There are so many things to be happy about after this win, but no joke the thing I'm most pleased with is the Thursday Night shit show is already behind us. I hate having a short week. I hate playing on Thursday night. I hate how the quality of play suffers. I hate not having a game on Sunday. But its over, and we got a win, and I can sleep soundly knowing that we have a bright future ahead of us.
Among the other things that made me happy on Thursday? TUDDY 500. What an accomplishment for anyone, let alone a 6th round pick. Third all time and counting. Hey Peyton, I'm coming for that ass. We're only 8 behind him if you count playoffs, but the regular season we sit third as of this morning. Could we take over the number one spot this year?? Probably not. We need 40 more, which means 52 on the year, a career high and the second most ever thrown in a single season. But the last time Tom threw 50 his offense looked a hell of a lot like it does right now, so I'm not not saying it will happen...
By the way, who caught that 500th tuddy? Oh that's right. Josh Gordon. He becomes the 71st player to catch a tuddy pass from Tommy, also an NFL record, and Josh did it with style if I may say so myself. Look familiar to anyone else?
If we have a guy who can make catches when he's double covered the rest of the league is in biiiiiiiiiig trouble. Really I should say another guy, because Gronk does that all the time, but I mean down field like that. Tom has taken coverage sacks this year where guys just can't get open. This is going to happen way less with the return of Jules for sure. But it's even more of a non issue when you can just chuck pseudo punts into the night sky and trust that not only will Flash make a competitive play on the ball, but also he will probably reward you with 6 points. Hopefully this was just a preview of what Flash is going to unleash in the second half of the season, a little taste to get everyone hooked if you will. And if there's anyone who knows a thing or two about gateway drugs, it's the man in the #10 sweater.
The receiving box score has blood rushing to my penis, which causes the tissue to swell inducing an erection. Wiggle 10 for 77 and a tuddy, Gronk 6 for 75, Jules 7 for 57, Flash 2 for 50 and a tuddy, Flip 3 for 25, Hoags 3 for 34, Sony 1 for 12, Patterson 2 for 11 and a tuddy. That's how you spread the ball around. Gronk is eating. Jules is eating and didn't miss a beat (minus that drop on the pick route that was punishable by death but I'm willing to give him a stay of execution on first day back to work.) Wiggle is unguardable. Flip and Hoags chip in, staying involved. Even Sony trying to wet his beak. It's not humanly possible to cover all these people if Tom has time to throw. Josh is gonna scheme the shit out of this as we morph our attack from drive to drive. We're going to become the Megazord that the Power Rangers make when they all unite when they really needed to kick someones dick in. Would a Captain Planet reference here been better? Maybe but I stand by my choice. And hey Patterson, nice tuddy. Get off my team.
However, I can't wax poetic about how lethal the passing attack was and will be without discussing the fact that Tom threw two more interceptions. That's SIX through five weeks. It's not fair to put any of the blame on Tom for these. They were both perfect throws that landed in the hands of Gronk and Hoags, both of whom decided that after the catch they would toss the ball up into the air just to see what happens because they thought they game wasn't close enough or maybe because they just hate me. We can't be sure. But either way, they count, and now Tom is on pace to throw about 20 of them. Here was the reaction shot my boys filmed of me as he threw the second one.
The running back situation is coming into form. I'm hoping this is the Wiggle we can expect for the whole season, but there is a chance he is simply on a heater. He's always been a weapon, and a dependable one at that, but he's on another level right now. His routes appear so simple on the replays. He comes out of the backfield on option routes, looks at the defense, the linebackers in particular, and makes the read Tom expects him to make. That's the key. These two are so in sync right now I was surprised Giselle didn't mention packing Wiggle's lunch in her morning routine.
Sony is doing everything he can to get me on his band wagon. He went for 18 carries 98 yards and a dope 34 yard tuddy. Do I owe him an apology? Not yet. It's the Colts. People were going for a buck against them before it was fashionable. But if he keeps this up during the winter months when the ground gets harder, the beers get darker, and I get fatter, then he will certainly have my respect. We have essentially no early down rb depth behind him, but since we just cut Webb from the practice squad it appears we don't care. I'm loving that he is getting the rock so often. As I said last week it gives us great balance when he's making people miss on a consistent basis. My only concern right now is it feels like when he is in the game he gets the ball and its a run. I am basing this off of no research. Eye test only. He played 28 snaps and had 18 carries, so that's a two thirds clip. I know he isn't a real pass catching threat yet, and I don't need him to be, but his blitz pick up is top class so I'd love to mix in a few play actions when he's lined up at tail back. I trust Josh will utilize him more in those situations as he gets his feet under him, but that's something I'm looking forward to. The only thing I hate more than ketchup on hot dogs is being predictable on offense.
If I'm out shopping for apology cards in the near future, there's another dude I should add to the list. J-Mac. Dev played all 83 snaps on defense Thursday night. Next on the list was his identical twin at 82 snaps. That is beautiful sight for any proud mother or drunk defender of the wall. And its exactly what I envisioned when we signed him. Jonathan Jones got the start at CB2 but it was really J-Mac's job all night. Jones did play 65 snaps which I still love, I want him involved as well as my guy JC Jackson (5 snaps) but the Return of the J-Mac has gone a long way to tightening up this secondary.
Dev had a busy night himself. He led the team with 14 tackles. As a DB sometimes that can be a bad thing. It's like wins for your closer in baseball. He's only eligible for the win because he probably blew the save. But the point remains Dev was around the football a lot on Thursday, never more so than when he was ripping it out of the cold dead hands of Wilkins to flip the script after Tom's first hot potato interception. But Dev was nowhere near the ball any time it was thrown to Eric Ebron. That would require him to be anywhere near Eric Ebron, which he was not. A lot of times we have Chung on the TE, leaving Dev to his free safety center field role. However, Dev is a former corner and shouldn't find it difficult when we task him with the job. Against Ebron, he sure made it look we told him to figure out who shot Kennedy for all the answers he came up with. We're going to need a much better strategy to stop the "best tight end in football" next Sunday night.
I want to talk about the pressure for a second. The Colts OLine is in tatters, they had no TY Hilton Honors Member, and their running backs couldn't be picked out of a lineup of one. Luck isn't the most mobile guy in the pocket. I was hoping for a few sacks. We went home that night with 1 sack total, a half being awarded to Chung and the other half to MY BOY Trey Flowers. I was actually surprised there wasn't a flag on that play for putting your entire weight on the quarterback. I think they figured both Flowers and Chung only put half their weight on Luck and the other half they put on each other in the pig pile that was that sack.
But before I get into my complaints with the pressure I'd like to point out that the interior of the DLine wasn't horrible. They weren't fantastic either. They didn't push the pocket too much. There were a few times they couldn't maintain their two gaps, but Hines never got rolling and we only gave up 84 yards on the ground. That's a good day. But the fly in the ointment is Malcom Brown. The big man and former first round pick was doing what he normally does when he got his left leg rolled up on. I immediately announced his ACL was shredded and we would be playing the rest of the year without him. He left the game in the second quarter and never returned. Now we wont hear a peep about this until the first injury report is required to come out. Knowing the Pats medical staff, Malcom probably went back to the locker room healthy and then the training staff took metal bats to his knee until he was actually hurt, but allow me to grasp at straws real quick. He was listed as questionable to return during the second half. When its really bad don't they just say "out" for the second half?? If anyone is going to bullshit about injuries its us, so I don't know why I'm putting any stock into that questionable tag, but I would really like him to be OK. A lot of my boys say he's a bust, but IMHFO that's because they wanted him to be Vince. He was never gonna be Vince. Let him be him. I highly doubt he's ready for SNF even if he didn't tear it, so for all intents and purposes he's dead to me.
Anyway, back to the pressure. It wasn't just the lack of sacks. It was the lack of anything in the second half that I felt really turned this game. I know it was actually the hot potato picks that kept the Colts in it, but it just seemed like the whole philosophy changed. Early in the game we crowded the box and dared Luck and his limited weapons and negative arm strength to beat us one on one outside the numbers deep. Then we started giving up all the check downs and the positive runs and the tight ends running wild. And this all starts with pressure. Luck had an eternity in the pocket as we were trying to hold them off at the end, and as we all know we can make the Nick Foles of the world look like 4th quarter Shane Falco when we give them time.
Despite my nit picking, the defense has looked much improved over the last two weeks. The big question will be can we run with the skill players on KC. I expect there will be a plan for Kelce, chipping him at the line and doubling him when possible. But does that mean Tyreek Hill and Kareem Hunt are going to run nude all over the field like they did the last time we saw these guys?? Team speed is still my biggest question mark on that side of the ball, and while I do think we can win a shoot out if we have to, I'd rather set the tone that it wont be so easy against us anymore. A short week on the front end means a long week on the back, and this sure feels like a long one already. Sunday night can't come soon enough.