Colts Week 6 Power Ranking Roundup
The Indianapolis Colts (3-3) managed to put up more of a fight against the Patriots than anyone in the country thought they would. An onside recovery (or two, had the officials not blown a call) could have led to a different outcome and a monumental upset.
Barring catastrophe to the Patriots, the Colts will likely have to go through New England to get to the Super Bowl, assuming they can make it that far in the playoffs. Even at 3-3 the Colts still have a great chance to make the postseason by way of winning a truly terrible division.
Today we’ve rounded up some of the best Power Rankings to get an idea of what the national media thinks of the Colts.
NFL.com, Elliot Harrison: 13th (Last week: 14th)
"Andrew Luck looked a little off Sunday night, even if the Colts‘ franchise quarterback finished the evening with decent numbers (30 for 50, 312 yards, three touchdowns and zero picks). At least Indy’s coaching staff made up for it by pulling some sweet special-teams planning that rivaled the greatest in-game strategy in history, like a mix of Eisenhower’s Operation Overlord and LeBeau’s Zone Blitz."
Luck was clearly shaking off a bit of rust Sunday night, but some of those missed passes are just a part of his game at this point. This was his best performance against the Patriots in his career, but it wasn’t enough to come away with a win.
ESPN: 11th (Last week: 13th)
"The Colts are 3-0 in division play but 0-3 against non-division opponents. They don’t play another division game until Week 14."
The next four games are going to be rough. The most “winnable” of the bunch is this week against the Saints. They’ll follow that up with a trip to Carolina to face the Panthers, a visit from the Broncos, and then a trip to Atlanta for the Falcons (with a Bye week in between the latter two). Right now, the Broncos and Panthers are undefeated and the Falcons were just recently knocked out of those ranks.
Luckily in the last six weeks the Colts will face just one team with a winning record.
MMQB, Peter King: 17th (Last week: 15th)
"Still trying to digest the strangest, dumbest fake punt call I have ever seen."
We all are, Pete, we all are.
King also had information about the future of Chuck Pagano.
Yahoo Sports, Frank Schwab: 14th (Last week: 14th)
"Andrew Luck didn’t look healthy. He missed a ton of easy passes. I’d like to say that he needs to get healthy if the Colts are going anywhere, but the Colts play in the AFC South. They’ll be fine."
Luck has a history of spraying his passes and when he’s off, the ball is usually a bit high. That is what we saw on Sunday. He made plenty of tough throws that would indicate full strength in his arm, and nothing more than a bit of rust to work off. His accuracy declined throughout the game, but Luck (and the coaching staff) probably didn’t expect to be passing 50 times after having the past two weeks off.
The Colts need to figure out why Luck has developed some of these bad habits and he needs to stop forcing the ball. The pocket was reasonably clean for most of the night, but he rushed a number of attempts. Getting the ball out quicker and accepting the dump off pass is a part of his natural progression that seems to have stalled.
Bleacher/Report, Sean Tomlinson: 13th (Last week: 9th)
"The Indianapolis Colts were pretty creative while throwing away a football game Sunday night. What happened with the New England Patriots ahead by six points in the third quarter was just bizarre.The ball was mistakenly snapped with the Colts intentionally misaligned while trying to draw an offsides penalty on 4th-and-3. Then with possession on Indianapolis’ 37-yard line, the Patriots quickly turned that short field into seven points in a game eventually won by…seven points.It was either creative or uniquely dumb. I’ll go with the latter."
Again, there is far too much focus on this one horrible play. It may have taken the crowd out of the game, but it wasn’t the deciding factor. It is entirely possible that the Pats could have driven the length of the field after a punt and scored (and highly likely). But either the Colts should have left the offense out on fourth down or just punt the ball.
I’ll take my chances with the Pats driving 80 yards instead of 35 yards. Football is random, you never know what could happen (perhaps another tipped pass for an interception).
USA Today: 10th (Last week: 12th)
"Maybe they felt like they owed Bill Belichick one after he gifted them that fourth-and-2 failure on the same field."
Alright, I’ll bite. First, if the Pats had converted on that play (from 2009) it would have ended the game. Second, it was about a half yard short of working. It wasn’t an unreasonable call and Belichick would have been hailed as a genius had it worked.
I applaud Pagano for pulling out all the stops to try and win, but as we learn more about that play, it makes him and his staff look incompetent. Maybe try to scheme up a pass rush or take away the shallow crossing routes from the Pats next time.