The Colts are in trouble.
The team even got a special gift from little brother today, a come-from-behind win over the Jacksonville Jaguars. Without that little present, Peyton and Company would be behind by a full game in the AFC South...and Jacksonville would hold the tiebreaker.
It's not time to panic yet...but it's getting there. The Colts are 6-5 and showing no signs of life. Sure, they rallied last week against the Patriots, but this week's game against the Chargers was a bloodbath...and all the blood was Deep Colts Blue. It's like someone sat a Colts horse head on Jack Woltz's bed, covering the man in Colts blue blood. Just like in The Godfather, I'm screaming like a little girl wondering what happened to my beloved horse.
I followed the Jags-Giants game all day on my ESPN Gamecenter app because, for whatever reason, WISH-TV/CBS decided we'd rather see the Texans-Titans in the AFC South Futility Bowl instead of the can't-believe-they're-leading-the-division Jaguars vs. Peyton's Little Brother. The Giants came back to win that one...you can almost imagine Big Brother Peyton telling Little Eli to "win this one for me."
After last week's emotional loss, Manning was at an all-time low. Inconsolable, according to several of the Indy Star writers. So this week, we thought we'd see Super Peyton return. After all, the Jaguars had lost, the Colts were at home in prime time, and we expected them to be angry.
I expected the defense to fly to the ball, I expected Manning to be on target, I expected the offensive line to, oh, I don't know...actually freaking block somebody.
Obviously, I expected too much.
I didn't remember my history. While Foxborough is a place where Super Peyton turns into Super Grover, the San Diego Super-Chargers are like a big ol' hunk o' Kryptonite.
All the little problems that have hammered the Colts all season long came to the forefront: spotty pass protection, complete lack of a running game, porous run defense, maddening turnovers, dropped passes (even from Reggie Wayne!), the inability of the pass rush to do much of anything, middling-to-mind-blowingly-terrible return game. When the smoke cleared, the Colts had turned the ball over five times, resulting in a tredecillion points for the Chargers (and by tredecillion, I mean the Chargers returned two interceptions for touchdowns).
Mike Hart was back tonight, at least that's what Bob Lamey claimed on the radio. Did he even play? I don't know. Maybe...I couldn't tell you. Would Mike Hart have won the game for the Colts? Well...unless Indy decided to run repeated halfback option plays that stopped poor Peyton from throwing interceptions, probably not. However, I would've liked Hart to get into the game and try to help out a little bit. I believe he was active tonight.
Instead, we were treated to Javarris James, whose leg got bent in ways legs aren't supposed to bend before he practically threw the ball to the Chargers for another turnover. Can't blame the kid...and the turnover really didn't matter in the end because the game was over.
Numbers don't mean everything, but they can give insight into a game like this. Let's go through a few key ones:
Time of possession
San Diego: 35:38
San Diego: 0
Yards Per Rush
San Diego: 3.8
San Diego: 129
So, as you can see, the numbers clearly favored the Colts tonight (cough, cough). On the plus side, San Diego was 0-for-8 on third down conversions...the only problem is the Colts handed them the aforementioned tredecillion points via turnovers. And Indy was a horrific 3-for-12 on third down.
Bloodbath in blue...