NFL Splinters | Week 15, 2009

Jerome Harrison
Jerome Harrison

By Paul Gotham

Big weekend for the tavern owners

Somewhere in the rank and file of the NFL must be soft spot for bar owners across the United States of America. How else can one explain the NFL Network? This whole notion that the NFL builds a following over the last 4+ decades only to now limit access is crazy. Tavern owners across the States must have been exchanging high fives as a pair of undefeateds played separate games on the elite network this weekend. Those unwilling to part with the cash necessary for the NFL Network subscriptions scampered to the local watering holes for a glimpse.

Indy did not disappoint. New Orleans did.

Indy and Jacksonville opened the season at Lucas Oil Stadium. Jacksonville failed on a two-point conversion in the fourth quarter, and Indy held on to win, 14-12. The two combined for 593 yards.

Fourteen weeks later saw a different battle but the same result. The Jaguars gained 345 and Indy 369. Peyton Manning threw four tds. David Garrard tossed three. Indy led at half, trailed late, and struck on time to win, 35-31.

Manning connected with Dallas Clark and Austin Collie in the second quarter. Chad Simpson returned a kickoff 93 yards, and the Colts led 21-17 at half.

Garrard hooked up with Mike Sims-Walker and Mike Thomas to give Jacksonville a third quarter lead, 31-28.

But as they have so many times this years, the Colts figured out a way. Manning hit Reggie Wayne on a 65-yard touchdown and the Colts improved to 14-0. With all the other accolades (consecutive regular season wins and wins in a decade) the Colts added one more.  Indy joined the ’72 Dolphins and ’07 Patriots as the only 14-0 teams in NFL history. Hey Mercury! Peyton is in the zip code.

A trusted confidant of Wade Phillips
A trusted confidant of Wade Phillips

Blind squirrel and the acorn

As the old saying goes – even a blind squirrel eventually finds an acorn. It was bound to happen that the Tony-Romo-led Dallas Cowboys would win a meaningful game in December.  The ‘Pokes ended the New Orleans quest for perfection, 24-17. Well, maybe it wasn’t exactly Tony Romo doing the leading. The ‘Poke defense gave Saint QB, Drew Brees, fits all night. As a result, the usually balanced Saint attack resorted to 45 passes in comparison to just 13 rushes. It’s only fitting that the Dallas win would happen in front of the teeniest of television audiences thanks to the NFL Network.  The situation with the NFL Network brings up one of the great philosophical questions:  If the Pokes win, and the game was covered by NFL Network, did the game actually occur?

New England by default

CCR - Green RiverFor a fleeting moment the AFC East had the potential of a log jam. Fleeting being the most important word in the previous statement. New England looked vulnerable last week. They entered this week having not won a game on the road this season. After one quarter at the Ralph, Buffalo held a 3-0 lead on the Pats. Okay, okay it was mildly delusional to think the Bills could pull off this one. But don’t forget, Buffalo held a lead late in the fourth quarter in Foxboro week one.  At the same time yesterday, Miami led Tennessee3-0, and the Jets took a 7-0 lead on Atlanta.

That’s where the fleeting comes into play. Tom Brady and Randy Moss reconnected. New England triumphed, 17-10.

Miami sort of held Chris Johnson in check (Tennessee’s leading rusher only gained 104 yards on the ground), overcame an 18-point deficit, forced overtime, and then lost 27-24.

Matt Ryan hooked up with Tony Gonzalez on a fourth down play with 1:38 remaining and the Falcons grounded the Jets, 10-7.

Just like that New England grabbed a two-game lead in the AFC East. Meanwhile, the AFC wild card picture – you can “pick up a flat rock and skip it across” because it resembles a Green River. Suddenly, there are eight teams within one game, battling for two spots.

Up off the deck

Gulp!
Gulp!

Last week, the Pittsburgh Steelers looked to be KO’d. Now the Steelers will get the same reaction Clint Eastwood received in Hang ‘Em High. Having been left for dead, Eastwood’s assailants were surprised when Jed Cooper returned to town alive…with rope scars on his neck. Troy Polamalu is due back. How many teams want to see the Steelers from here on out?

Ben Roethlisberger and Aaron Rodgers combined for 800+ yards in the air as the Steelers struck late to win, 37-36.

Roethlisberger found Mike Wallace in the end zone as time expired for the win. The lead changed hands five times in the game’s final nine minutes.

Roethlisberger completed 29-46 for 503 yards and three touchdowns. He joins Y.A. Tittle and Warren Moon as the only quarterbacks in NFL history to throw for 500 yards in a game with three touchdowns and zero interceptions.

Pittsburgh is now one of six AFC teams with a 7-7 record. The other five – Jaguars, Dolphins, Jets, Titans, and Texans. Right now, the Ravens and Broncos hold the wildcard spots at 8-6. Pittsburgh hosts Baltimore next weekend and travels to Miami the final weekend of the regular season.

B00005JGAHSpeaking of the Broncos

As if things could get any stranger with the Oakland Raiders.  It’s ‘Off”JaMarcus Russell to the rescue? The Raiders have now defeated the first-place Eagles (10-4), the first-place Bengals (9-5), the Steelers (7-7), and now the Broncos (8-6). “Just put me in a wheelchair, get me to the show, hurry, hurry, hurry before I go loco.”

Introducing Jerome Harrison

Move over Jim Brown. Cleveland has a new single-game rushing leader. Jerome Harrison carried the ball 34 times for 286 yards. Harrison scored on runs of 71, 8 and 28 yards as the Browns outscored Kansas City, 41-34.  Josh Cribbs added two dramatic moments with a pair 100-yard kickoff returns. Cribbs set an NFL record with his 7th and 8th career kickoff returns for touchdowns.

album-Bruce-Springsteen-Greetings-from-Asbury-Park-NJSomewhere in the frozen swamps of Jersey

Mother nature and her arctic blast delayed two games yesterday. Atlanta at the Meadowlands against the Jets was not one. Mark Sanchez showed he could “burst just like a super nova” when he hit Braylon Edwards on a 65-yard strike. Finishing 18-32 with three picks shows “It’s Hard To Be A Saint In The City.”

Monday night lights.

Oh boy. The Giants’ season hangs in the balance as they visit D.C.  Washington is celebrating the end of the Vince Cerrato era. This can’t be good. Eli is going to have to do a little better than playing a broken guitar.

Got any NFL splinters? Share them here.

24 Responses to "NFL Splinters | Week 15, 2009"

  1. Pingback: Pickin' Splinters

  2. Dan   December 22, 2009 at 9:48 am

    Lots of good tid bits from this week in the NFL.

    One thing I can say that there can’t be an argument for is that the NFL “does it right”. They have the whole “sports as a business” idea down to a science. They can’t stop finding ways to make more money and continue to grow the sport and crush any hopes for the NBA or MLB to gain momentum.

    Here is a list of reasons how the NFL does it right:

    1) 16 games, all meaningful. 2-3 games usually separates nearly 70% of the teams in the league at the end of the year. Drama til the end. Just look at the 7 or so teams fighting for wild cards in the AFC. 4 in, 7 battling, with 2 weeks to go. Good stuff. That’s 11 out of 16 still battling. We certainly can’t make that argument at the end of the year of the baseball season that limits the playoffs to only 8 teams instead of the NFL’s 12.

    2) Monday Night, Thursday Night games. 1 regular NFL game > any high profile NBA matchup, any bowl game prior to Jan. 1, most D1 b-ball games.
    The only match would be a huge NCAA b-ball game that matches up top 5 teams. However, even that would struggle in ratings.

    3) Branding to families. NFL Sunday is a “Family” affair. How many games do normal mothers or housewives or children watch during the week? Not many. How many of them have the time and the social situation to do it on a Sunday? Many. Things like pink jerseys/hats to the fact that the games are played on Sunday make these games “Events” rather than just another game.

    4) Understanding of their audience…Beer and food and sports and gluttony and hitting and being large are essential American qualities. NFL embraces all of these in advertising and promos and anything else associated with them. Americans like SUV’s and while MLB might be classy and have history like say a Cadillac, most people don’t own one. Housewives drive SUVs and real men drive SUVs and big trucks. America is the land of over-indulgence and the NFL embodies all of that.

    5) Two words…”Super Bowl” – most anticipated and watched world wide event every year…

    I could probably spend all day with this list but I’ll keep it short for now and see if there are any responses.

    Can anyone argue that the NBA or MLB does “it” better than the NFL??
    Does anyone dislike what the NFL has become and the monstrosity of it?
    Anyone not going to watch an NFL game this week?

  3. Smitty   December 22, 2009 at 1:05 pm

    Oh look a response:

    1). Have you ever followed a pennant race in baseball? Did you not see most of the Divisions and Wild card positions the past two seasons have been decided in the last week of the MLB season? Maybe it is because I have had the good fortune of living in a large baseball market for a couple of years – but MLB fans during the pennant race – and the race starts from August 1st – every game is followed like it is a playoff game. Not to mention – only 4 spots available in each League. The stakes are higher, thus adding to importance of every game.

    Why did the NFL expand its playoffs to add more wild cards ? To appease the NFL fans, or because it recognized that is could make more $$ by having a few more playoff games?

    By the way – have you ever watched an NHL playoff game? The NHL by far has the best playoffs. Every game is an event. End to end excitement for AT LEAST 60 minutes. It is like kissing Selma Hayek and then getting to replay it over and over for 60 minutes.

    2). If the NFL has it right by having games on Thursday or Sunday – then why do them have so late? Why do they lose a majority of their television audience by having the game start at 8:30 and then the 4th quarter starting around 11:00? How low has been MNF ratings for years? Heck they have shuffled the MNF broadcasting team 3 or 4 times in the last 10 years to try and help their ratings.

    Games on Thursday night and Sunday night? Hmmmm, so kids can’t watch these games because they should be doing homework and going to bed? Not to mention the NFL creating its own Network and making it available on DirecTv.. Great, what about the rest of the population? And if people want to watch the game, then need to find a friend with DirecTv or a bar. Something tells me that ratings are great in regions where the football game is held,because right now I am not going out every Thursday night and dropping $30 or $40 to watch a game that has little impact on my team.

    3). Really.. Branding to families? See #2..

    How about the fact that it costs $50 a ticket, just to enjoy a nice nosebleed?? For a family of 4 that is $200 just to get in the game, not to mention parking and food. All of this so you can bring your kids and be surrounded by a bunch of people that have been drinking beer or who knows what for 4 or 5 hours leading up to the game. I know a lot of people who will NO longer bring their kids because of the language and because of the actions of a lot of horribly acting people. I know I certainly wouldn’t want my kids being around that.
    Not to mention, that most families don’t have a lot of disposable income right now and dropping $200 or $300 on that type of fiasco – probably isn’t on the top of their list.

    So that leaves most Americans with the choice of sitting at home, on the couch, watching TV. Hmmmmm a Sunday afternoon sitting in front of the TV.. And you don’t see a problem with that ?

    Have you been to a baseball game lately? Have you see how many pink hats there are?

    4). And you don’t see a problem with your statement? This is part of the problem with America right now.. Gotta have everything and gotta have it fast.. hence the massive credit card debt that most people are under.. SUVs that cost so much to fill up, are draining the pockets of most people – who shouldn’t have bought the SUV in the first place. We have a massive fuel problem on our hands and we have yet to embody the solutions to it – why? Because the NFL and other major sports industries promote them.

    Real men try to make the Earth a better place for their kids. Real men offer their kids a chance for a better life by offering them opportunities at things like education. The men you refer to have been drinking the same Kool-Aid as Howie Long.

    There is a difference between understanding your audience and acting responsibly. The NFL falls short of that.

    5). Super Bowl is the most overhyped “party”.. Most people get together not for the game, but because of the halftime show or what commercials are on. I would venture to say that 60% of the people who watch the Super Bowl – don’t care who wins and don’t know what happened. But they can talk about the Bud Light commercials. Ask anyone who watched a World Series game and they can tell you what happened in the 4th inning and are certainly talking about the “game” the next day. If you had been in Boston during Game 4 of the World Series in 2004 – very few people were in the streets. Everyone was in front of the TV… can’t say that about the Super Bowl.

    So to answer your question..

    1. Yes
    2. Yes
    3 And Yes… But I won’t plan my day or week around it.

    4).

  4. Casey   December 22, 2009 at 1:39 pm

    Smitty,
    Why use a fly swatter when a sledge hammer is within reach?

    Well-stated. Way to bring it with conviction.

    Yes, I drive a truck. It helps me transport wood which I use as an alternative heat source.

    Ratings = quality of sports? Hmmm…I never knew.

  5. Casey   December 22, 2009 at 1:40 pm

    Smitty,

    You forgot to mention the chips and dip for the Super Bowl>

    🙂

  6. Wally   December 22, 2009 at 1:45 pm

    I have to agree with Dan that the NFL is the best run pro sports league … yes, they “do it the right way”. But the NFL is still not my favorite sport to follow … I like it a lot … but a couple other sports charge me up even more: College football, college hoops, and MLB. It’s just a personal thing. If college football were run as well as the NFL (a real playoff!!), that would be my runaway, handsdown favorite. March Madness is unbelievable. I really like the everyday rythm of baseball, plus just love and appreciate the game itself. Agree with Smitty … the baseball pennant races and playoffs are terrific.

  7. Casey   December 22, 2009 at 1:51 pm

    “But the NFL is still not my favorite sport to follow … I like it a lot … but a couple other sports charge me up even more.” Couldn’t have said it better myself.

    Sometimes, it is like the NFL is the evil empire of major sports.

  8. bill r   December 22, 2009 at 2:14 pm

    There are a lot of things that I don’t like about the NFL, and maybe I’m a minority, but here it goes.

    Let’s start with something simple, like that animated robot on Fox broadcasts. You know, the one that jumps up and down on the left hand side of the screen. Sure, sometimes it dresses up, and it’s cute, but I suppose they use that instead of say, a shot of the boys in the locker room, pre game, farting and burping like the campfire scene from Blazing Saddles.

    Bad announcers. You can take Dan Dierdorf who sounds like an excited kid brother trying to impress his older brother’s friends. Or the increasing horrible Cris Collinsworth, who sounds like a lecherous drunken relative about to hit on a 13 year old cousin at your family gathering when he talks.

    The games drag. If you watch the game, you’re actually seeing it 2 to 3 times, because that’s the average amount of replays per play they show. Sure, if you’re drunk on a couch, this helps, but by now, I’d guess most people have some sort of dvr ( I know I do, and I can watch a full game in about 15 minutes). Add to the endless replays the bad announcers, and it just compounds it all.

    Attempting surgical accuracy with mittens. Where is the ball spotted? Where does forward progress really end? The refs do an outstanding job for the most part, but there are some things that just don’t mesh well, and can’t without technology. The replay is a start, but too much will hinder an already long game.

    If you want to talk about who understands their sport best, NASCAR is on top. You try getting a couple hundred thousand rednecks to pay big bucks to drink and watch cars go in a circle and see what happens. They can. Or try Wrestling. That’s another high brow sport that rakes in the dough.

    For me, at least, the Super Bowl is more the Stupor Bowl. I don’t need an excuse to get drunk and watch tee vee on Sundays (I have kids, and that’s reason enough), but I look forward more to the commercials than the game. Are the games memorable for me? Not in the least. Why? Because I’ve been given an excuse to get loaded on a Sunday night, that’s why. I can tell you how the dip got all over the carpet, and why my breath smells like a swamp, but for highlights of the game, I check ESPN.

    As for the SUV thing, it ain’t me. IF you have to drive one to be a man, send me a rainbow. I don’t need a foot of ground clearance and bad gas mileage to stroke my ego when I go to the store for beer so I can fall asleep drunk on the couch Sunday night. Besides, the money I save on gas means I don’t have to swill the cheap stuff.

    As for who does it better, I don’t know. I’d say NASCAR does it best. MLB struggled a lot recently and seems to be on the rebound.I can’t say about the NBA, because I’m not a fan. NFL kind of rams it down your throat, but the schedule is different. There’s more pressure to hype when you don’t play a lot of games. Do you think playing games in Canada and England is the answer or a good move?

    At this point, I can’t remember what we were talking about, so I’ll stop.

  9. Smitty   December 22, 2009 at 2:21 pm

    And this is why Bill is a frequent visitor to the “Insight of the Week” feature.. Are you sure you are not Lewis Black using a pen name of Bill R. ??

    EIther way, you da’ man Bill!

  10. Casey   December 22, 2009 at 2:37 pm

    Now that I have stopped laughing – Bill – HELMET STICKER!!!!!

    Man, all I wanted to do was talk about Peyton Manning, Jerra Jones, Jerome Harrison and whoever or whatever else in the NFL. 🙂

  11. Dan   December 22, 2009 at 2:43 pm

    I love the energy Smitty.

    I do want to hit on the major point that I was making…

    “The NFL knows how to use the sport as BUSINESS.”

    I in no way agree with everything said in my original post. I was making commentary.

    For the record, I do not drive an SUV or value overindulgence but you can’t argue that our nation “as a whole” embraces these ideals.

    I watch plenty of playoff hockey and playoff baseball and more than my fair share of Yankees regular season games ( I am a Red Sox fan but am enamored at times by the quality of the HD on the YES Network and it’s a great means for taking a nap in the summer).

    NHL playoff games are exciting, but kissing “Selma Hayek”??? Out of all the choices?? Selma Hayek??? Really?? Have you seen that movie where she has a Unibrow?? Ruined her forever. Sorry.

    The bars embrace those games as an event and many more people tune into those or go to bars than they used to on those nights before the NFL appeared. Thus growing the economic influence of the NFL and simultaneously creating promoters of your sport (i.e. the bars).

    Ask an average high school kid on Monday if they watched any NFL over the weekend and MANY will say yes (including females). Ask about NBA or MLB and your yes’s will be much lower. Hence my argument that it is family friendly. I agree that the environment at games is not great for kids, but we all know that TV money and advertising is what generates the real money.

    Of course I have a problem with America’s overindulgence. Please don’t condescend to me and make me feel like a terrible person and father.
    The NFL, in their business model, however, obviously is not as responsible as you or I am.

    Again, my argument is that the NFL knows the BUSINESS OF SPORTS and does a better job of exploiting American lust for brutality than any other sport out there… NOT THAT IT IS A BETTER SPORT.

    (Good stuff so far)

    Wally, I agree that if the NCAA Football would figure out the playoff system, then it could rival the NFL.

    I must ask though…Is that OK considering it’s college??? What I mean is, Won’t it only make things worse if the NCAA becomes even more of an “evil empire” like the NFL. Just some more fodder…

  12. Dan   December 22, 2009 at 2:46 pm

    Nice one Bill.

  13. bill r   December 22, 2009 at 2:59 pm

    I wish I were Lewis Black, or at least got his paychecks. And thanks for the kind words fellas. I’ll be thinking of all of you during the super bowl, fast asleep in a chip and dip induced coma on my urine soaked couch at 7:22. Feel free to stop by and steal beers out of the refrigerator in the garage.

  14. Casey   December 22, 2009 at 3:01 pm

    🙂 Ha!

    If you think this excuses you from writing columns, you are wrong. 🙂

  15. Smitty   December 22, 2009 at 3:01 pm

    Okay, I have skipped doing work for the rest of the afternoon..

    Dan – wasn’t attempting to comment on you as a father or person.. Not my intention.

    As for the NFL being a better business. I don’t buy it.. Certianly the NFL does more in a short span, but Major League baseball over the long haul. Remember, people go to Florida or Arizona to watch Spring Training – why? Because they love baseball.

    The NFL does a great job of doing more in a short window. That I will give you. Me? During the month of October, I am exhausted when the Red Sox are in the playoffs. NESN has a pretty good picture in HD too..

    During the NFL season yeah it is pretty easy to ask a kid if they watched a game over the weekend, because it is the “in” thing to do right then and there. The baseball season is long, so there isn’t the need to watch a game that weekend.. But if you look for females wearing sports gear, I bet you see more pink Red Sox and Yankee hats, then you see females wearing football jerseys.

    But how many kids are more likely to say they saw a baseball game over the summer? Far more then any kids who say they went to a football game.

    You are absolutely right. The NFL does a fantastic job of exploiting everything that is wrong with America right now. Those dollar signs are not only driven by the leagues themselves, but also by television.

    When it comes down to it, the “evil empire” is television.

    As for Selma Hayek.. I am thinking of the Selma Hayek from Desperado.. Keep that one in your head and then you will be enjoying hockey games. Unibrow – think Professional bowling.. 🙂

  16. bill r   December 22, 2009 at 3:07 pm

    Listen cracker, I’ll get back to writing columns as soon as this holiday madness blows over. I used the Collinsworth line, and I’ve been trying to think of some way to get that in there. Seriously, he sounds like a cross between a boozed up Dean Martin and John Wayne Gacy. It creeps me out so much I can’t watch the game on Sunday nights.

    And guys, have you seen Selma in Dogma? Come on, hotter than an angry golfer’s wife.

  17. Dan   December 22, 2009 at 3:34 pm

    Good call about Dogma, but she also exposes a good amount of midrif in that one if I do recall. Showing skin adds to hotness…true…

    I AGREE…COLLINSWORTH IS THE WOOORRRRSSSSSTTTTTT!!!!!!!!!

    Smitty, Good points about the summer and long term. And yes, I agree, the evil empire is television. “Good Night and Good Luck” (story of Edward R. Murrow’s fight against Joseph McCarthy) has a couple of epic speeches in it about this. Check out the first 5 minutes and the last 2 minutes of that movie to see what I’m talking about.

    I’m done with work as well… (1 more day)

  18. bill r   December 22, 2009 at 3:59 pm

    For those unfamiliar with the movie, here is a gift for you. . .

    http://www.metacafe.com/watch/112911/salma_hayek_club_dance/

  19. Smitty   December 23, 2009 at 10:02 am

    I am interested to see this week how the Jets respond to a bad performance against the Falcons. Rex Ryan has a chance to fire his team up and be the spoiler on the Colt’s perfect season. Dearius Reeves is one of the best – if not THE best defensive back in the NFL. This defense could be one of the few to really give Peyton Manning some trouble.

    The question just sits with whether Mark Sanchez can stop looking like a rookie.

    How good of a coach is Jeff Fisher??? Start 0-6 and now the Titans are standing on the doorstep of the playoffs ? Why haven’t more NFL teams tried to pry Fisher away from the Titans? Actually – is there a rule against it, because I can’t remember a coach leaving another team while currently being the active head coach. The last one that comes to mind was Beli-CHICK 🙂 when he changed his mind about coaching the Jets.

    Wade Phillips has to be taking a couple of easy breaths this week. Not only did his team win a game in December, but also knocked New Orleans from the undefeated ranks. But I still think Jerry Jones still has his finger on the fire button.

    I am sorry but I am impressed, but not impressed with Indianapolis undefeated run this year. Don’t get me wrong – they are a good team. But in comparing their run against the Pats run 2 years ago – it hasn’t been as impressive. In 2007, the Pats just dominated everyone for the most part – the Colts have been extremely fortunate on several occasions. By all rights – the Pats should have beat them. Houston was in a position to beat them twice – and didn’ t. They had close games with Jacksonville (2), San Fran and Baltimore. All games that could have gone either way.

    Yes, the bottom line is to win games, and I give them credit for where they are right now. I just don’t think they are as impressive as the 2007 Pats run.

  20. Casey   December 23, 2009 at 11:10 am

    Smitty

    Yeah, Fisher is a good coach. Just makes you wonder what was going on for the first six games. The obvious difference is the presence of Vince Young, but were not the Titans successful last year with Kerry Collins under center? Okay, so Haynesworth is gone – but 59-0 to the Pats? Speaking of Haynesworth, is that a classic lose-lose? Haynesworth goes to Washington, and they STINK! The Titans let him go and they might be on the outside looking in when the playoffs come around.

    Is the Jet defense better than the Ravens?

  21. Dan   December 23, 2009 at 2:55 pm

    The Ravens are old but play with reputation and pride. While Ray Lewis has lost a step or two or many steps, he still performs and no one gets his teammates more mentally juiced than this guy. If you were building a middle linebacker, you would want Ray Lewis’s bad boy attitude. His heart, pride, overconfidence, and wreckless abandon makes him better than his talent.

    The Jets defense is average just like their record. There are plenty of teams that have 1 above average player and that have some good and some bad games. The Jets are part of the parity in the NFL today. Average. Rex Ryan has changed the focus from Brett Favre to getting better on Defense. But average right now. Could get better in years to come though. Why did they ever get rid of Jonathan Vilma by the way? He’s a top LB in the prime of his career right now.

    While this 1 year for the Colts might not be as impressive as the Pats run 2 years ago, you have to admire the longevity of the success that team has enjoyed. While some proud cities like Buffalo and Cleveland continue to mire in the muck of the basement of the NFL, the Colts have won at least 10 games every year since 1999 except for 1 (6-10). Their ridiculous run is nothing short of amazing considering the aforementioned parity in this league.

    While there aren’t 3 Super Bowl titles like the New England Patriots, the Colts ability to continue to win so many games every year and continue to be well above-average in a league where average has become the norm is remarkable. I’m truly impressed.

  22. Smitty   December 23, 2009 at 3:44 pm

    The Colts run has been extremely impressive and I give them all the credit in the world. However the Pats are in the same class with them..

    With one more win this year, it will be 10+ wins in 8 out of the last 10 years. Their worst season was 2000 at 5-11. The biggest difference is that the Pats are 14-4 in the playoffs this decade.

    Considering what both teams have done this decade — it has been impressive to watch. Plus it has given us a pretty good rivalry ..

  23. Casey   December 23, 2009 at 6:37 pm

    Eventually, this year’s Colts will miss the presence of one – Bob Sanders. Don’t know where. I don’t know when. Just know they are going to miss him (I am gonna grab my guitar when I finish).

    Of course, I am a defense first type of guy. Don’t know if anyone picked up on that one. Just wanted to make sure. 🙂

    C’mon Wally, we still love you. Just take it easy on the NASCAR stuff.

  24. Wally   December 24, 2009 at 2:23 pm

    Casey —
    I suspect you are right about the Colts missing Sanders … and I’m a “defense co-first” type of guy. But yes, all these close wins in high scoring games … one of these times it’s gonna biteya in the butt.

    Ya all know I’m rootin’ for the Colts to go all the way in undefeated fashion, but my brain is tellin’ me that the SaaaaaaanDiego SUPER Chargers (channeling Berman) are gonna represent the AFC in the SB. They just have that look of “belief” this year.

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