Protecting the Horseshoe

An NFL Blog with an Indianapolis Colts Focus

Re-Watching Colts week 1, 2014 vs. Denver Broncos

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[Gamebook]

NFL Network is re-airing this game right now. I figured since I didn’t pay close attention to it due to the 24-0 hole they dug themselves into, it would be a good time to see if I noticed anything a second time around.

The Colts lost the game 31-24.

Observations:

  • The Colts should have went for it deep in Denver territory on the opening possession of the season on 4th and 1 instead of punting. Pagano has to get more aggressive in these types of games and situations.
  • Luck missed a throw to Fleener on third down that was just rushed and probably should have went elsewhere.
  • Trent Richardson stuffed on the first run of his season. Had little to no burst, on other runs and screens. I think at the time watching it live I knew trouble was coming.
  • Reggie Wayne looked good in the first half. Three nice catches, and to me; he doesn’t seem like a guy that had lost it yet.
  • The Colts first TD of the season wasn’t a touchdown pass, or a run from the running back; it was a diving play with Luck stretching around the pile-on and upon review it was ruled a TD. This closed the first half at 24-7.
  • Opening possession of the second half, Colts drive down to the 1 and 1/2 yard line and on 4th and 1 Pagano calls a sneak for Luck and he’s stonewalled. Poor play-calling.
  • Poor play-calling on the Colts second possession of the second half when they stalled out in the red-zone and had to settle for a field goal to make it 24-10.
  • The Colts had so many opportunities to win this game. It really should have been no surprise to anyone that the Colts went in there in January and beat the Broncos.
  • Everything from Manning was screens and underneath really. The Colts built a book on Manning off this for the playoff game.
  • Colts trailed 31-10 with eight minutes to go. Luck’s first TD of the year passing comes on a throw to Dwyane Allen where he barely made the catch past the defender and then rushed down the sideline to stay in-bounds.
  • Indianapolis then recovered an onside kick with 7:45 left, trailing 31-17.
  • Luck then threw a tipped-ball interception deep in Denver territory off the hands of Colby Fleener after completions to Wayne and Hilton.
  • Luck throws a TD to Hakeem Nicks with 3:59 left in the game to make it 31-24.
  • Colts got the ball back with less than 3 minutes to go.
  • On 4th and 6, Luck fires a ball to tightly covered Reggie Wayne that is batted away by Bradley Roby. This effectively ends the game.

The Colts had so many opportunities to win this opener. After going back and watching it for a second time in more detail, they were better than Denver this season. I’m not surprised that they got their revenge in the playoffs to advance to the AFC title game, and arguably; they played a better all around game the first time around in Denver, especially defensively.

Despite his mistakes, Andrew Luck was 35 of 53 for 370 yards and two touchdowns, and two tipped ball interceptions. He also ran for 19 yards on five carries and a touchdown.Reggie Wayne had nine catches for 98 yards.

March 8, 2015 Posted by | Denver Broncos, Indianapolis Colts, NFL Network | , , | Leave a comment

It’s Combine Time

I spent about four hours today watching the NFL Combine on the NFL Network. It’s the first time I’ve devoted much time to the event, and I have to say that it’s great. It makes for a more educated NFL fan. It’s the primer; the meat and potatoes of the game I crave more of. In fact as I write this post, I’ve got the replay of Mike Mayock, Rich Eisen and company replaying and I probably will until I pass out.

The combine is a rite of passage for any fan claiming to be a die hard. It’s flow-over-the-top analysis and more football than anyone really needs. And yet that’s why it’s so great. The combine gives you a chance to get to know an NFL prospect from the very beginning even if you only got to see a guy play once or twice in his four years in college. Or not at all. It’s the chance to know a guy from seed to sprout to fully grown stage. And if you think there’s no difference between a guy like Stanford guard David Decastro and Utah tackle John Cullen, watch the combine. You’ll see who is an athlete and who just isn’t a ‘natural bender’ as Mayock said. I am absolutely hooked.

Tie in all the stuff that’s going on with the Quarterback, the Owner, and the prospect of a lifetime; and we’ve got a real storyline on our hands unfolding in the city that hosts the combine.

The biggest piece of news that worked it’s way out today–and you knew something would–is that due to the new CBA in place the Colts organization would not be permitted to see Peyton Manning throw before making any type of decision on him. That said, it’s my belief that the Colts have already made the decision regardless and Peyton knows the decision.

Now why would those be on clearance?

Here’s some other interesting pieces of note from the day:

-Todd McShay says Andrew Luck over RG3 and it’s not even close. [ESPN]
-Indy wants, and should get another Superbowl soon. [PFT]
-Teammates talk about Andrew Luck. [Stampede Blue]

I think I’m going to wake up nice and early tomorrow and get some coffee and watch the QB’s, receivers, and running backs at the combine starting at 9 am.

February 26, 2012 Posted by | Andrew Luck, David Decastro, Jim Irsay, NFL Combine, NFL Network, Peyton Manning | Leave a comment