Sunday, October 5, 2008

Comeback Aftermath

If you watched the Colts' 31-27 victory over the Texans on Sunday, you witnessed a great and stunning comeback by the Colts. As wonderful as the comeback was (at least, for a Colts fan), there are some issues with how it is being described.

First off, a common way the Colts' comeback is described by sports media is to say that Houston blew a 17-point lead in the final 4:10, as if the Colts got the ball down 17 with that little time remaining. That's a bit misleading. The Texans scored their final touchdown with 8:18 left in the 4th; on the ensuing possession, the Colts took just more than 4 minutes to score a TD to make it 27-17. So the Colts had 8+ minutes to come back--still a very impressive (and unlikely) comeback, but not quite as madcap as only having 4 minutes to do it.

Secondly, some people seem to have not watched what happened in the game. For example, Tom Jackson, ESPN football analyst, said that the reason the Colts came back is "they have #18. He's the guy that sparked this comeback." Granted, Peyton Manning did his part in the victory--he led the drive to cut the lead to 27-17, and he threw the pass that put the Colts up 31-27 on Reggie Wayne's circus catch. But I didn't see Peyton on the field playing defense and forcing the Texans into 3 turnovers in the final 4 minutes. As great as this comeback was, I expect that Peyton will probably get more credit than he deserves from the media.

But this was a team win for the Colts that was helped out by dumb decisions by the Texans. The defense, which had been pretty lousy all day in giving up 27 points, made big plays to get the ball back. The Texans helped, and not just Sage Rosenfels and his spinning fumble-ruski. Houston's play selection late in the game was very suspect: after the Colts made it 27-24, the Texans still could have killed enough of the clock by running the ball and making the Colts burn their final time out. Instead, the Texans threw incomplete on 2nd down, which stopped the clock and saved the Colts time out. It also seemed to make Houston more desperate to make a first down, so instead of running on 3rd down, the Texans tried to pass, which led to the sack/fumble and the Colts taking over on the Houston 20.

As for the Colts offense, they didn't play well most of the day, but still put a drive together to make it 27-17 when all looked lost. And then they executed when the defense got the ball back with a chance to win the game. Again, this was a team win--snatched from what would have been a team loss. Many members of the media will ignore this and instead focus on Manning.

Oh, yeah: finally, this also from Tom Jackson on Sunday night's SportsCenter: "That's the third time this season that we've looked at the stat sheet and wondered how the Colts won a game."

Really? The Colts are now 2-2 after this win. Maybe Tom Jackson can see into the future.

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Blogger Zinglebert Bembledack said...

To quote Shane Falco from The Replacements, "Better lucky than good."

I'm waiting for someone to say that the Colts are either the best 2-2 team or the worst 2-2 team this year.

October 6, 2008 at 2:24 PM  

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