw more undisciplined, out of control play from the linebackers.  Maybe it's all Clint Session's fault (though I doubt it).  That's the third game out of four I've had to chastise some area of the Indy defense as being undisciplined.  Once is an aberration...  Maybe it's Larry Coyer's fault.  Maybe it's just bad players.  Who knows?

Is it fixable?  Probably.

Will it get fixed?  I have no confidence that it will.

What aspect of the defense is good right now?  Mathis and Freeney, sure, but they've been quiet for two games (which happens with pass rushers).  Brackett played well for a couple of games.  Did the corners or linebackers make a single 'plus' play yesterday?  Was there any moment where you felt like Coyer had really put his finger on what was wrong and adjusted to stop the bleeding?

Yesterday's loss was a typical Colts/Jags game.  This time Jacksonville got every stupid bounce and break and they won.  In and of itself, that means nothing.  It's happened before.

Like in 2008.

Random observations:

  • I have been tolerant of Kelvin Hayden because he has made a lot of big interceptions.  His play has not been strong for some time now, but I was willing to accept that he was banged up.  However, if you score a big contract like he did, you simply MUST MAKE THE PLAY AT THE END OF THE GAME.
  • Freeney almost made the play we needed at the end of the game.  Almost isn't enough.  I know he's getting double teamed and mugged, but the Colts have to find another way to get pressure on the quarterback.  Blitzing isn't the answer.  I don't know if there is one.
  • I hate it, HATE IT, when a terrible coach gets rewarded for terrible decisions.  Del Rio was a train wreck yesterday.  It's just wrong that he got the win.
  • Injuries are really piling up for this team.  It's getting ridiculous, and it's only week 4.
  • Huge game from Wayne.  His fumble was a back breaker, but he did everything he could to make up for it.
  • No sacks.  No fumbles.  No interceptions. No win.
  • The line still isn't run blocking awesome, but Addai had 16 for 63.  I can live with that.
  • The good news is that Indy is still just a game back of the best records in the AFC (no, I don't count Kansas City).  The whole NFL is a muddled mess. Colts stomp Giants.  Giants stomp Bears.  Bears beat Packers. Packers stomp Eagles. Eagles stomp Jags.  Jags beat Colts. 

It's not too late.  I still expect the Colts to be 4-2 going into the bye. Then the Houston game.

Then we'll know.


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