The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly: Week 3
September 22, 2013; San Francisco, CA, USA; Indianapolis Colts quarterback Andrew Luck (12) shakes hands with San Francisco 49ers head coach Jim Harbaugh (right) after the game at Candlestick Park. The Colts defeated the 49ers 27-7. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports
Yesterday, the Colts shook the football landscape by going in to San Francisco and beating the NFC Champion 49ers. This was not an ordinary win though as the Colts outright dominated the 49ers on all three ends of the ball. Both teams came into the game coming off disappointing losses. For Indy, it was a heart-breaker against the Dolphins at home while the 49ers got shelled on the road in Seattle. The Colts were 10 points underdogs heading into the game and won by 20 points. This was the statement win for Chuck Pagano and this new regime. I consider this akin to Tony Dungy’s signature win against the Super Bowl Champion Buccaneers on Monday Night Football in 2003.
- The offensive line stepped up in a massive way yesterday afternoon. With the losses of Donald Thomas in Injured Reserve and Center Samson Satele out of the game. The Offensive Line had their way with the 49ers front seven and did not only outstanding in the run game but only allowed one sack to Andrew Luck
- The Colts run game steamrolled through San Francisco amassing 179 yards and three Touchdowns. Trent Richardson scored a 1 yard Touchdown on his first carry as a Colt which was a great moment. However, no offensive player deserves more credit than Ahmad Bradshaw who ran all over the 49ers defense gaining 95 yards and a Touchdown. Last year, Bradshaw had similar success against these same 49ers and yesterday proved no different. The one-two punch of Richardson and Bradshaw could very well prove beneficial in the long run this season.
- The key to the game before it started was that the Colts would have difficulty shutting down Colin Kaepernick because they couldn’t stop Terrelle Pryor. However, the Colts defense did manage to shut down Colin Kaepernick and run game. Colin Kaepernick was held to under 100 yards before the Colts went up 27-7 with Kaepernick picking up a good sum of his yards in garbage time. Aside from the 49ers only scoring drive, the Colts would hold the 49ers to under 50 yards of running. The colts got to the quarterback efficiently forcing Kaepernick to be ineffective running the ball and sacked him on three separate occasions.
- The Colts hobbled Colts secondary shut down the 49ers passing game. With LaRon Landry out and Antoine Bethea playing hurt, they kept the 49ers passing game in check. Delano Howell played out of his mind with two key pass deflections.
- Kelvin Sheppard who played for the injured Pat Angerer play exceptionally well with a pass deflection and a tackle for a loss.
- Pat McAfee and his boomstick punted magnificently yesterday. He had four punts and three of them were inside the 49ers 20 yard line.
- Antoine Bethea made what I believed the game changing play of the game. On 3rd down, Kaepernick was going to take off for the first down but Antoine Bethea cut him off at the pass and brought him down with emphatic force. The 49ers and Kaepernick were never the same on offense again.
- The 49ers drive that resulted in a touchdown was one of the few lowlights of the game. The 49ers ran it right at Erik Walden who was supposed to be the “edge setter” in the run game but the 49ers ran it right down their throat for a score. What is shocking is that the 49ers proceeded to stay away from running right at Walden the rest of the game.
- Adam Vinatieri missed a 51 yard field goal on 4th and 9 on the San Francisco 33. It is clear Father Time is catching up with Adam and I feel that he may not be up to par with long distance field goals anymore. Although this was a small hiccup, it was just a bit upsetting to see a fan favorite in Vinatieri’s career coming to an end possibly.
- Did anybody see the game ending interception by Cassius Vaughn? The ball thrown by Kaepernick was tipped by Cory Redding and was high in the air like a pop up in baseball. It was both ugly and beautiful at the same time.
- Apparently Colin Kaepernick didn’t stay for a post game handshake. From a guy that’s in all these commercials and have all these endorsements, very sportsmanlike.
- For the 49ers, Aldon Smith will be out indefinitely due to his alcohol issues and Patrick Willis may be out for quite a bit with an injury and they have a game Thursday @ St. Louis.
This Colts win be looked at any years from now as a turning point for Chuck Pagano’s squad. Their performance against the NFC Champions now has made many take notice that this Colts team is one to be reckoned with. Next week, the Colts travel to Jacksonville to take on their division rival. Although the Jaguars are a terrible team, no win is ever guaranteed. Just ask the 49ers.
Frank McMahen is a Staff Writer at Naptown’s Finest. Follow Frank and Naptown’s Finest on Twitter.