Colts v Chargers

I can sum this loss up in two sentences:

Defense couldn’t make a stop.  Receivers couldn’t catch a pass.

End of analysis.

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Colts Offseason: Part 1

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2013 NFL Mock Draft

Howdy.  Everyone else is doing a mock draft, so I thought I’d throw my two cents into the ring.  I usually do one just to entertain myself, but this is the first time sharing with anyone. I’m not factoring in any trades. I barely know what I’m doing with this as is.

 

  1. Kansas City Chiefs: Luke Joeckel, OT, Texas A&M

            With LT Brandon Albert being un-happy and rumored to want out, I think the Chiefs pick his successor.  If Albert sticks around, the Chiefs have a couple of nice bookends for the season.  Maybe KC picks Eric Fisher, but Joeckel has gone against better overall competition.

 

 2.  Jacksonville Jaguars: Eric Fisher, OT, Central Michigan

       The Jags need a lot of help, but don’t know that they would go with more of a need than the best player available.  If the Chiefs go with Fisher, then I think the Jags go with Joeckel.

 

  3.  Oakland Raiders: Shariff Floyd, DT, Florida

           Tommy Kelly is blah and Richard Seymore is gone. Need, meet player.

 

4.  Philadelphia Eagles: Dion Jordan, OLB, Oregan

             I know the Eagle OLine is a mess, but with the switch to a 3-4 defense, this feels right.

 

  5.  Detroit Lions: Ezekiel Ansah, DE, BYU

            The Lions have no pass rush, having lost both their starters from last year.  Granted, they lost both of their Offensive tackles as well.  Maybe they go Lane Johnson.

 

  6.  Cleveland Browns: Dee Milliner, CB, Alabama

                 I’ve heard Gino Smith here, but can Cleveland really over-draft a QB two years in a row? I don’t think they do.  In a passing league, you can never have too many good corners.

 

7.  Arizona Cardinals: Lane Johnson, OT, Oklahoma

             The only team with a comparably bad offensive line was the COLTS.  If there is a OLinemen worth a damn, Arizona has to take him.

 

 8.  Buffalo BillsGino Smith, QB, WV

            Rumor has it that the Bills are going to take a QB here.  Some say that it will be Ryan Nassib because his college coach is the new Bills coach. I hate that logic.  I’ve never really seen it with the first round either.  I say they take the best QB prospect on the board.

 

  9.   New York Jets:  Barkevious Mingo, OLB, LSU

            The Jets lost Revis, but their pass defense was ok after he went down last year.  What they need is pass rush.

  10. Tennessee Titans: Chance Warmack, G, Alabama

           Once again, a good marriage of need and BPA (Best Player Available).

 

  11.  San Diego Chargers: Johnathan Cooper, G, UNC

          The need to protect their QB, Rivers, is there, but the top tackles are gone.  Cooper is the next best thing.

 

12.  Miami Dolphins: Xavier Rhodes, CB, FSU

          My gut tells me that Miami is going to get Brandon Alberts from KC, so left tackle will be taken care of.  That leaves a hole at corner, where both starters from the last few years are gone.

 

  13. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Star Lotulelei, DT, Utah

           The pass defense has been mostly solved with free agents, so the next hole needs filled.

 

  14. Carolina Panthers: Sheldon Richardson, DT, Missouri

                The Panthers should have taken care of this weakness last year, but better late than never.

 

  15.  New Orleans Saints: Johnathan Hankins, DT, Ohio St.

             The Saints defense was the worst the NFL has ever seen.  No matter who they take, it will be an upgrade.  Some believe you still win the trenches.

 

  16.  St. Louis Rams: Tavon Austin, WR, WV

         Sam Bradford needs weapons.  The Rams don’t have weapons. Problem solved.

 

17.  Pittsburgh Steelers: Jarvis Jones, OLB, Georgia

          The Steelers needs to replace their aging defense. Jones is the first step in that direction and with the loss of James Harrison, fills a need.

 

  18.  Dallas Cowboys: Datone Jones, DE, UCLA

         With the switch to the 3-4, Dallas needs a defensive  end that can step into a tackle spot on passing down and give an inside push. Jones can do that. Datone, not Jerry.

 

19.  New York Giants: Alec Ogletree, ILB, Georgia

        Drafting the best LB in this class and allowing Mathias Kiwanuka to return to his natural end position, takes care of two positions.

 

 20.  Chicago Bears: Manti Te’o, ILB, Notre Dame

           Assuming Te’o knew nothing about the girlfriend hoax until latter, the Bears take Bryan Urlacher’s replacement.

 

 21.  Cincinnati Bengals: DJ Fluker, OT, Alabama

            Out with Andre Smith, in with someone who has his head on strait.

 

  22.  St. Louis Rams (from Washington): Kenny Vaccaro, S, Texas

         Need #2 taken care of.

 

  23.  Minnesota Vikings: Cordarrelle Patterson, WR, Tennessee

      The Vikings need a passing game to go with Adrian Peterson and one receiver, Greg Jennings, isn’t enough.

 

24.  INDIANAPOLIS COLTS: Keenan Allen, WR, California

           This is a BPA spot. Allen seems to be the best available. There are too many worried about his health.

 

  25.  Minnesota Vikings (from Seattle): Sylvestor Williams, DT, UNC

        The Vikes rebuild the Williams Wall and make defense a strength again.

 

  26.  Green Bay Packers: Eddie Lacy, RB, Alabama

         It’s time for the Pack to stop farting around and get a #1 running back.  This is the best of the bunch.

 

  27.   Houston Texans: DeAndre Hopkins, WR, Clemson

       Andre Johnson needs help.  It’s time to take a WR and this one can take over the #1 spot as Johnson ages.

 

  28.   Denver Broncos: Bjoern Werner, DE, FSU

        Stupidly losing Elvis Dumerville means Denver needs another pass rusher beside Von Miller.

 

  29.  New England Cheatriots: Robert Woods, WR, USC

         It’s great and all that New England signed Amendola, but he’s a slot receiver and injury prone.  They need someone on the outside.

 

  30.   Atlanta Falcons: Desmond Trufant, CB, Washington

        Lose a corner. Get a corner.

 

  31.   San Francisco 49ers:  Eric Reid, S, LSU

       The 49ers lost Golston in free agency. Reid seems like a good replacement.

 

32.   Baltimore Ravens: Johnathan Cyprien, S, Florida International

         Everything about the 49ers applies to the Raven, but with Ed Reed.

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Post Season Thoughts

I thought that with another succesful Colts season coming to a close, that I’d give my thoughts on a positional basis and the team. Who should be kept or replaced or whatnot. This is mostly a starter thing, but I threw in a few backups where I feel its warranted.

OFFENSE:

QB: Andrew Luck – if I have to explain this, you’re too stupid to live, aka Skip Bayless.

RB: Vick Ballard – Vick feels like a keeper to me. Nate Dunleavy of Bleacher Report thinks he’s easily replaceable and should be. I don’t know how you can get a good gage on that with the present oline. There are things he needs to work on, catching the ball, pass blocking, but how many runningbacks are good off the bat at that. Edgerrin James and Joseph Addai aren’t easy to find. Let’s give Vick a chance. He’s come on faster than Donald Brown did.  They need a back-up though.  Let’s put an end to the Mewelde Moore experiment.

WR: Reggie Wayne – Reggie! Reggie! Reggie! Nuff said. Donnie Avery – Very replacable. Avery disappears too much and too easily. And drops way too many balls. We need someone else. TY Hilton – Me likey. TY ended the season in the top four among rookie receivers. Maybe he can be a number 1, but if not, he’ll be a hell of a 2. LaVon Brazil – Seems promising. A little more so than Pierre Garcon at the same point.

LT: Anthony Castonzo – He had an up and down year. How much of that was because he has crap beside him and how much of it is that he’s miscast as a left tackle, I don’t know. I keep thinking that he would better as a right tackle.

LG: Joe Reitz – Who knows? He’s been too injured to really solidify anything. There’s room for an upgrade.

C: Samson Satele – I haven’t been impressed. Sometimes, I think that AQ Shipley is better. I know he’s limited athletically, but the oline seems better when he’s in. Maybe he’s more consistent than Satele is. Either way, a better starter is needed.

RG: Mike McGlynn – I’ve barely noticed him at all this season. I think that’s a good thing. I’m sure there’s an upgrade out there somewhere, but maybe this is the last position on the oline to worry about.

RT: Winston Justice – I’ve heard from other sources that he played well this year. I didn’t see it. What I did see was a lot if ends getting around him to get to Luck.  Either way, he’s injury prone and thus needs replacing.

Top Backup: Jeff Linkenbach – Ugh. There must be someone better out there.

DEFENSE:

DE: Cory Redding – He had his moments, but wasn’t consistent with his production.  Not the worst, though. I would fix other defensive positions before worrying about replacing Cory. Fili Moala – I like what the team got from Drake Nevis and Ricardo Mathews better. Maybe he can finally produce with another off season in this defense, but the Colts should still try and upgrade.

NT: Antonio Johnson – He’s ok in spots, but his spots aren’t big enough. The Colts need Josh Chapman to be the force he was at Alabama.

OLB: Dwight Freeney – He’s out of position and maybe aging. I don’t think he’s coming back. He wants to be a DE. Robert Mathis – The transition fit him well. He may take over Freeney’s spot or the Colts may try and find a replacement. I don’t think Jerry Hughes is it.

ILB: Jerrel Freeman – Nice! He lead the team with 203 tackles. I can’t wait to see his encore. Pat Angerer – Once he’s healthy, he should fit in fine. He had a few moments near the end of the year, but the team said that he wouldn’t be 100% this season. Kavell Connor – He lost his starting spot to Angerer because he can’t defend the pass. I don’t know if he has a spot going forward.

CB: Vontae Davis – This looked like a good pick-up by the end of the year. I think Coach Chuck can turn him into a legit #1 corner. Cassius Vaughn – he may be ok as a nickle back, but he’s not starter material. Darius Butler – I think this was another good pick-up. He seems like a good nickle corner to me. The Colts just need to keep him off the big receivers until they perfect his technique. Jerraud Powers – Injury prone. He can’t help the team from IR.

SS: Tom Zbikowski – Replace him. I think he had two good plays this year.  Joe Lefeged – He’s not a stud, but he can hold the position until a replacement his found. He at least outplayed Zbikowski. That’s a good starting point.

FS: Antoine Bethea – He started off slow this year, but once he got a little more used to the new defense, his play picked up.  Were I the Colts and a really good free safety fell into their laps, I’d consider switching Bethea to strong safety. He looks good near the line o’ scrimmage.

Kicker: Adam Vinatieri – He struggled this year, but made clutch kicks all the same. That’s more important than any booming leg. Right, Mike Vanderjact?

Punter: Pat “Boomstick” McAfee – His contract is up, so the Colts better resign him. He’s a weapon, able to flip the field and is learning directional punting. Dropping punts inside the two yard line isn’t something to be taken lightly.

PR/KR: TY Hilton – The rookie got better at this as the year went along. Unless he becomes to valueable as a receiver, he should be kept returning punts.  Deji Kareem – Anybody that can run a kick-off back 101 yards for a TD is ok in myAa book.  Hell, I was happy he was just getting beyond the 20.

So there you have it. Things I want to happen with the known quantities on the team. The bottom line is that I trust this organization to make smart picks and build toward an even brighter future than the present is now.

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2012 Season 11-5

Well that was fun. I stopped blogging about this season because there are only so many ways to say that the Colts shouldn’t have won this game or that game.  The team came out on the losing side of damn near — no — of every meaningful statistical catagory you can pull up.  Every stat and advanced stat said they should have sucked, but they dinna. Some suggested that it was smoke and mirrors. It wasn’t. The smoke machine broke during the Bears game and they smashed the mirror over Green Bay’s collective face.  When you loose every single stat but win the game, something else is going on. Something beyond magic.  So, here we are, with a rookie laden team that performed beyond all expectations. This bodes well for Colts fans from here on out. The future’s so bright, we all gotta wear shades.

And not to be negative, but I have to respond to the dumbest thing I’ve heard in a while.  After the loss to the Bears – you know, game 1 – Skip Bayless of ESPN called Jim Irsay a clown for dumping Peyton and not drafting RG3.  We all know its stupid to make a judgement on something like that after an hour, but this dumbass did. I figured that after seeing what Andrew Luck has done this year – taking a 2-14 team to 11-5 – that Skip would realize that all is well in Coltsville. Nope. Skip stayed with stupid and said after the regular season ended that Irsay made a mistake dumping Peyton and not drafting RG3.  And what was his reasoning? Luck had 23 turnovers and a last place schedule. Really? Peyton had 28 interceptions as a rookie and won only 3 games against a last place schedule. So, that means Peyton sucked as a QB…. What? He didn’t? He’s going to be a hall of famer? Oh, yeah. Maybe Luck will be good too.

The problem I have with Skip’s article – aside from some of the shittiest wright by a “professional” I’ve ever read – is that he doesn’t back up his asinine take. Yeah, Luck had a bunch of turnovers. So did Brett Favre (pick a year). Any QB not named… um… whoever can turn the ball over. Especially, when the game is all on their shoulders, an argument I’ve made about Peyton before. 

The even dummer part of Skip’s argument is that Peyton and RG3 took their teams to the playoffs. You can’t ignore the fact that Luck took the Colts to the exact same place. With a better record than RG3, who also had a last place schedule. Skip ignores all that.

The dumbest thing Skip says is that he understands that Irsay wanted to secure the future, but that the NFL is a win now league and that best chance for that is Peyton. Except… the Colts have won now and secured the future at the same time.  If it was so damn easy to find a franchise QB, the Bills wouldn’t still be looking for someone so long after Jim Kelly. Who have the Chiefs found to replace Len Dawson? When a guy like Luck falls into your lap, you take hime unless a guy like Luck is already on your team.  And just a few years into his career.

No one wanted Peyton to go. No one.  But things happen. All three franchises, Colts, Broncos, and Washington all made out well. Just admit that you’re wrong Skip, because everyone with an IQ above two can see that taking Andrew Luck wasn’t a mistake.

Oh, one more beef with moron’s article.  He had the nerve to say that Jim Irsay was able to cut Peyton without any backlash from the fans. That is beyond stupid. Irsay was torched for that. I think we all remember the summer full of articles from Brad Wells of stampedeblue.com calling Indy nothing but horrible, fair weather fans because so many people didn’t renew season tickets. The reason people didn’t renew was because they weren’t happy with the decision. That’s anger towards Irsay, Skip, you bombastic idiot.

I’ve said before that I don’t mind someone having an opinion so long as its based on reality. Skip’s article had no reality in it. He just took a stance too soon in the season and like a neanderthal, couldn’t adjust to the facts of life.

Here’s an opinion based on reality for you, Skip. Seven 4th quarter wins led by Andrew Luck. Based on that, we have our future as fans of the Colts secure. You can say its a fluke all you want, but all the experts — people who aren’t you, Skip — agree that Luck’s a keeper.  10 to 15 years of greatness are better than 4 to 5 years that we would have with Peyton. And as for RG3, I said before the year that one of the biggest plusses for taking Luck over him was durability.  Luck missed no plays while standing behind four turnstiles and a left tackle who maybe should be a right tackle while Griffin missed parts of three games and another full one because of injury, while having a better oline. That’s how you base an opinion on something.

Thus endeth the lessen.

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Mid-Season Thoughts

Since the Colts have played ocho games (8), I thought I’d share my thoughts about the team and some players.  There are no grades here. Grades are for school. I hate school.

Andrew Luck:
After the Bears game – you know, game #1 – some idiots were saying that the Colts messed up. That they should have kept Peyton or drafted RG3. Well, RG3′s team – said to have more talent than the Colts – is sitting at 3-6. The fellas are 5-3. Point to “Cool Hand” Luck. I won’t get into stats because wins trump all. As for Peyton, I’ve tried not to compare he and Luck too much because it’s not fair to the rookie, but the football gods have spoken. Luck has the Colts sitting at 5-3. Peyton has the Broncos at 5-3. Both of them have thrown for 2404 yards. Want more? If the playoffs started today, the Colts would face the Broncos in the first round. Freaky. Aside from that, “Cool Hand” has lived up to all expectations. He’s been calm and commanding in the pocket, has shown a very good arm (suck it, Phil Simms), and has dragged the team kicking and screaming to a winning record. Everyone who said Jim Irsay looked stupid earlier this year looks stupid now skip bayless.

Reggie Wayne:
I said before the season that Reggie’s “decline” last year was due to the fact that the Colts played all of last year without anyone manning the QB position, except for two games. The experts said Reggie was old and done. Score one for me. Reggie is off to the best start of his carreer and has kicked father time in the groin. The Colts have three years to find a replacement. That should be plenty of time. He better be named Reggie though. Don’t want our chant to die just yet.

Donnie Avery:
Turns out to be just a guy. Too bad. I had high hopes.

Dwayne Allen:
How did he fall to round three? Dudes a beast already and is only going to get better. If GM Ryan Grigson ever has to choose between Allen and Coby Fleener, he needs to pick Allen. And I don’t mean that as a slight again Fleener.

Offensive Line:
Anthony Castonzo if pretty good as a LT. I keep thinking he might be best as a RT though. I think he could dominate from that side. But he’s better than average, so there’s no pressing need. I also think that AQ Shipley has out played Samson Satele at the center position. Maybe the team should look at switching. Just a shout out to the Colts who don’t read this anominous blog. The line has played better the last couple of weeks, but that doesn’t mean that the front office should stand pat.

Cory Redding:
I loved this signing at the time. Love it still today. Cory has been a rock at the LE position when healthy. He’s also been a tremendous leader. I loved his speech before the Packer game.

Dwight Freeney:
He’s a 4-3 defensive end. I expect the Colts to let him walk after this year. There may be ways to keep his production, though, with his partner in crime still around.

Robert Mathis:
We all thought that this defense would suit him and it does. He shouldn’t be in coverage though. I bet that once DFree leaves, Robert will take his spot and the front office will find a strong side LB.

Jerrell Freeman:
Ryan Grigson’s first signing. A home run, I think. Freeman has started every game, leads the team in tackles, and can play the pass and run. Maybe, he should be the starter opposite Mathis next year. That would leave Kavell Conner and Pat Angerer as the inside backers. Not a bad quarter and if Grigson can find a situational pass rusher to couple with Mathis, the linebacking corps would be set.

Antoine Beathea:
He wasn’t playing well at the beginning of the year, but has picked it up of late. I’ll chaulk it up to learning a new system and move on.

Jerraud Powers:
Has had good plays. Has had bad plays. I don’t know if he’s a man-to-man cover corner or not. Hopefully, he gets healthy and improves.

Vontae Davis:
Incomplete assessment. He had a good game his first back from his injury, but got hurt again. I’ll withhold judgement until later.

Tom Zbikowski:
Find a replacement please. He’s been invisible most of the year. I think he’s had one good quarter. He was brought in to help teach the defense and because there was no one else to man the position. The defense has been taught and we still have no one to man the position.

Pat McAfee:
Aces. He’s improved every year and this year is no exception. Our punt and kick-off coverage units may suck ass, but we don’t know it because of his kicking.

Adam Vinatieri:
Everytime he misses a kick I think maybe the Colts should find a new kicker in the off season. Then I remember that the college kick games is gross. Vinnie is the best clutch kicker in history and hasn’t missed a kick that would have won a game this year. Everyone wants an accurate kicker, but accuracy without the stones to win a game makes you Mike Vanderjagt. Give me game winning kicks over amazing accuracy every day.

Overall:
Many experts thought that the Colts rebuild would take 2-3 years. Jim Irsay said the Colts rebuild would take 2-3 years. Many Peyton fans said that the Colts would suck for the next decade. I thought history would repeat itself. In 1998, the Colts went 3-13 with a certain rookie QB we all know and love. The very next year, they were a winning team and maintained that for all but one more year. Played 2011 without a QB, remember? Going with that, I thought the Colts would take their lumps this year and be good next. A few people, who’s sanity I questioned, thought that the Colts would be in the playoffs this year. Well…. the crazies were right. Ish. The boys in blue are at least challenging for a spot in the post season which begs the question… how? I would say smoke and mirrors, but I see no smoke. There are no mirrors. I don’t get it, but I will damn sure enjoy it for as long as it lasts. I’ll even enjoy it for the next 15 years if I have to. I’m used to compromising my life style.

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2012 Season 5-3

Score:
23-20 Colts

What the hell am I watching? There is no way that a team that was gutted of most of its stars and with a rookie QB should have this good of record. It fact, I don’t know how they’re doing it other than power of will … and an amazing guy under center.

Offense:
Andrew Luck has surpassed Peyton’s rookie year already. Not only that, but he’s lapping the rookie field. In wins alone, he’d be ahead of all other rookie QB’s, but he was spectacular today. We’ve seen him throw with guys hanging on him before this season, but to throw that strike to Reggie, over a defender, and as he was going to his knees… DAMN!
Speaking of Reggie, it was nice of him to bring along his fellow receivers to this game. Donnie Avery and TY Hilton have been too quiet this year, but both had over 100 yards today.  Dwayne Allen had some big catches today as well, but he’s produced all season long when given the chance.
The offensive line had their best pass blocking game today. They only gave up one sack, but I think Luck held the ball too long on that play.  They did allow several pressures, but they were facing Cameron Wake and controlled him pretty well.
Vick Ballard’s game clinching run was the best run by a Colts since Dominic Rhodes against the Ravens during the 2006 playoffs. The kids a gamer. Ballard. Not Rhodes. Rhodes may still be a gamer, he’s no kid.

Defense:
I think Dwight Freeney’s ankle is feeling better. He looked quicker than he has all year and collected two sacks. The pass rush over all was better than it has been, even when Robert Mathis left the game.  There’s nothing to say about the secondary that hasn’t already been said. At least we weren’t facing a super offense.  The run defense held the Dolphins in check aside from one reggie bush run.

Special Teams:
Does this unit have to continually be the weakest unit on this team? Granted, they didn’t give up any big returns, but can they keep the opposing team off our kicker? Vinatieri has enough problems making field goals these days without letting guys come free to make blocks. Pat McAfee was his usual gifted self. Thank god.

Coaching:
Nicely done. I don’t have a lot of complaints this game… other than having a guy who’s having trouble making kicks try a 54 yarder. Pooch punt and try and pin the other team deep. Defensive coordinator Greg Manusky is good at making halftime adjustments. How many games now have the defense only allowed a field goal after the half? Twelve. The answer is twelve.

Overall:
I predicted the Colts to win five games. Done. From here on out, the team is playing with house money. Having said that, they better beat the Haguars on Thursday. It should be noted that if the Colts can finish this season at .500 or above, then the rest of the NFL should look out. Coach Pagano’s attaching electrodes to his monster as we speak.

Next up:
Jacksonville Haguars.  Can we control that angry midget running back if he plays, please?

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