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Unbeaten but not Unbeatable

The big news this week was that the Colts remained unbeaten and the Saints did not.  The Saints were beaten by a good team, that had some heat built up, and Brees was still almost able to bring them back into.  The Saints were alive down to the last few seconds of the game.  If they get demoralized and fold, I will be really disappointed because this team has a ton of talent and the world is their oyster as long as they keep at it.  They have nothing to be upset about. They got beat by a team that only has one real blemish on their record (the Giants aren't good enough that anyone should lose twice to them) and was looking for a signature win.  In reality, Dallas was/is an underachieving team that was getting beaten by better teams and looking for the a win against a better team to get them back into it mentally.  The Saints clearly had the target on their backs.  Congratulations to Dallas and keep your head up to the Saints.  You will get another shot at the Boys I think.

For the Colts, I was having a heart attack.  It was clear on the first defensive possession that Caldwell was not going to take the Jags seriously.  Powers, our rookie corner who has been our best cover man all year, was being held out.  Freeney and Mathis were relegated to short yardage third downs.  Their participation was so minimal that beginning in the second quarter i started counting defensive plays and keeping track of how many they were on the field for.  I think it was something like one out of 10. In addition, Bullitt was only playing part time.  Quite frankly, I think the Colts staff was holding back.

It isn't that I mind resting guys, and I am not entirely convinced of the theory that resting guys prior to the playoffs wrecked some of the recent trips to the post season, but I don't like the idea of holding back while still trying to win.  The one remarkable thing is that the Colts, primarily because of the ability of Manning, can actually hold back and still win.  I don't want to discredit what the Pats did a couple seasons ago.  That was a great run.  The thing about their shot was that they possessed so much talent at so many different places.  They had an unbelievably gifted offensive line, great receivers, a great QB, a great defensive line, a couple great linebackers and a couple good veteran role players, some good cover corners and some good safeties.  It was like a they put together a Madden team.  The result of all that talent was clearly obvious.  They dominated folks.  They drove their heads into the ground.  Only really good teams (Colts, Philly, Baltimore, Giants) were able to hang with them at all.  I do not mean to downplay their effort, simply to indicate that the run the Colts are on is much different and very interesting in an entirely unique way.

The Colts win close games.  They gut games out.  They come from behind.  Good teams do that.  The Colts do it EVERY WEEK.  Manning has something like 45 4th quarter comeback victories.  Certainly those are not individual wins, particularly in this season when the defense is doing a much better job choking late game picks and sacks out of the opponents, but the mental and emotional toughness they have displayed is, for lack of a better word, special.  That sort of ability only comes from a calm and rational belief.  If anything, Colts fans must now begin to realize how the brand of discipline and professionalism Tony Dungy instilled on this team has come to fruition.  Indeed, Coach Caldwell is the man now, but Tony Dungy trained this team to do what it is doing.  In the desperate moments, they don't feel desperation.  That is very special.  The "Stay calm.  Yes, this is bad but it is not insurmountable so keep your head screwed on straight and lets go win it," that he imbued is something we now see every game as our beloved bunch of nobodies keeps it just close enough for stars like Manning and Wayne and Freeney and Mathis to snatch victory from the jaws of defeat.  Make no mistake about it, this team will not win games without the participation of its premier players.  Freeney and Mathis make that defense go.  They make it possible for everyone else to do their jobs.  One or both of those guys have to be on the field and kicking up dirt for the Colts to win.  Mathis may be the biggest star in the league that no one is talking about.

The question, as it has always been this season, is "can they Maintain?"  There can be no doubt, this Colts team can beat anyone, but will they?  Will they keep it together?  Should they try?  I know this about the upcoming end ot the regular season.

- The Colts can beat the Jets and the Bills. 
- The Jets lack the pass rush to dominate the Colts.  They are ranked #1 in a lot of defensive categories, but I do not know if they are tough enough to stop the Colts IF the Colts bring it.  If the Colts run on idle like they did against the Jags...
- The Jets have a couple of good corners who can cover but it takes more than corners to stop the Colts, you gotta have backers that can run with Dallas.  Do they have that?  Gholston has been a disappointment.
- Buffalo is a better team than they look....kinda.  They have a pretty tough schedule, and all of their losses except the snoozathon to Cleveland were to good team or teams that came into the game playing well.
- Buffalo will have nothing to lose going into that game.  Nothing.
- The Colts are close, real close, to being perfect.  The Jets and Bills will not be pushovers, and the weather in Buffalo may be nasty enough that Caldwell could say, "screw this, lets go home".  But they can beat both of these teams, and they fucking owe it to me to beat both of these teams and win the Super Bowl.  I have had a shitty year, and I am tired of having shitty years.  I don't think it would hurt to much for Santa to give this to me.  I have never asked him for anything before, and I behaved.....well...decent enough.  If they get beat playing hard, that is fine.  Die trying, right?  But if they coast it in, I don't think I can forgive them with two such beatable teams on the horizon.      

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Colts v. Jags thoughts. St. Louis Cardinals. Judo.
    The Colts travel south to take on the Jags Thursday night in a game that means everything and nothing.  The playing time situation is in everyone's mind.  I think the Colts will go for the win.  If they...
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Colts Remain Perfect. 22 Regular Season Wins Only Means Something to ESPN Because They Can Advertise It
This regular season wins streak thing is just total bullshit.  Does anyone else see that?  Who cares if you got hat last season and started this one hot?  Neither was perfect (yet) and neither ended up in a SB win. ...
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On Saturday night, Hot Tub, Shortround and I went to the Bloomington South High School basketball game against New Albany.  It was a match up of the #1 and #2 teams in Indiana Class 4A basketball and featured 5 division...
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Colts v. Pats: Hindsight
The cell phone was abuzz Sunday night as Racha, HT, and the GM were staying in contact during the course of the game.  Was it a nail biter?  I was way past my nails and three quarters the way up...
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10 Paineful Questions: The GM gets on board to pick up the slack.
Jack couldn't make it for this round of 10 Paineful Questions, so the GM, of Arin it Out, has stepped in to plug the gap in the line. ...
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