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Colts/jags- gutty win and issues still everywhere


COLTS7

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I know it's only 4 games and there is time to get things fixed and there is still a very good shot at making the playoffs (due to playing in the weakest division in the NFL) and anything can happen, but just don't see any reason to feel very confident about this team, after the first quarter, to think that they are capable of going deep into the postseason and the be quite blunt, even the playoffs as things stand right now, are far from certain.... it's not a few things that aren't working, there are quite a few issues.

 

Offense: even with a 40 year old QB who really hasn't had many quality reps in the past few years, the passing game actually looked as good , if not better, than it had with Luck at QB. Part of that was the game plan, which was to go with the quick strike-short passing game, which we will most likely see the rest of the year, even after Luck returns. I really didn't think we had much of a chance, even vs the lowly Jags , with Hasselbeck (30-47-282-TD) at QB, after the poor showing his displayed in preseason, but he had a very good game, take away a few questionable throws (bound to be some rust). Fleener had a huge game, leading the way with 9-83-TD, Hilton (7-67) and Moncrief (6-75) had good games as well. Again I know it's way too early, but maybe we should just cut Johnson and be done with it....3 years-21 million-ouch!! The running game which has looked decent in the previous 3 games, was non-existent, Gore finished with 17-53, take away the 22 yd run in overtime and he was 16-31-not good. And for the second time fumbled away a great chance to score. Robinson has really not looked good subing for Gore and it is starting to look like holding onto the ball is becoming an issue with him. The O-line played their best game last week, which isn't saying much, could not open any holes-all game and the pass protection was, per usual, not real good.

 

Defense: didn't really look they had many answers in the first half, but to their credit, came out in the second half and played very good, despite still paying with a very depleted CB group. Jackson had a monster game with 17 tackles and is having a very good season, to date. The pressure was inconsistant, we finished with 1 sack ( Langford). McNary also was very productive, filling in for the injured Freeman-which was very impressive considering he has not had many reps and has been away from the game with off field issues, Freeman looked like a real find his first few years, but really has not played that well since, might be time to give McNary more reps.

 

Special teams: were actually special, for the first time this year, McAfee-may be the MVP of the team thus far and is a major weapon and has been for the past few years, he is the best punter in the league and when you add in his kickoffs/touchbacks-fake punts-on side kicks-tackling, his value to this team is extremly high! Adam, was 3-3, after missing his first 2 of the year, including a 54 yarder and the game winner in overtime. The coverage units were very good, even though they really don't get many reps (with McAfee's leg). the return game has been useless so far, anybody know if Cribbs is available?

 

Just like last week, can't help but think how close we were to being 0-4, with 2 losses vs the titans and jags, but regardless, we are now 2-2 heading into the thursday night game vs the texans. One thing is quite clear, with Bortles and Mariota now in our division, the gap in talent is becoming much closer than it has been for the past few years.
On an added note- the season is divided into quarters, after this first quarter, Grigson signings and draft picks have not helped his status at all, with many of those players (Gore-Johnson-Cole-Herremans-Dorsett-Robinson) either not playing well and /or making costly turnovers
It must also be noted that those last 2 games were vs 2 of the lower rated teams in the league and we were very lucky to come away with victories and did not look very good, doing so...... the hill is getting very steep!!!

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I remember a coach saying, the harder you practice, the harder you play, the harder you play the luckier you get! Yes we played hard but something just isn't clicking! Is it the team? Specific group? Individual players? Coach/coaches/administration? Several of us will point to specific players and or area of concern but at this point we have no answers!

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thanks KK, the high powered offense is completly out of sync, due in large part to the overmatched o-line, but it's more than just the line, the defense will always be lesser talented group and will always be hit or miss....and so far, it's been more misses than hits, team wide.....to pin point what is really the problem...hard to tell, I think it's a combination of many factors....but unless they turn this around and start to play like a championship caliber team, which is possible, but highly unlikely.............there needs to be MAJOR changes.................going forward....4 years-didn't work....time for a new plan

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Y'know, we sound like a bunch of whiny, spoiled fans around here nowadays. Bottom line is that the Colts haven't fully clicked yet on offense or defense. However, we have the personnel to be the best offense in the league (even on the OL). If you had to put the slow offensive start on anyone, it would be on Andrew Luck, who hasn't been quite right all year. We've won two of four games despite having a negative 9 turnover differential. That's 2 1/4 turnovers we're spotting opponents ON AVERGE, and we still won two games! The OL has actually been okay...average, I'd say. But the national media and some of the people here like to say it's so bad that Andrew Luck is going to get killed. Anyone who watches the games and casts a critical eye towards the OL should come to the conclusion that Luck has taken a ton of hits due to his scheme, the opponents huge propensity to blitz, and Luck's subborness and willingness to hang on to the ball too long in the hopes that someone will come open.

 

I only see a couple big ongoing "issues" hanging out there with this team: 1) Ball security (see turnover differential rant above). 2) Luck's injury (of course). 3) Lack of pass rush. Cole got a little pressure early in the year, but yesterday there was little pressure. Maybe it's time to amp Mathis back up into a starting role. I'm really disappointed in Newsome so far. Invisible. 4) CB injuries. Let's face it, going into the season, the outside CB depth chart was something like 1-Davis, 2-Toler, 3-Jalil Brown, 4-D'joun, 5-Butler. Now we seem to be down to Davis and Butler, with street FA Josh Thomas doing better than Butler (for the most part). There have been some brutal shots to what was probably the least deep (shallowest?) part of the depth chart going into the season.

 

On the other hand, we've fixed some problems that most feel have plagued us for years. Run D - we've been great this year. Sure, Yeldon's stats looked pretty good by the end of the game, but we pretty much stuffed him into the 3rd quarter and his averages were boosted by a couple long runs late in the game. We've stuffed RBsall year without devoting any extra resourses to doing it. Run O - prior to yesterday, we've run the ball well (and no one has run well against the Jags).

 

My hopes on moves that the coaching staff will make now: 1) Bench Andre Johnson. Last year we played Wayne too long, rather than admitting he'd lost it and feeding Moncrief. I think we won't repeat that mistake: clearly Hilton and Moncrief are fantastic, and Dorsett deserves more reps. It's time. 2) Make Mathis an every down player. I understand the temptation to save him for the playoffs, but we're going to need him starting to get to the playoffs (after all, this was supposed to be the easy quarter of the schedule!). 3) Leave the OL alone. Who cares what the ESPN and other "experts" think, this is a lineup that will get it done (particularly in the run game).  4) Change the scheme slightly to include more quick passes for Luck.  The shots down the field are great, but let’s ask him to do more game managing while he’s healing (probably all year).

 

Rant over...

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Archer, "Luck got hurt because of his scheme?"  What does that mean?  It's not his scheme  - it's Pagano & Hamilton's scheme!  As for calling the O-line average is really way, way off.  Luck got hurt because of the O-Line, not any bad scheme.  The focus of the draft and FA signings needed to be protect the best, and the most important player on the team, which Grigson failed miserably to do. The defense played well against a less than talented offense, and once again it's weakness is the D-Line. Both lines need major upgrade which I have no confidence Grigson can fix given the other dumb moves he's made in less than 4 years. 

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I watch the games and blog about what I see and how I feel, that doesn't make it right or wrong, just how I percieve it and what I have seen, after 4 games, is a team that is not playing at a very high level, despite what I feel is a competent roster, the offense going into the season was considered one of the best in the NFL and even one of the best-ever and has done next to nothing. The defense considering the losses to Jones and playing with 4/5 string Cb's is playing decent, but will always be the weak link, the offense, just like the Manning era is the group that makes the team go. I appreciate anybody has who has a positive outlook, but I prefer to be realistic and when I look a the big picture, what has taken place in this era, for 4 years, does not appear to be working out , but I will admit that my bar is set high, being good is not good enough...we need to be great and again, what we have seen this year, is no where near to that, winning the division is great, going to the playoffs is great, better than watching at home, but this is building a monster- a team that competes for championships on a yearly basis and hard as I try and hope I am wrong, don't see that taking place with this group. Mathis is on a pitch count , he hasn't played football in almost 1  1/2 years and will be worked back in the lineup-gradually. I know there are things that can be done to help the o-line, but the lack of talent there is evident.

If we look at the games this team has played vs playoff caliber teams, during this era, we almost always, not only come up short, but don't even play competive, we have survived by having a great Qb and playing in the weakest division in the league, to me that says it all, until we can go to Pittsburg or New england and play a competive game, this team will be be what they have been ...good.....not good enough....that needs to change, the real question is............how?

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How I view the problems:

 

Grigson- he is good, around middle of the pack, MAYBE better, but as long as he is the G.M. we will be a good team...not great.

Give me a dollar for everytime we have heard, it's starts up front..yet, for 4 years, he has failed to ugrade those areas-enough. There is hope on the D-line, Anderson has looked good, Langford has played well, even Parry is not a bust, very little depth and no difference makers. The O-line-another story, castonzo is solid, but/i really is better suited for right tackle and even he has struggles, Mewhort has played good and should become a solid player, Holmes-Thortan-Reitz- not NFL quality players,they are good spot starters, great backups, but not 16 game players, that's 60 % of the line that is not up to par,  we don't  need to have 5 great players and we can compete with 3/4 good players, but not with 2

 

Pagano-love the guy, would hate to see him leave, but it does look like when we play upper echelon teams, we get outplayed and outcoached

 

I really beleive that the core of the problem is Grigson, although he has done well, we will not be a great team, with him calling the shots and that's even with the curve he has had all 4 years (Andrew Luck) when you have an elite Qb, you can win and be sucessfull, with lesser talent and he still has not managed to do that

I also beleive that this team is real close-talent wise and has alot of peices in place, including that elite Qb, but what we need is for Grigson to get us over that hump and what he does is pulls us down to the pack, with his decisions.

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Archer, "Luck got hurt because of his scheme?"  What does that mean?  It's not his scheme  - it's Pagano & Hamilton's scheme!  As for calling the O-line average is really way, way off.  Luck got hurt because of the O-Line, not any bad scheme.  The focus of the draft and FA signings needed to be protect the best, and the most important player on the team, which Grigson failed miserably to do. The defense played well against a less than talented offense, and once again it's weakness is the D-Line. Both lines need major upgrade which I have no confidence Grigson can fix given the other dumb moves he's made in less than 4 years. 

You took the words right out of my mouth I don't no what Irsay is waiting for this team is a mess

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You took the words right out of my mouth I don't no what Irsay is waiting for this team is a mess

I'm not sure if you guys have watched a game.  The DL is bad?  Seriously?  You'd be easier to take seriously if you didn't take the strength of the D and call it the weakness...

 

My scheme comment was an allusion to the fact that we call a lot of throws down the field that require the QB to have the ball in his hands longer than other schemes.  More systems in the NFL have a lot of quick 3-step precision passes, which results in fewer QB hits.

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Archer, "Luck got hurt because of his scheme?"  What does that mean?  It's not his scheme  - it's Pagano & Hamilton's scheme!  As for calling the O-line average is really way, way off.  Luck got hurt because of the O-Line, not any bad scheme.  The focus of the draft and FA signings needed to be protect the best, and the most important player on the team, which Grigson failed miserably to do. The defense played well against a less than talented offense, and once again it's weakness is the D-Line. Both lines need major upgrade which I have no confidence Grigson can fix given the other dumb moves he's made in less than 4 years. 

 

 Not to belabor the point, but I just looked at PFF's game analysis for the Colts this week, and three of the top five rated Colts were OL (Mewhort, Thornton, and Costanzo, in that order), and the other two were DL (Langford and Anderson).  Yet you feel these are our weaknesses...

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My 2 cents-I really don't pay much attention to what the "experts" have to say, Although PFF is legit, most of the opinions are borderline *-ick. not sure how anybody coukld come up with that conclusion, including PFF, there have been times in this era, the run game/blocking looks ok and the pass blocking, whether it be lack of talent or coaching, has been noticably inadequte, MAYBE it's not the players fault, that's debatable, but what's not is that is has never been a strength of the team and there lies the problem. It's most likely a combination of several factors. I just know when a watch a Colts game, the majority of the time, the RB has nowhere to run and the QB seems to be pressured , almost every snap

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COLTS7:  I am with you, The guy that gave us 80% of the current roster still has a job.  How does that happen?

 

Archer: PFF's notwithstanding, our lines are not good, consistent and are the source of much of what is wrong with both O & D.   Look at the FA line men on either O or D Grigson brought in.   That is the real problem with this club,  a GM who has no eye for talent or identifying the real needs of this club.  If Luck's arm is permanently damaged, Grigson MUST go.

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