Monday, October 17, 2005


I know, I should be studying. And I know, this blog has turned into NFL central as of late. I'll have non-football posts soon (I've bookmarked several stories I'd like to comment on), but that'll have to wait.

As of tonight, Peyton Manning to Marvin Harrison. 86 touchdowns. NFL record for a QB to receiver combo. It was a perfect pass to represent their style. The pass was at the sideline and most receivers would have gone out of bounds. But Harrison has such remarkable body knowledge that he knew to drag one foot and get the other one down to be in bounds. And to celebrate, Harrison (who has all the other 85 balls from touchdown passes) gave the ball to Manning. No show boating. No fancy dance. Just understated knowledge of a job well done. A very classy pair of gentlemen. Shortly after, Harrison almost made it 87 on a great effort there, but got stopped at the 1.

Besides all the record talk, I have been impressed by the Colts' showing tonight. The Rams got off to a quick 17-0 start. They scored on their first drive, then Rhodes fumbled the kick-off. You could tell he was looking to scoop it up and run when he should have just fallen on it. Mental error. Then Jason David slipped to give Kevin Curtis a 57 yard touchdown. Since then, the Colts have outscored the Rams 45-3. The Rams losing Marc Bulger to a shoulder injury did create a huge shift in momentum, I will grant.

But the Colts have simply dominated this game. They've controlled the pace. They've caused fumbles. They've picked off passes. Cato June has two. He leads the NFL in interceptions with 5. He's a linebacker, for God's sake. Linebackers are the guys who hit. They don't pick off passes. That's what the cornerbacks and safeties are for. Cato June is my hero. Well, along with Manning, Harrison, Stokley, Wayne, James, Mathis, Freeney, Reagor, Sanders, Harper, Simon, Diem, Glenn, and Saturday. Yeah, I think that's enough of them.

I don't want to get my hopes up too high this year, but it's hard not to. This Colts team is showing me (almost) everything that they've needed. They are patient and mature, not letting the early 17 point deficit affect their focus. They are making the stops that they need to make. They are forcing mistakes from their opponents. They are doing what needs to be done to win games, not break records. Whenever the Rams were looking for (and solidly covering) that TD pass to Harrison, they ran the ball or gave it to Wayne. That's the difference between last year and this year. Records mean nothing. Wins mean everything. It looks like Manning's learned that lesson.

The one area that could still use some improvement is their run defense. They're still soft there, though Corey Simon is helping a lot. I don't know how they could really improve that aspect a lot without sacrificing their pass defense, though. It's a tough balance to find.

After all that, the Colts are now 6-0 for the first time since 1958. Congratulations, guys!


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