Football-less Sunday #2. Colts… What’s ahead? 

Andrew Luck running for his life…

Ah… I can’t get myself to look back at the ugly past so perhaps looking forward is the way to get me going through second Sunday post football season. Sigh…
There’s many things that the Colts need in order to crawl their way into play off talk and even more if they think of a deep run into cold January and the work is about to start soon. Roster building.
Key questions? Who’s going to punt, hold Adam’s balls and do kick offs??? Let’s hope that Pat McAfee pranked us all and he’ll be back… Ah the joy of alternative facts…
Seriously though… Defensive side of the roster needs a lot of love. Huge amounts of love.
The offensive side of the ball does need some work but I think this off season the Colts should address their linebacking corps and defensive backs.
There’s literally no dominant presence on the outside or inside of the linebacking grounds and Ballard gotta try to bring some pass rushing skills and some coverage skills into the middle of this mess that is known as linebackers group.
Robert Mathis retired, Dqwell Jackson was cut, Trent Cole is useless and there’s a bit of pulse left in Erik Walden. Rest of the players in that group is fairly inexperienced and not a talented lot.
Get a pass rusher and a killer Mike and then work on corners as Vontae Davis has been beaten and fighting injuries and I don’t see him coming back to no- TD allowed season 2014; and he’s our best there.
Safeties have some options in Clayton Geathers and T.J. Green with perhaps Mike “Pops” Adams staying to share his experience but other than that we need some impact players there too.
Defensive line is probably our “best” unit although the guys are not monsters there but I think they can manage if there’s some more help from perimeter.
So to sum up, I’d like to see pass rushing linebacker/ defensive end, Mike, cover linebacker, press- man to man corner and a slot one to try to make giving up less than 19 points a game a reality…
Why less than 19??? Colts led by Luck are 25-0 when the defenseman holds opponents to 19 points or less. So there…
Another Sunday killed. How did you feed your football hunger on a non- football Sunday? What needs does your team have?

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Indianapolis Colts Football Wishing Fairy – #9 Bye Week .

Well, we could be 6-3 team heading into the bye week easily but we are 4-5…
No! Really I think the opener would have been ours if the clock was managed better and the defensive fold of Houston was just out of order. I’m not saying the Colts were a thin hair away from 8-1 score but 6-3 looks reasonable and with the recent game against the Packers that showed overall involvement by everyone one might ask if the Colts are a 4-5 team or a 6-3 one heading into the final stage of the season…

No, there’s not going to be a Super Bowl team out of this lot as there’s too little talent out there but perhaps a wildcard win team could make our lives a bit easier to digest but what is suppoosed to happen after the dust of the season settles…?
Exactly, Andrew Luck with few playmakers, few potential playmakers, couple of solid players and a loads of wood chopping and grinding everything, everywhere…

Still… At this moment I see a 6-3 team that needs a full 60 minutes of engagement into a game. The next few weeks will verify my view on the situation.
In the meantime, let’s enjoy a peaceful bye.

Top 8 NFL Cornerbacks that will dominate 2016/17 season.

With 8 weeks away until our Sunday football comes back  our tellies. The summer is just a long boring drag that just gets on everyone’s nerves and this week we’ll have a look at 8 players that can get really annoying at times, especially if one happens to be a wide receiver. Let’s look at the top 8 cornerbacks that should shine in the coming season.

  1. Marcus Peters (Chiefs)- The Chiefs got what they asked for in the rookie selection of Peters. The young shot had co-led the league with 8 interceptions and picks returned for touchdowns with 2. He left rest of defensive backs in dust when it came to returned yards after interceptions with 280, while the second best had 136. Pro Bowl nod earned and sophomore year to look forward to.

  2. Josh Norman (Redskins)- After the bizzare events of the spring when the Panthers decided to give ol’ franchise tag a rest in case of Norman, everyone wondered what flaws he must have hidden that Carolina simply allowed Norman to walk away with a new deal in Washington?
    Nevertheless, quite a dominant year in shutting down top options of opponents, four interceptions, two fumble recoveries and a future two meetings with Odell Beckham Jr. should make his next season busy.

  3. Malcom Butler (Patriots)- “The Star” of Super Bowl XLIX, the slant pick at the goal line, Malcolm Butler fitted in fairly well replacing Revis who left for the Jets. Perhaps his stat line doesn’t really show off his story but he started all 16 games, came up with two picks, 15 passes deflected and 56 assist to build up his resume and prepare for his third season under the “scary” coach that suspended him during spring camp last year for a very silly thing, really.

  4. Desmond Trufant (Falcons)- It wasn’t Trufant’s best season but one can’t miss that he hasn’t missed a regular season game in three seasons providing the Falcons with some continuity and stability at the corner position. It was hard to find him among the defensive stats tables but the next year might change that as Trufant will have some contract talks in near future to do his game should see increase in numbers.

  5. Vontae Davis (Colts)- Last season was a disappointment for Davis who didn’t allow a passing touchdown the year earlier. Davis gave up first touchdown in his first game of the season and the misery continued for the Colts in 2015 under the big sign of ‘Injury’.
    Nevertheless, despite injuries, Davis grabbed 4 interceptions, defended 16 passes and somehow played and started in all games. With time to recover Davis should be back to a shutdown cornerback and yet another Pro Bowl season.

  6. Chris Harris (Broncos)- This one was tricky but I decided that Talib is not going to have a great season so here, we have Harris as the top 3 cornerback. Despite Harris finishing below Talib last year in the stats sheets I think he’ll have a dominant season. Add the fact he hasn’t missed a game in last three seasons it only shows that Harris takes the preparation seriously. 2 interceptions last year returned for a total of 94 yards and one touchdown. Add one forced fumble and 49 tackles and here you have a physical force waiting to wreck havoc.

  7. Richard Sherman (Seahawks)- Legion of Boom has been dead from the moment it became popular really but work of Sherman hasn’t. Despite, perhaps the weakest statistical sheet produced in his career, Sherman still requires plenty of respect from defensive coordinators.
    He’ll be looking forward to bouncing back up from 2 picks, 14 passes defended year, especially that it was his first season without putting his name anywhere near fumbles row and being credited with only 30 returned yards and no interceptions.

  8. Patrick Peterson (Cardinals)- Perhaps a bit bizarre choice but there is something cooking there in Arizona. Peterson hasn’t missed a game since entering NFL, he hasn’t had a dominant year as far as traditional statistic sheets show but sometimes one must look deeper behind the 2 interceptions returned for 41 yards and 8 passes defended. Sometimes, just the presence is enough to force mistakes or to create them somewhere else by working the best possible match ups. It’ll be loud here I reckon.

Ha! I am really looking forward to visiting my latest pieces I created in my Sunday column later in the year, perhaps as a Xmas treat, to see how much insight my grey cells have had during this hot, humid and somewhat uncomfortable summer.
Until next week where I should look at the linebacker position or perhaps I might dive into the running back world. Time will tell. Keep well folks!

ALL STATISTICAL DATA PER http://www.pro-football-reference.com 

OMG!!!!! The schedule is here!!!!

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In NFL it doesn’t matter that you know your teams’ next year opponents as soon as the season’s done; there’s still plenty of craze going around when the announcement of announcement of when the schedule is going to be revealed gets announced.
There’s still plenty of craze and anticipation, probably due to the off season boring days. So, here we are. Few days after the schedule dropped I decided first time ever to do like a very pre mature projection for how the season evolves. I mean it’s very premature given I don’t have an idea of what any starting line up might look but hey, you live only once! So there.
For those interested how the schedule gets to become an official living thing, please do check Peter King’s feature at MMQB. I like plenty of his insightful articles and this one belongs in the category of strange things about such silly matters.
For those less interested, the NFL computers are getting better at spitting the schedules out and this season’s schedule was the 43066th presented one, that the team finally approved.
Anyway. Back to my stuff.

  • Game 1- vs Lions; excitement level: 9; interest level: 4

The excitement level can’t be 10 coz the opponents are Lions but it also can’t be 8 or lower because it’s an opener. So there. I dont think this game has enough highlight in it for me to be interesting except the fact it’s the Colts and it’s the first game of the season.

Colts win 28-10

  • Game 2- at Denver; excitement level: 9; interest level 9

If certain Manning was still playing the excitement and interest levels would be higher but since that little twist to story had gone, the game can’t get top marks. It’s going to be really good to see how the offense can handle Denver’s D (not as furious as the last season’s one) and how Luck can adjust to funky blitzes and pass rush.

Colts to win 21-18 (he’s crazy!!!)

  • Game 3- vs Chargers; excitement level: 5; interest level: 5

Philip Rivers is a great quarterback but rest of the Chargers squad really lacks in the wow factor for me. If my predictions are right the Colts will be high off the win over the Broncos and it should be a game where the offense could catch a right wing under its sails.

Colts to win 35-14

  • Game 4- “at” Jaguars; excitement level: 10; interest level: 10 (only because the game is played like an hour away from me, and I hope to go there- otherwise the scores would be around 6).

Given the effort the Jaguars put into slowly assembling a young and explosive team, this game might be a great indication of how the AFC South is. The only problem, since the game is played in London, the atmosphere is neither homely or guestly for either team, so these games sometimes end up quirky. Initially I had Colts to loose but then I slept on it.

Colts to win 24-20

  • Game 5- vs Bears; excitement level: 7; interest level: 7.

There’s just something about Jay Cutler that just makes the Bears team worth watching occasionally. Not sure how the Bears are going to be but I think it’s going to be a good game for Colts against a hopeful play off team. Since Colts elected not to have a bye after London game, they’re going to be on a shorter week but as some people stated, coming back from West Coast can be more time taxing than returning from the queen’s land, hence the bye moved to later and Bears in week five.

Colts to win 33-21

  • Game 6- at Texans; excitement level: 4; interest level: 7

Games against Houston are always important and there’s some action going on, named J. J. Watt but overall most of the battles between these two teams tend to be fairly boring or really hard to watch (last season’s crazy loss, a great example). Given the front 7 on Houston D, it is still going to be an interesting watch and good test of pass protection.

Colts to win 31-21

  • Game 7- at Titans; excitement level: 3; interest level: 5.

No disrespect to anyone but besides Mariota, I can’t think of any other player name I’d be familiar with on Titans roster. Since it is divisional game it will be of significance but I doubt it’ll be so crazily packed with action as last season’s first win and cool comeback delivered by momentarily capable Luck.

Colts to win 44-14

  • Game 8- vs Chiefs; excitement level: 7; interest level: 8

That epic comeback from playoffs in 2014 was something strange and out of this world. Firstly, Luck dug up a huge whole and then once they all fell into it, he just lifted them up on his shoulders for a tiniest margin win and that fumble recovered by him, turned touchdown was just something else.
And this match up could be something, with the Chiefs riding all high in second part of the season, with Smith, getting so much effective and some fierce defence, this match up might prove pivotal.

Colts to lose 24-38

  • Game 9- at Packers; excitement level: 10; interest level: 10

I can already see the headlines. The hype. The comparisons, stories, expectations and all sorts of stuff for this Luck vs Rodgers II rematch (well, the Hall of Fame game from pre season will only wet our appetites I suppose).
I’m surprised this game isn’t in prime time but 4pm est works great for me and it’s going to be great to see how Colts D looks against elite quarterbacking and how Luck adjusts to somehow, strangely played defense in Green Bay.

Colts to lose 18-32

Great bye timing, just in right spot for some wound licking.

  • Game 10- vs Titans; excitement level: 4; interest level: 6.

The scores go up a bit only because of the expected two lost games and how the team responds to these mishaps and a bye week making the need for seeing your team that bit more important. I can’t really see much excitement there once they get going but still, the state of NFL is what it is and some match ups are just down boring.

Colts to win 47-11

  • Game 11- vs Steelers; excitement level: 9; interest level: 10

I think the only thing stopping me from wetting my pants with total euphoria are the recent match ups between these two teams and Colts taking beating like no one business. Given it’s Thanksgiving feature, means I’ll be tired after watching the boring NFC match ups, I’ll be hoping for both offenses to explode from the get go and give all the Americans proper turkey burps and farts.
Big Ben vs Luck comparisons and all the hype will be great for the holidays spirit (not in our household though), but it’s going to be a tough one as it’ll only involve 4 days break.

Colts to lose 44-47

  • Game 12- at Jets; excitement level: 6; interest level: 6

It’s hard at the minute to see where the Jets are going with Fitzpatrick so it is going to be hard to see how this game pans out. It’s going to be a good chance to recover some of the last season’s lost reputation as the 2nd game of 2015 was so winnable, despite obvious struggles of already(?) injured Luck. Although I struggle to see that Monday night match up to be electrifying.

Colts to win 17-9

Game 13- vs Texans; excitement level: 4; interest level: 8

I mean, it’s Houston but given end of the season looming around us and perhaps few more loses than in my prediction and this game could turn into repeat of 2015’s division clencher. It’s going to be a good watch if Colt’s season goes bad (but then, the overall interest and hope for Super Bowl appearance will be low already) but if Colts are on target it is going to be just another game to get thru.

Colts to win 33-17

  • Game 14- at Vikings; excitement level : 5; interest level: 7

The Vikings are on the up and with young quarterback and veteran running back and winter upon us this game could turn into a slug fest of defensive showdown, and a good practice for possible deep run into playoffs. I haven’t seen much of Vikings but this game could be either a good afternoon with some crisps or a long evening with some chewy stuff.

Colts to win 17-13

  • Game 15- at Raiders; excitement level: 8; interest level: 8

I like Raiders. Carr seems to be developing into a solid quarterback, Amaro could have an explosive season where he breaks on big stage with plenty of impact. The defense looks ok, especially the pass rush so, despite the late time in season it could well turn into gunslinging session of pass rushers avoidance and the time of 4pm is great for me too.

Colts to lose 33-28

  • Game 16- vs Jaguars; excitement level: 5, interest level: 6

Barring some crazy series of events and Jaguars actually turning world upside down, this game will be probably a game just to see it through with the least effort to grab a win. It’s gonna to be interesting to see how the Jaguars evolve with all the recent free agent additions along the draft but the game itself won’t be setting the world on fire. Especially given its going to be New Years Day.

Colts to win 22-10.

Here. I’m done with my first projection of a team’s future season. I know 12-4 looks optymistic but the Colts really gotta pull their fingers out and start delivering results, otherwise best years of Luck career will be just a wasted effort for everyone involved.

Oh! And no match up with New England. At least one season without all the ugly headlines and build up for playoffs.