How about that, a George Wrighster sighting.
Why isn't Marcedes Lewis better than he is? A physically gifted former first rounder on an offense that really needs a pass-catching tight end. Well, that might be the answer. Garrard hits him in stride on a play that would have been a big gainer, and Lewis just lets it hit off his hands. That's his 11th drop of the season, and it's quite possible he could have taken it to the house.
MJD getting more than his usual dose of screens and draws to counteract the Colts D-Line speed.
Garrard throws a beautiful touch pass that hits Dennis Northcutt over the shoulder for a 28-yard touchdown. Great pass by Garrard and a nice grab by Northcutt. Just the 6th passing TD given up by the Colts all season.
Dominic Rhodes just had a 21-yard run called back on a holding penalty.
Warren Sapp says MJD had three great blitz pickups on the opening drive. Another good catch by Northcutt, going up to get the ball for a first down on the sidelines. Garrard nice playaction with a quick roll out pass to Richard Angulo. Jags back in scoring territory. MJD makes a terrific play, juking Freeney on what would have been a 3-yard loss. Collinsworth called it Barry Sanders-esque, and I can't disagree with him. 24 plays by Jags, 6 by Colts so far. Third & goal from the 2-yard line. Garrard QB-draw fights his way in for the TD to cap off a 17-play, 93-yard, 9 1/2 minute drive. Colts knew what was coming, but Garrard powered his way in -- 14-0 Jags.
Good stat: MJD is only the third active player with 40 TDs in his first 3 seasons. The other two guys -- Randy Moss and LaDainian Tomlinson. MJD = stud. Like I said last summer, he's not just one of the best running backs in the league, he's one of the best players in the league.
Colts RB update: Rhodes has had nowhere to go in the passing game, with the Jags LBs & DBs pursuing well. Joseph Addai hasn't seen the field yet.
Manning just hit Reggie Wayne for a 41-yard bomb, and there was nobody within 15 yards of Wayne. Reggie Nelson bit up on Gijon Robinson, and Wayne ran right by him. Manning has started 8-of-8 for 88 yards and a TD, Colts down 14-7.
Northcutt with another impressive play. Kelvin Hayden just missed an interception, and Northcutt hauled it in and grabbed another 15 yards after the catch. He's up to 4/59/1 early in the second quarter. Marcedes Lewis' butterfingers routine is the only ball that's hit the ground in either passing game so far. Thanks, Bob Papa. As soon as you say that, Garrard chucks one out of bounds. There's my boy Mike Walker with a nice catch, but Khalif Barnes' holding penalty negates it. Horrible call. Papa incorrectly called that Walker's first reception. I know I saw a game where Walker had about 8 catches against the Steelers. That bad holding call ends up being a huge momentum switch as the Jags have to punt instead of receiving the first down. MJD up to 79 total yards with 6 minutes left in the half.
Manning finds Rhodes on a slant and go wide open down the field for a 29-yard gain (longest of Rhodes' career), and Peyton is up to 10-of-10 for 130 yards. Manning hasn't missed a pass yet, he's on fire, and the Colts go with a wide run on 3rd & 1. Very questionable call. Rhodes loses 3 yards and Vinatieri hooks the gimme 30-yarder. Colts get bupkes. Zots.
Mike Walker with a big sideline catch, and Scobee gets the last-second field goal.
Manning comes out just as hot in the second and throws a beautiful pass across the middle, hitting Dallas Clark in stride. I wonder how many guys started Joseph Addai in their title game. He still hasn't seen the field, and I suspect he won't with Manning as accurate as he's been all year. Rhodes from Manning for the TD, and it's a 17-14 game. Manning just came out and methodically took the Jags defense apart on a 75-yard drive.
Manning's completion streak to start the game stopped at 17, which is the longest of his career.
MJD makes a great move to get 8 yards out of nothing on a swing pass. This guy's good. Mike Walker didn't show any separation speed at all on that deep ball. He might be more of a possession receiver. Another phenomenal play by MJD to make something out of nothing and get the first down. Collinsworth can only say, "Look at him." Could say poor tackling by the Colts too. Chauncy Washington comes to spell MJD for a couple of carries. Nice leg drive there. Oops. Washington can't the corner and loses about 4 yards. Garrard hits Lewis over the middle for a third-down conversion. Oh boy, MJD owners have to be livid. He's get the ball down to the one, and Montell Owens gets the vulture TD. Now they know how Fred Taylor feels.
Manning starts the drive with another perfect touch pass down the sidelines, and Dallas Clark did a hell of a job to pull it in for 33 yards. As impressive as Peyton Manning's career has been, I don't think I've ever seen him pass more accurately than he has tonight. Collinsworth correctly calls him brilliant and says, "Some people like to watch musicians, I like to watch this maestro." Rhodes down to the goal-line, and Manning is stuffed on a quick-count sneak. It's going to be third & goal at the 1-foot line. Manning playaction to Rhodes and hits a wideopen Dallas Clark. Adam Schefter pipes up from the sidelines, "How does Dallas Clark get that wide open."
Manning's stats 24-of-27, 314 yards, and three touchdowns. Who else started him this week? That's good stuff.
Garrard is 7-of-10 on third down conversions tonight, but he can't hook up with Northcutt. Freeney and Mathis haven't been factors.
Ouch. Derrick Harvey trying to cover Dallas Clark on 3rd & 3, and it goes for 20 yards. Clark over 100 yards on the night. Rhodes finally seeing some running room now that the Jags are selling out against the pass. Colts screw up the snap, and they'll have to attempt the tying field goal here from 45 yards out. It's 24-24 with 6 minutes left. Colts would be leading this game if not for two blown 3rd & ones.
Oh, David Garrard. That's hoooooorrrrible! Third & 4, he throws it into a crowd of Colts, and Keiwan Ratliff picks it and takes all the way back for the TD -- 31-24 Colts. Garrard fails to generate points again, taking a 16-yard sack to end the next drive.
Colts driving, but they turn to Rhodes on 3rd & one again, and he's stuffed again. The Jags are going to get the ball back with 2:45 remaining and zero timeouts. Redemption time for Garrard with the ball on this own 10-yard line. Can they pass the ball when they need to? That's not really their strength on offense. Pass to MJD and then back-to-back to Northcutt, Jags have the ball inside the Colts 40. Garrard hits Reggie Williams with a bullet, and they're down to the 17-yard line with 48 seconds left. Checkdown to MJD goes for the first down. Uh-oh. MJD is down. Automatic 10 second runoff. Garrard misses Reggie Williams wide open in the end zone. That should have been a TD. Garrard sacked after Montell Owens whiffed on the block, and time will run out the Jags.
Thursday, December 18, 2008
How about that, a George Wrighster sighting.