Monday, December 5, 2011

Are the Indianapolis Colts the Worst Team in NFL History?

For the last 13 years, the Indianapolis Colts game has always been one of the highlights of the Patriots' season.  Piped in noise, the AFC Championship comeback, Fourth and Two - almost all of the games have been memorably decided by less than a touchdown.  Not this year, though.  Peyton Manning is hurt and the Suck for Luck Campaign has gained steam as the weeks of futility have piled up.  Even C asked me why the Colts were so bad.  The question is, are the Indianapolis Colts the Worst Team in NFL History?  Are they New Jersey Nets bad?

Fur Coat guy cracked us up.
Another question to consider is whether Peyton Manning is the MVP of the last 10 years.  All the media types were saying that the Colts still had pro bowl-caliber talent - Saturday, Wayne, Freeney, Addai, etc. - they should not be winless.  Did these guys ever think that the aforementioned players are pro bowl caliber because Manning made them that way and in actuality they just suck?  Remember how bad the Patriots were when Brady got hurt?  Oh yeah, I forgot, never mind.

Foxboro, MA 1pm.  It was a beautiful Sunday afternoon in December.  Although I might be the only one to think this, I'm glad that the game got flexed to 1pm.  I'm getting too old to be getting home at 2am on a work night.  Besides, who wants to tailgate in the dark?  C came with me - his first regular season Patriots game  - so I was interested in getting his take on the Tailgate and game crowd, as well as how bad the Colts really were.  There would be questions, too.  Was the drunk 55 year old lady who always sits behind our usual seats going to get all fired up?  Will the guy in the old fashioned football helmet fall down the stairs again?  Will we see the guy in the half fur coat, again?  The options are limitless.  But, so long as the McDonald's near our seats is still open, we'll be all set.

The game started inauspiciously as Belichick went into conservation mode early.  Seeking to exercise some sort of demons, I guess, Kevin Faulk was getting the majority of the carries in the First Quarter.  Even after a Faulk fumble was overturned, he continued to get carries.  Green-Ellis, Ridley and Woodhead were all standing there wondering if they had some sort of escalation clause in their contracts that would have been triggered with carries or yardage.  The crowd started to get restless. (Although C would tell you that that was just me; everyone else was fine).  Meanwhile Dan Orlovsky led the Colts to an unsuccessful First Down on the Patriots one.  Manning would never let that happen.  3-0 after the First Quarter.

After an Adam Vinitieri field goal made it 3-3, the Patriots ended  the half scoring two touchdowns, one by Benjarvis Green-Ellis and the other by the Patriots' 2011 MVP Rob Gronkowski.  The one interesting thing about the Second Quarter was the reception that Vinitieri received.  Who cares that he was booed?  He'll get into the Patriots Hall of Fame.  Look at it this way - if you're wife gave birth to three wonderful children and then a couple of years later left you for a guy with more money, how would you feel?  I booed him, too.  Patriots 17-3.

The Third Quarter played out similar to the Second Quarter.  Two more touchdowns by Gronkowski to make it 31-3.  Some more ineptitude ensued every time the Colts touched the ball.  They can't move the ball at all against the Patriots' Bead Curtain defense.  My cover is looking good and C has only asked me for McDonald's twice.

Ah, but the good time didn't last.  The Fourth Quarter saw three touchdowns unanswered by the Colts, including a miracle 33 yard touchdown by Pierre Garcon with just 30 seconds left.  My cover went to concern after the first touchdown, to praying for a miracle garbage touchdown after the second touchdown to outright despair after the third touchdown.  The game all of a sudden was in doubt until Deion Branch recovered an onside kick with 20 seconds left to bring the game to an end.  Final score 31-24.  Pretty good for the worst team in NFL history.

As we were leaving, I asked C if he thought the Colts were the worst team ever.  He looked at me, after getting over his distress after having to leave early, and said "They looked OK to me."

They'll be even better when they trade Andrew Luck for some team's entire draft next spring.  No matter what I might think, the Colts aren't going to be the worst team for long.

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