I know what’s coming; Eighteen’s coming.
–Ed Reed, Baltimore Ravens
So, I was grumpy about the Colts pulling their starters against the Jet a few weeks back. I got over it after 2 or 3 days. It was good to have a meaningful game to wash away that sour taste. The media was full of predictions that the Ravens would run over the Colts and their stingy D would overpower a rusty, bye-jinxed Colts offense. Turns out, not so much.
The Colts defense was stingy, allowing only 3 points. The Ravens were shut out for the last 47 minutes of the game. A good bit of that was their own doing – having penalties wipe out good plays. But, for a lot of those, the penalized conduct was instrumental to the good play: no block in the back = no long run back, etc. The Colts offense was effective. You can’t say enough about Manning and the receiving corps. Reggie Wayne, in particular, made some excellent catches under tight pressure. The running game was mostly non-existent. With respect to the running game, it is baffling to me how the O line can keep a good pocket in place for Manning when it’s a pass play, but it’s like a sieve when Manning goes to hand it off. Probably there is an easy explanation the more football savvy would know.
Next week, the Colts will host the AFC Championship game against the winner of the Jets/Chargers game today. I think either one will be tough. I think the Colts are capable of beating either one. Even losing the past two seasons to the Chargers, I still don’t feel the same grudge or sense of uneasiness I always did against the Patriots. In any case, this football stuff is a whole lot of fun.