Is Courtney Roby available?:
When Roby was a member of the
Colts, he was a part-time contributor on special teams, but was always being
groomed as a potential receiver if anything happened to the starters. He
seems to have found his niche in the kicking game, as he was all over the place
on coverage, fared better than Chad Simpson
on returns, and proved to be a
It is doubtful that he will be willing to come
back to Indianapolis now that he has found a home with the Saints, but it's
worth a shot. Special teams was a point of consternation for Colts fans —
and, it seemed, an afterthought for the coaches — throughout 2009 and it was an
apparent weakness in the Super Bowl.
Peyton Manning made one bad decision: But he did not have a bad game.
It was a tale of two halves for Manning, as he was his usual confident and
accurate self in the first half, but the New Orleans defense made the necessary
in-game adjustments to confuse him just enough that he made one bad decision
that cost his team the game.
Tracy Porter revealed in a postgame interview
that he knew what was coming before Manning let the ball go, so it could also be
chalked up to the play call. Ultimately, though, Manning is responsible
for the final play that is called before the ball is snapped, so he must accept
Though he's now only 9-9 in the playoffs, Manning is still the backbone of
this team. As he goes, so go the Colts, which is a big reason he was voted
the league MVP in 2009. As long as 18 is under center, Indianapolis will
have a great chance to be competitive. They will be in the mix again —
possibly for another Super Bowl appearance — before he hangs up his cleats for
He will learn from this failure. He will improve. Manning and the Colts will come out focused and angry next season, so the rest
of the league should be on notice. They had a chance for a championship
and came up short. If they get another opportunity, they will be ready,
because they obviously don't want to feel the sting of a loss like this again.
Jim Caldwell played not to lose: Indianapolis had momentum, the
ball, and a seven-point lead after they stopped New Orleans on fourth and goal.
Instead of trusting Manning and the potent Colts two minute offense, Caldwell
instead decided to play it safe and try to protect the lead. The defense
was embattled, having spent almost the entire second quarter on the field and
needed a rest.
It's possible Caldwell thought he was giving that chance to
rest, but his strategy was tentative and ultimately ineffective. He
couldn't have known that the Saints were going to onside kick to open the second
half and must have trusted that his team would have the ball, but he was also on
the sidelines to see the back-breaking effect that the two minute offense had on
the Jets two weeks prior. He played it too safe when there was no tomorrow
and momentum swung back to New Orleans.
All season, Caldwell had been fairly aggressive and had trusted his offense.
When he abandoned that strategy towards the end of the first half, it
essentially cost them the game. Next season, Caldwell will — or at least
should — know better. Let's just hope the Colts are in the same position
in February 2011.
The young receivers are great, but . . . This is still Reggie Wayne's
offense. Until Manning can look to someone else in the clutch — and
Dallas Clark was on the field during that crucial play — defenses will continue
to key on him like Porter did. If Anthony Gonzalez or Clark is not that someone, Pierre Garcon or Austin Collie need to become that someone.
Resting the starters in Week 16 had nothing to do with this outcome:
The Saints lost their last three and were not affected in the postseason,
including the Super Bowl They were simply better prepared, more focused,
and played a better game. Colts fans should not point fingers and should
accept the fact that, although they may have been the better team, Indianapolis
got beat by a New Orleans squad that played a better game on Super Sunday.
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