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Watching Watson made me wonder this about Luck


DalTXColtsFan
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There is a "mentality" for lack of a better word that Grigson and Pagano were horrible even though they took a 2-14 team to 3 straight playoff appearances and an AFC Title Game followed by 2 non-losing seasons, and that it is just having Luck (figuratively and literally) that masked their ineptness.

 

Is it possible that the degree to which Luck masked their ineptness is exaggerated?

 

I was thinking about that today while watching Watson basically pick apart our whole top 10 defense almost singlehandedly for the second frickin' time.  I about drooled when I saw his numbers for the whole season.  Sensation in ANY season, so much MORESO given the circumstances!

 

How in the world have the Texans only won 4 games with that kind of otherworldly quarterback play?

 

And going back to the 2012-2016 and 2018 seasons, was Luck really so much better than Watson?  Were the other 52 players on those Colts teams really any worse than the other 52 players on the 2020 Texans besides Watson?

 

Here's another crazy thing:  The 2015 Colts went 4-3 WITHOUT Luck!

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Luck was a few tiers above Watson. Luck was the best QB in the league not named Patrick Mahomes when he retired imo..

 

Watson has big play mentality and is always a threat and exciting to watch, but he has a lot of inconsistencies as well that kind of derive by his playstyle. He will be a top 10 QB for a few years and then probably fall down from there.

 

Best player on the Texans Offense now though, lol.

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11 minutes ago, DalTXColtsFan said:

There is a "mentality" for lack of a better word that Grigson and Pagano were horrible even though they took a 2-14 team to 3 straight playoff appearances and an AFC Title Game followed by 2 non-losing seasons, and that it is just having Luck (figuratively and literally) that masked their ineptness.

 

Is it possible that the degree to which Luck masked their ineptness is exaggerated?

 

I was thinking about that today while watching Watson basically pick apart our whole top 10 defense almost singlehandedly for the second frickin' time.  I about drooled when I saw his numbers for the whole season.  Sensation in ANY season, so much MORESO given the circumstances!

 

How in the world have the Texans only won 4 games with that kind of otherworldly quarterback play?

 

And going back to the 2012-2016 and 2018 seasons, was Luck really so much better than Watson?  Were the other 52 players on those Colts teams really any worse than the other 52 players on the 2020 Texans besides Watson?

 

Here's another crazy thing:  The 2015 Colts went 4-3 WITHOUT Luck!

Neither Grigson and especially Pagano were as inept as the fan base would have you believe.   Time has twisted things all out of proportion.   And this comes from the biggest Luck fan here.

 

But at some point you have to give SOME credit where it’s due.   At least a modest amount.   If you want to give most of the credit to Luck — fine.   No objection.

 

But to give none to Grigson and Pagano at some point just becomes silly.   At least be reasonable.  

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1 minute ago, TheLegend87 said:

We did? The defense was trash. We couldn't run the ball, so Luck had to take a beating because our offensive line was trash.

The defense was trash in 15 and 16.   But it was roughly middle of the pack in 12, 13 and 14 when we were a playoff caliber team. 

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54 minutes ago, DalTXColtsFan said:

There is a "mentality" for lack of a better word that Grigson and Pagano were horrible even though they took a 2-14 team to 3 straight playoff appearances and an AFC Title Game followed by 2 non-losing seasons, and that it is just having Luck (figuratively and literally) that masked their ineptness.

 

Is it possible that the degree to which Luck masked their ineptness is exaggerated?

 

I was thinking about that today while watching Watson basically pick apart our whole top 10 defense almost singlehandedly for the second frickin' time.  I about drooled when I saw his numbers for the whole season.  Sensation in ANY season, so much MORESO given the circumstances!

 

How in the world have the Texans only won 4 games with that kind of otherworldly quarterback play?

 

And going back to the 2012-2016 and 2018 seasons, was Luck really so much better than Watson?  Were the other 52 players on those Colts teams really any worse than the other 52 players on the 2020 Texans besides Watson?

 

Here's another crazy thing:  The 2015 Colts went 4-3 WITHOUT Luck!

Luck was better than Watson but Watson is very good. How they are 4-10 is puzzling. He just has no help.

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59 minutes ago, colts89 said:

Luck was a few tiers above Watson. Luck was the best QB in the league not named Patrick Mahomes when he retired imo..

 

Watson has big play mentality and is always a threat and exciting to watch, but he has a lot of inconsistencies as well that kind of derive by his playstyle. He will be a top 10 QB for a few years and then probably fall down from there.

 

Best player on the Texans Offense now though, lol.

Just.... No...

 

A FEW tiers above Watson? You think Luck was THAT much better, and he was THE best in the league not named Mahomes? He was better than Wilson, Brady, Rodgers, Roethlisberger, Brees, and Rivers at the time? 

 

He sure looked like the second best QB in the league in his last game as a Colt. 

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7 hours ago, DalTXColtsFan said:

There is a "mentality" for lack of a better word that Grigson and Pagano were horrible even though they took a 2-14 team to 3 straight playoff appearances and an AFC Title Game followed by 2 non-losing seasons, and that it is just having Luck (figuratively and literally) that masked their ineptness.

 

Is it possible that the degree to which Luck masked their ineptness is exaggerated?

 

I was thinking about that today while watching Watson basically pick apart our whole top 10 defense almost singlehandedly for the second frickin' time.  I about drooled when I saw his numbers for the whole season.  Sensation in ANY season, so much MORESO given the circumstances!

 

How in the world have the Texans only won 4 games with that kind of otherworldly quarterback play?

 

And going back to the 2012-2016 and 2018 seasons, was Luck really so much better than Watson?  Were the other 52 players on those Colts teams really any worse than the other 52 players on the 2020 Texans besides Watson?

 

Here's another crazy thing:  The 2015 Colts went 4-3 WITHOUT Luck!

 

The narrative here by some if not many that Griggs teams were garbage and won only because of Luck is totally false if not absurd. I guess that twisted veiw makes them more loyal to ballard somehow, lol.

 

For one thing I dont know if  luck was ever considered a Top 5 QB. 

There was Roger's, Breese, Roethlisberger, Brady, Wilson...possibly Rivers. Certainly Mahomes in Luck's last season or two.

 

We had Reggie, TY, a nice duo of TE's Fleener & Allen. RB's Ballad in his rookie year before injuries, Bradshaw was very good all around back. C Kelley, LT Constanzo who are still here and very important to our line.

 

If I'm not mistaken Vegas made as the favorite one season to win or get to the super bowl. Vegas doesn't highly rate a team without talent. 

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16 hours ago, MacDee1975 said:

Watson throws it 40+ times per game and puts up numbers without really threatening to actually win games.  

 

Most coaches are fine with him getting meaningless passing yardage, knowing at the end of the day they are going to beat his harmless one dimensional team.

 

I wouldn't put them as harmless. . . they had a stat during the game that their last 13 losses were by single digits.  

 

Watson always gives them a chance to win.  The problem is at this point he's the only one because Bill O'Brian shipped off nearly every other talented player that team had.  

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I don't like the zone this team plays.  Too many miscommunications and blown assignments.  I don't think this scheme does them any favors.  Perhaps if they can get another really good pass rusher, or if Turay finally pans out, they could go man.  But it doesn't seem like Reich wants to do that.  I guess their thinking is limit big plays and make the offense run more plays, which eventually the defense will get a turnover or something.  I have never been a fan of that.  I like the way Pitt plays.  Attacking.  I think we finally have the horses to play that way.

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No, it's not possible. Luck was every bit the beast of a QB he was advertised as and he masked a TON of problems both coaching/playcalling wise and in roster construction too. Grigson and Pagano lucked out by landing the best QB prospect of that generation and somehow they managed to royally screw it up.

 

Luck had worse OL, worse defenses and worse offensive weapons for the entirety of the Grigson/Pagano era than Watson is having now. And Luck never fell under .500. Let that one sink in. This is NOT a shot at Watson... I love the way he plays and I think he's a top 5 QB in the league right now. Just Luck was a different beast. 

 

They(Grigano) should be thankful to Luck for lasting even that long as a GM and HC respectively. 

 

I think Luck with this current Colts team would be amazing. I think we would have been perennial contender had he stayed and kept playing at anything resembling his last year in the league. Now, excuse me for a bit... I'm going away to cry my eyes dry. :Cry:

 

 

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20 hours ago, DalTXColtsFan said:

There is a "mentality" for lack of a better word that Grigson and Pagano were horrible even though they took a 2-14 team to 3 straight playoff appearances and an AFC Title Game followed by 2 non-losing seasons, and that it is just having Luck (figuratively and literally) that masked their ineptness.

 

Is it possible that the degree to which Luck masked their ineptness is exaggerated?

 

I was thinking about that today while watching Watson basically pick apart our whole top 10 defense almost singlehandedly for the second frickin' time.  I about drooled when I saw his numbers for the whole season.  Sensation in ANY season, so much MORESO given the circumstances!

 

How in the world have the Texans only won 4 games with that kind of otherworldly quarterback play?

 

And going back to the 2012-2016 and 2018 seasons, was Luck really so much better than Watson?  Were the other 52 players on those Colts teams really any worse than the other 52 players on the 2020 Texans besides Watson?

 

Here's another crazy thing:  The 2015 Colts went 4-3 WITHOUT Luck!

 

2015 Colts went 5-2 without Luck. Won more games that year than the Colts won last year.

 

You pose interesting questions. But there is a lot of cognitive dissonance on this forum...and I guess it's just easier to vilify Grigs than admit other things.

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19 hours ago, MacDee1975 said:

Watson throws it 40+ times per game and puts up numbers without really threatening to actually win games.  

 

Most coaches are fine with him getting meaningless passing yardage, knowing at the end of the day they are going to beat his harmless one dimensional team.

 

Haha...non-threatening? The Colts had to get two end of game fumbles to beat HOU. I can assure you the Colts were not letting Watson shred them for two games.

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21 minutes ago, stitches said:

No, it's not possible. Luck was every bit the beast of a QB he was advertised as and he masked a TON of problems both coaching/playcalling wise and in roster construction too. Grigson and Pagano lucked out by landing the best QB prospect of that generation and somehow they managed to royally screw it up.

 

Luck had worse OL, worse defenses and worse offensive weapons for the entirety of the Grigson/Pagano era than Watson is having now. And Luck never fell under .500. Let that one sink in. This is NOT a shot at Watson... I love the way he plays and I think he's a top 5 QB in the league right now. Just Luck was a different beast. 

 

They(Grigano) should be thankful to Luck for lasting even that long as a GM and HC respectively. 

 

I think Luck with this current Colts team would be amazing. I think we would have been perennial contender had he stayed and kept playing at anything resembling his last year in the league. Now, excuse me for a bit... I'm going away to cry my eyes dry. :Cry:

 

Mostly agreed, but I would argue we had better offensive weapons from 2012-2014 than the Texans have in 2020, primarily because TY Hilton was a monster and we had decent TE play.

 

As it relates to the OP, I think the whole angle from those years of 'without Luck, we couldn't win a single game' was always a little overblown, and that mostly proved true in 2015 when we won some games -- albeit ugly -- with 40 year old Hasselbeck (who couldn't even finish a game by the last month of the season), Charlie Whitehurst, and then Josh Freeman/Ryan Lindley in Week 17. 

 

(Minor aside: That Week 17 game was impressive to me. Those two guys signed on Tuesday, then split the gameplan on Sunday. And neither of them has played a game since. The Colts took two guys off the street in the last week of the season, who weren't good enough to play all year long, and haven't been good enough to play since, started them on five days prep, put up over 300 yards, and WON. Maybe the most impressive win in the Grigson/Pagano era.)

 

Still -- while they were able to put together some wins in 2015 without Luck -- the team was obviously not good that year. Luck struggled to start the season, then got hurt right as he was getting going. That's why they were 3-4 with him, because he wasn't playing well. 

 

Also, it might be possible that Grigson/Pagano was better than whatever the Texans have going on at the top over the last year. That doesn't mean they were good enough to build a sustained contender.

 

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5 minutes ago, Superman said:

 

(Minor aside: That Week 17 game was impressive to me. Those two guys signed on Tuesday, then split the gameplan on Sunday. And neither of them has played a game since. The Colts took two guys off the street in the last week of the season, who weren't good enough to play all year long, and haven't been good enough to play since, started them on five days prep, put up over 300 yards, and WON. Maybe the most impressive win in the Grigson/Pagano era.)

 

Want an interesting tidbit for Pagano? 

 

He's 6-0 in Week 17 games. He might have been a bad coach and selector of playcallers/scheme, but he never really lost the players it seems. They were ready to play for him in game 17 even in the bad/mediocre years. 

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2 minutes ago, stitches said:

Want an interesting tidbit for Pagano? 

 

He's 6-0 in Week 17 games. He might have been a bad coach and selector of playcallers/scheme, but he never really lost the players it seems. They were ready to play for him in game 17 even in the bad/mediocre years. 

 

Never. The team was always on Pagano's side. Some will say it's just about ChuckStrong, but I think his response to his situation in 2012 was a reflection of his character, and just a glimpse of what the people who dealt with him personally saw up close. Almost everyone liked him. 

 

There are some who have specific beefs with him, and even some local media grumblings that he wasn't always honest. But the team always played hard. Even the 2017 team that was obviously going nowhere.

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3 hours ago, Valpo2004 said:

 

I wouldn't put them as harmless. . . they had a stat during the game that their last 13 losses were by single digits.  

 

Watson always gives them a chance to win.  The problem is at this point he's the only one because Bill O'Brian shipped off nearly every other talented player that team had.  

They lost 36-7 against the bears last week

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12 hours ago, LJpalmbeacher2 said:

 

The narrative here by some if not many that Griggs teams were garbage and won only because of Luck is totally false if not absurd. I guess that twisted veiw makes them more loyal to ballard somehow, lol.

 

For one thing I dont know if  luck was ever considered a Top 5 QB. 

There was Roger's, Breese, Roethlisberger, Brady, Wilson...possibly Rivers. Certainly Mahomes in Luck's last season or two.

 

We had Reggie, TY, a nice duo of TE's Fleener & Allen. RB's Ballad in his rookie year before injuries, Bradshaw was very good all around back. C Kelley, LT Constanzo who are still here and very important to our line.

 

If I'm not mistaken Vegas made as the favorite one season to win or get to the super bowl. Vegas doesn't highly rate a team without talent. 

 

It is pretty illogical...and there is little to support it (at least before Luck got hurt). I get that we fans can be super fickle (myself included)...but the "Luck carrying a garbage team" narrative has taken on a life of its own. And the way Colts fans deify Ballard and vilify Grigs...like it’s good vs. evil...is a bit much.

 

Ballard as the "best GM in the NFL"...and Grigs as "one of the worst GMs in the NFL ever who ruined Luck’s career" are actual polarizing statements that you might hear on any given day. And in many cases...there is a double standard that gets applied.

 

For example...people don't really respect that Grigs inherited an arguably worse roster (and far worse cap situation) for some reason...and that's partly why they give him little (to no) credit for winning 11 games after a 2-win season. But most people also won't acknowledge the crappy 2017 season as part of Ballard’s tenure. This is fair...but if the expectations are so low for a GM inheriting a bad team (that won 8 games each of the past two years)...then how does Grigs not get credit for helping turn around a 2-win team?

 

Ther's also this false narrative about Grigs’ consistently having terrible defenses...holding back Luck.

 

In 2013 and 2014 the Colts defense had a similar DVOA ranking (#17 and #11, respectively) as the passing offense (#15 and #11, respectively). In 2015...the defense was #15 and the offense was #31 (passing offense was #27). They won 8 games that season. Statistically, the only bad defenses were 2012 (transition year...much like 2017) and 2016. The 2013-15 defenses were pretty solid...considering they faced top 10 SOSs on defense each year.

 

But somehow...one truly bad defense in 5 years (that you can somewhat blame Grigs for) = a consistently awful defense. I wonder if this great 2020 defense will have the reverse effect...wouldn't surprise me.

 

People also 100% blame Grigs for the OL issues. For Luck’s 1st 4 seasons...the Colts ranked 17th or better in adjusted sack rate...and were even top 10 for two of those seasons (#6 in 2013 and #7 in 2014). Grigs' failure to hit on OL talent is well-documented...and that OL was nowhere near as good as now...but it also wasn't near the disaster that people have made it out to be for some reason. And we all know Luck's style of play led itself to more contact...until Reich showed up.

 

People loved Grigs aggressiveness in FA and trades...as he was actively trying to win right away. Now he is seen as reckless and awful. But while Grigs had more than his fair share of misses...and the team did eventually fall because of those misses (namely his failure to draft core talent)...he also built a pretty damn good football team for the competitive window of a franchise QB on a rookie deal. This was absolutely the right strategy...and he did it without putting them in cap trouble or without the benefit of having incredible draft capital to build up non-QB positions (another thing that never gets acknowledged).

 

And those teams were good...like really good. They went 33-15 in his first 3 seasons and won 3 playoff games...with Luck posting an anemic passer rating in the playoffs.

 

That 2013 team beat (3) 12+ win teams (including the SB teams) in the regular season. In two of those wins (SEA and SF)...Luck threw for 360 total yards. They went 1-1 in those playoffs...during which Luck posted a 76.4 passer rating.

 

The 2014 team had like 7-8 Pro Bowlers and went 2-1 in the playoffs and got to the AFC Championship. Luck had a 71.8 passer rating in those playoffs.

 

I am not saying all of this to malign Luck...because he was my favorite Colts player ever...and those first few years are probably my favorite Colts era. But it's like people forget how great of a time it was to be a Colts fan. And somehow the GM who presided over that time is now seen as some sort of villain. I get that he's not a likeable guy (at all)...but that shouldn't be the basis for a narrative.

 

 

 

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2 hours ago, Superman said:

 

Mostly agreed, but I would argue we had better offensive weapons from 2012-2014 than the Texans have in 2020, primarily because TY Hilton was a monster and we had decent TE play.

 

As it relates to the OP, I think the whole angle from those years of 'without Luck, we couldn't win a single game' was always a little overblown, and that mostly proved true in 2015 when we won some games -- albeit ugly -- with 40 year old Hasselbeck (who couldn't even finish a game by the last month of the season), Charlie Whitehurst, and then Josh Freeman/Ryan Lindley in Week 17. 

 

(Minor aside: That Week 17 game was impressive to me. Those two guys signed on Tuesday, then split the gameplan on Sunday. And neither of them has played a game since. The Colts took two guys off the street in the last week of the season, who weren't good enough to play all year long, and haven't been good enough to play since, started them on five days prep, put up over 300 yards, and WON. Maybe the most impressive win in the Grigson/Pagano era.)

 

Still -- while they were able to put together some wins in 2015 without Luck -- the team was obviously not good that year. Luck struggled to start the season, then got hurt right as he was getting going. That's why they were 3-4 with him, because he wasn't playing well. 

 

Also, it might be possible that Grigson/Pagano was better than whatever the Texans have going on at the top over the last year. That doesn't mean they were good enough to build a sustained contender.

 

 

Yep...agree with this 100%. But I think there's an ocean between being "not good enough" and being a disaster...the latter which seems to be the prevailing narrative now. And most (maybe even all) metrics do not really support that narrative at all.

 

Many teams, even ones with franchise QBs, do not enjoy sustained success...or a 5-year stretch where they win 49 games and three playoff games. The OP's HOU comp points to this. And Watson has (statistically) been a better QB than Luck over his first few seasons.

 

The 2015 team dealt with similar circumstances to 2019 (in that they didn't have Luck or had bad QB play). Luck missed 9 games...and when he did play...he was mostly really bad...posting a passer rating lower than JB's 2017 season. But they still won 8 games by going 6-3 without Luck. Last season, they won 7 games. But how 2015 and 2019 are viewed very differently...and that really shouldn't be the case.

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2 hours ago, jvan1973 said:

They lost 36-7 against the bears last week

 

Yeah but that's one game. The week before and the week after that...HOU had a chance to win both games at the end...and against a better opponent...and they fumbled near the EZ both times.

 

And that was with a depleted roster. With a (mostly) healthy roster...Watson definitely gives HOU a chance to win games. It's why...even with this season...he still has a 28-23 record as a starter. But it's really hard for any QB to overcome a bottom 3 defense. without a lot of lucky bounces.

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4 minutes ago, shasta519 said:

 

Yep...agree with this 100%. But I think there's an ocean between being "not good enough" and being a disaster...the latter which seems to be the prevailing narrative now. And most (maybe even all) metrics do not really support that narrative at all.

 

Many teams, even ones with franchise QBs, do not enjoy sustained success...or a 5-year stretch where they win 49 games and three playoff games. The OP's HOU comp points to this. And Watson has (statistically) been a better QB than Luck over his first few seasons.

 

The 2015 team dealt with similar circumstances to 2019 (in that they didn't have Luck or had bad QB play). Luck missed 9 games...and when he did play...he was mostly really bad...posting a passer rating lower than JB's 2017 season. But they still won 8 games by going 6-3 without Luck. Last season, they won 7 games. But how 2015 and 2019 are viewed very differently...and that really shouldn't be the case.

 

The prevailing narrative tends to be sensational at times. I don't really want to argue against the extremes. 

 

But I don't think it's debatable to say that Grigson did a terrible job building a good roster (two years after he was fired, something like 85% of his draft picks were not on opening day rosters). And I don't think it's controversial to say that Pagano's staff did a slightly less terrible job gameplanning for the roster he had (Coryell offense behind a bad OL, two-gap defense with no nose tackle, etc.), or that Pagano's staff did a slightly less terrible job of developing young players.

 

To me, the classification of the 2012-2016 Colts was a team that had a really good QB that excelled at big time playmaking and staging comebacks, but wasn't a good enough roster and didn't have a good enough coaching staff to compete against championship caliber teams in the playoffs. We needed better line play, better gameplanning, and some defensive playmakers. We didn't get enough of any of those things.

 

I don't know why you're comparing the 2015 Colts to the 2019 Colts. But if you want a team that can go 6-3 without Luck, that applies to both teams. But I don't see how that's a meaningful comparison. Unless you're arguing against the assumption that either of those teams would crumble completely without Luck, which again, I don't want to get into those extremes because I never agreed with them. What's interesting is that the biggest issue with the 2015 Colts early in the season was that Luck wasn't playing well. Doesn't mean the team around him deserves more credit. And there are still coaching questions that need to be considered.

 

It's an interesting discussion about Watson vs Luck, but beyond basic stats I think you'll find differences between the two QBs. Especially as it relates to the way they handle defensive pressure/blitzes, and the way they perform late in games. They also might as well be two different era QBs, based on the schemes they played in and the way they were coached. The one season Luck played in a scheme that stressed efficiency, he was highly efficient. Gets back to the questions about the coaching staff.

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9 minutes ago, Superman said:

 

The prevailing narrative tends to be sensational at times. I don't really want to argue against the extremes. 

 

But I don't think it's debatable to say that Grigson did a terrible job building a good roster (two years after he was fired, something like 85% of his draft picks were not on opening day rosters). And I don't think it's controversial to say that Pagano's staff did a slightly less terrible job gameplanning for the roster he had (Coryell offense behind a bad OL, two-gap defense with no nose tackle, etc.), or that Pagano's staff did a slightly less terrible job of developing young players.

 

To me, the classification of the 2012-2016 Colts was a team that had a really good QB that excelled at big time playmaking and staging comebacks, but wasn't a good enough roster and didn't have a good enough coaching staff to compete against championship caliber teams in the playoffs. We needed better line play, better gameplanning, and some defensive playmakers. We didn't get enough of any of those things.

 

I don't know why you're comparing the 2015 Colts to the 2019 Colts. But if you want a team that can go 6-3 without Luck, that applies to both teams. But I don't see how that's a meaningful comparison. Unless you're arguing against the assumption that either of those teams would crumble completely without Luck, which again, I don't want to get into those extremes because I never agreed with them. What's interesting is that the biggest issue with the 2015 Colts early in the season was that Luck wasn't playing well. Doesn't mean the team around him deserves more credit. And there are still coaching questions that need to be considered.

 

It's an interesting discussion about Watson vs Luck, but beyond basic stats I think you'll find differences between the two QBs. Especially as it relates to the way they handle defensive pressure/blitzes, and the way they perform late in games. They also might as well be two different era QBs, based on the schemes they played in and the way they were coached. The one season Luck played in a scheme that stressed efficiency, he was highly efficient. Gets back to the questions about the coaching staff.

What were those championship Calibur teams, you speak of?

 

I remember the Colts of that era beating many of the championship caliber teams such as the Broncos (more than once) Seahawks, 49ers, ravens, packers, almost beating the Panthers. And not to mention the playoff  teams that they literally beat in the playoffs. 

 

The only team they could not beat was the Patriots; the absolute best of the best. 

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9 minutes ago, Tsarquise said:

What were those championship Calibur teams, you speak of?

 

I remember the Colts of that era beating many of the championship caliber teams such as the Broncos (more than once) Seahawks, 49ers, ravens, packers, almost beating the Panthers. And not to mention the playoff  teams that they literally beat in the playoffs. 

 

The only team they could not beat was the Patriots; the absolute best of the best. 

 

The teams that beat us in the playoffs, which is why I said 'in the playoffs.' Ravens won the SB in 2012, the Patriots went to the AFCCG in 2013, and then won the SB in 2014. 

 

Also never beat the Steelers; tended to get blown out against them, just like against the Pats. Both teams beat down on the Colts by basically doing the same thing over and over -- we couldn't cover the Steelers bunch formations, and we couldn't stop the Patriots run game. And our offense struggled against both teams.

 

The only team that really mattered that we did well against was the Broncos. 

 

We wanted to play the way we did against the Niners in 2013, but could not successfully establish that identity, on either side of the ball. 

 

And again, in my opinion, the question about that era of the Colts was not 'how good would we be without Luck,' because that's not really a relevant question; we had Luck. The question was whether we had the right guys at the top. Grigson/Pagano did a pretty good job turning over a bad roster and establishing a belief that we could win any given Sunday (some credit to Arians as well, he did go 9-3 in 2012). But after 2014, the only question was 'can these guys get this team to the next level,' and by the end of 2015 I think most of us were convinced the answer was no.

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