Colts-18, Vikings-15: Redemption for Vinny


I was going to do this last night, but Ike took down the power.  Trees were falling everywhere in Indiana.  This hurricane was huge.

The Colts looked terrible in the first half.  Our offensive line was down to the backups.  If this team was healthy, Jamey Richard, Charlie Johnson, Steve Justice, and Dan Federkeil would not be playing in such a big game.  We were shut out in the first half with a Peyton Manning-led offense.  That doesn’t seem possible.  This game looked ugly early.  However, some luck, a classic Peyton comeback, and the most clutch kicker in football history kept the Colts from being 0-2 going into the Jacksonville game.

Adam Vinatieri completely redeemed himself for not only the miss earlier in the game, but for the Chargers miss last year.  It was a similar situation on his first kick as the Chargers game.  We were on our way to a comeback, and Vinny missed a gimme.  However, instead of it being a game loser and live in infamy, Vinatieri made up for it with a clutch 47 yard field goal with 3 seconds left on the clock.  That kick kept us from an overtime game against a team whose kicker with 5 for 6 and could move the ball at ease on the ground.  We needed that kick, and Vinatieri came through for us.

Let’s state what everyone is thinking: Tavaris Jackson sucks.  I’ve always been a big Jackson supporter, but he was terrible yesterday.  He could not complete a pass on third down to save his life.  Adrian Peterson carried that offense yesterday, but Jackson couldn’t get them into the endzone.

Anthony Gonzalez was a great Polian pick.  He could have gone outside linebacker or defensive tackle.  Those were our needs going into the 2007 NFL Draft.  We took a wide receiver who was overshadowed by Santonio Holmes and Ted Ginn for his career at An Ohio State University.  He made that amazing catch in the third, and then he made one of the most successful boneheaded plays I’ve seen.  He should not have lateraled that ball.  It ended up getting us to the one where Addai punched it in (HE DID SCORE!).

Dwight Freeney is back.  He has 2 sacks and a forced fumble in his first two games.  He’s regained his speed and back to his usual self.

Eric Foster was a great surprise in the second half.  He made some clutch tackles to keep Adrian Peterson in the backfield.  Ed Johnson, an undrafted free agent from 2007, gets cut, and Foster, an undrafted free agent from 2008, steps up in a huge way.

I’m ready for this team to get healthy.  When Mike Pollak, Jeff Saturday, Ryan Lilja, Tony Ugoh, Jacob Tamme, Dallas Clark, and Tyjuan Hagler are back, I don’t see this team losing much.  Charlie Johnson is terrible at left tackled and got abused by Jared Allen.  The interior line let Pat and Kevin Williams to get in the backfield every play.  Ugoh, Lilja, and Saturday do not let that happen.

Here are my top 3 players from this game

3. Dwight Freeney (2 tackles, 1 sack, 1 forced fumble): It’s too bad the Colts couldn’t take advantage of the forced fumble.  Vinatieri missed the field goal

2. Peyton Manning (311 yards, 1 touchdown, 2 interceptions): Peyton led this team back from a certain 0-2 start to a great win over a good Minnesota team.  Peyton had one of his best games of his career yesterday.

1. Anthony Gonzalez (9 catches, 137 yards): Gonzalez made big catches and was Peyton’s favorite target.  He ended up getting Reggie Wayne open by drawing the defense to himself.  Gonzalez is only in his second year.  I think we have a budding star on our hands.

Looking ahead to next week, the Jags have looked terrible.  Like the Colts, they don’t have a running game.  Garrard has already thrown 3 interceptions, matching his total from last season.  They are 7 for 25 on third down.  They’ve given up 9 sacks.  If the Colts can stay focused, they will win this game.  The Jaguars have a lot of injuries on their offensive line.  We will have to take advantage of their misfortunes.  Freeney can get to Garrard, and if we get Garrard on the run, we will get takeaways.  Plain and simple.

The pass defense of the Jags has been terrible this year.  Trent Edwards picked them apart throwing to James Hardy, Fred Jackson, and Lee Evans.  Anthony Gonzalez, Marvin Harrison, and Reggie Wayne will pick apart this defense.

Right now, I’m predicting a 24-10 victory, and I’m not expecting Dallas Clark or Jeff Saturday to be back.  If they are, this game will be even better for the Colts.