Remember the Colts?

I’ll chat about yesterday’s games as I watch the Colts and the Chargers. CBS went for the “so many stars” theme for the game.

Packers vs. Seahawks

The whole “Holmgren goes home” bit was over-played all week. In fact it was as if Brett Favre had already retired. I was impressed by the ability to bounce back by the Pack and especially Ryan Grant. He lost two early fumbles that gave the Seahawks a 14-0 lead. By halftime he had almost 100 rushing yards and two touchdowns, and the Packers led 28-17. Favre was typically awesome, including an awkward underhand toss to Donald Lee for a key first down.

Quick interruption. Looks like there was a mix-up and Shawn Merriman was left alone to sack Manning. Colts were able to convert the fourth down.

Both winning teams yesterday were ridiculously efficient on offense. The Packers scored six straight touchdowns. The Patriots didn’t punt until there were 30 seconds left in the game. I wouldn’t be suprirsed if that was the Super Bowl matchup.

Manning throws a touchdown. He’s six for six.

Greg Gumbel’s word for the day is “smoked.”

I wonder how LaDanian Tomlinson will fare today. It’s a good thing that I’ve turned the game on.

Seattle either needs a running back or some help at OL. I saw Walter Jones completely whiff on one block. I do watch the offensive line at least once a game, whether I need to or not. The Seahawks do have a ton of receivers. Deion Branch got hurt again. I’m so glad that I traded for him in a dynasty league.

I’m not sure how Donald Driver took 80 wide receiver screens and made into a Pro Bowl berth. Greg Jennings is the man there.

Patriots vs. Jaguars

Here’s the bottom line: The Patriots finished +2 in turnover ratio and Tom Brady was nearly perfect as the Jags allowed them to complete short passes. If it weren’t for Brady’s accuracy and David Garrard’s early fumble, the Jags have the ball with a chance to win the game in the final minutes. The downside to perfection is that every team is bringing their A game against the Patriots. Face it, no team the Pats beat in their previous three Super Bowl triumphs has played even a B game. The last team to beat the Pats is the Colts.

Philip Rivers threw an interception. He’ll probably blame the receiver like last week. I thought the drive looked pretty solid against the underrated Colt defense. It looked like Hayden might have bobbled the ball but the call couldn’t be overturned.

Speaking of challenges, why didn’t Belichick challenge the initial Jag touchdown? Garrard looked down when he let the ball go. Belichick had the challenge flag out of his sock but didn’t let it go. I thought he had that big pocket in the front of that sleevless sweatshirt.

Stephen Gostkowski missed his first postseason field goal last night. It says a lot about how far he’s come in his second year when it was a shock that he missed that second-quarter attempt. The Jags weren’t able to take advantage and the Patriots put them away.

I don’t know why Phil Simms thought it was the “smart” thing to do for the Jags to kick the field goal when they were down 28-17. You don’t trade field goals for touchdowns against the Pats. Garrard hit Dennis Northcutt perfectly the play before they had to kick the first field goal. On the next drive, Garrard hit Matt Jones with what looked like a catchable ball. It was interesting because the announcers said that the Jags lacked a guy with great speed. Didn’t they draft Matt Jones because of his speed? Oh well.

Marvin Harrison gets his first catch in three months and he fumbles the ball. Manning still hasn’t missed a throw. He’s a competitive guy. Dan Dierdorf said that his “competitive juices are boiling over.” Harrison usually eschews contact, so I’m surprised that he took the hit there.

Rivers is actually playing pretty well, other than the interception. He just hit Buster Davis on third and 8. Antonio Gates is playing today, which is impressive. The Colts must have watched Titan film from last week. They didn’t cover Gates at all.

Vincent Jackson has had a nice playoffs so far. It’s 7-7. Tomlinson fumbled but the Chargers held onto possession.

Manning almost threw one right to Shawn Merriman. He only completed his first 14 passes.

Addai totally butterfingered a short slant that would have extended the drive. That’s two incompletes in a row. Vinatieri kicked it through and it’s 10-7.

Tomlinson is out of the game. That’s a yikes.

Nate Kaeding missed the field goal, and Bob Sanders, going for the Rodney Harrison Sportsmanship award, patted him on the back. I thought that was going to extend the drive for the Chargers, but it was a dead-ball foul. Lucky Colts.

Manning drives the Colts down the field. They run the clock down to 35 seconds before calling a timeout, then call two trying to get a first down on a run play. Manning overthrows Wayne and Antonio Cromartie returns the ball 89 yards (running at least 150 on the return) for a touchdown. The Chargers, of course, are called for holding on the return, so the touchdown does not stand. This was not a pretty half of football.

Michael Turner starts the second half at RB. I suppose Turner could earn himself some free-agent bucks with a good half.

Touchdown Chris Chambers. Chambers and Jackson could be a fierce duo. Seriously, I know that they have a ton of drops, but they have upped the concentration in the playoffs.

Have the Colts already given up on the run? Manning hits Wayne on consecutive plays.

The Colts could really lose this one. Manning hit Kenton Keith, who tipped the ball to Eric Weddle. Weddle was being blocked so essentially he caught the ball with one hand. Nice.

Addai is out of the game and Keith got hurt on the last carry. Clifton Dawson time? Oops, Addai is back. Good, he’s my second playoff running back (I had Grant yesterday, woo hoo). Wayne scored a TD but the refs call him out. I need this TD since I have Manning and Wayne. Yeah, it’s all about me. . .

Wayne gets the TD. I can’t have my Pats fan buddy winning the playoff fantasy league with everything else that’s going his way lately. Rivers gets a key third down completion.

Geez, Darren Sproles takes a screen and scoots past the defense. Will Gumbel say that he “smoked” the defense? The safeties disappeared. Rivers got hurt on that play. The Pats have to love the way this game is going. Whoever wins might have some injuries, and ability to play, issues.

Rivers left the field.

So, does every time Manning throw an incomplete pass, the ref automatically think “that has to be interference; the Field General wouldn’t miss”?

Some guy in the stands yells “you are the worst crew I have ever seen.” Wayne may have been hit early on a slant attempt on third down. The Colts have to punt. It’s their first.

Volek is in at QB. One more TD and this game is over for the Colts. They show Rivers on the sideline next to Tomlinson. Tomlinson is ticked at whatever Rivers says. These guys do not go bowling together. Volek can’t get the first down.

Anthony Gonzalez breaks free for a touchdown. The Colts lead again. Now the Chargers are on their heels.

It’s Billy Volek and Michael Turner time. Volek makes a nice move to avoid a defender and hits Chris Chambers.

This is going to be awesome if Manning gets the ball with about six minutes to go, trailing by four. It’s going to be hard to make fun of Norv Turner anymore. Michael Turner gets the first down inside the five. Turner bruises to the goal line and fumbles, but it looks like he was down. Billy freaking Volek runs the QB sneak.

I think Harrison is out, since Devon Aromashadu has two targets on the drive. It’s third down. Manning misses Wayne on third down. It’s fourth and five with three minutes to go. They have to go for it.

I love that I really have no dog in this hunt. The refs threw a “just in case” flag as Dallas Clark was about to catch the pass. It was a face mask as Clark released. The flag came out a couple of seconds after the penalty.

This is awesome. Third and goal. Addai missed the pass that might have been a score. The Colts again have to go for it. The ball was tipped. Otherwise that might have been a TD. Dang. Manning gets pressured. Chargers act like the won the Super Bowl. Clock is at 2:01 and Colts have three time outs left, so it’s not totally over. Manning’s throw was to Clark at the three, so he wasn’t going to score.

The Chargers play it conservative. That’s not bad because the Chargers’ punter is really good so Manning will have to go 60-65 yards in 90 seconds with one time out. Good times.

Dierdorf: “this is a punting machine.”

66-yard punt. Manning has to go 68 yards.

Titans OC called that first play, five yard pass in the middle of the field. Manning throws it away on second down. Reggie Wayne gets pasted by Marlon McCree on third down and can’t hold onto the ball. Colts might call their last TO here.

I think the timeout came in due to Wayne’s injury. At least they can get a good play call. On a drive like this, the initial first down is the hardest. Who’s left to catch this pass? Clark? Addai can’t make his usual ten-yard screen passes with the limited time. Marvin Harrison isn’t on the field. He missed Clark and the Patriots have won the Super Bowl. I mean the Chargers are going to win. Man, that ball needed just a touch more air under it and Clark would have gained about 30.

Rivers is an ass. The Manning face is in effect. The injuries to Rivers and Tomlinson are giant. Maybe the Chargers can get some pressure on Brady. I hope so.

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