Make no mistake. Peyton Manning executed another monumental choke job against the Ravens tonight. But Adam Vinatieri, a HUGE Dallas Clark catch on third down, and Ray Lewis bailed his ass out. Vinatieri nailed five field goals (Vanderjagt would have been good for three of those, tops) and Ray Lewis tipped two easy interceptions, again subjecting us broadcasters telling us it somehow matters that the Colts used to be in Baltimore. Baltimore: if indeed you still care, get the fuck over it. You've got a new franchise and a Super Bowl title since the Irsays fucked you over. Indianapolis has been somewhat less fortunate.
Back to Peyton. I don't really care that the Ravens had the best defense in the league. The Colts, supposedly, have one of the best offenses in the league led by a quarterback every broadcaster is compelled to verbally fellate. A game with no touchdowns and two picks generally isn't going to cut it. Granted, one of those was basically the equivalent to a punt, but as I mentioned before, he should have had at least two more. It's the same formula teams have always used--send pressure his way which gives Manning happy feet and leads him to freaking stupid throws. What happened to checkdowns to a running back in the middle or the flat? This game didn't instill too much confidence going into next week against the Pats or the Chargers.
On the flip side, the Pats and Chargers have to be a little wary about facing a Colts defense which seems to be peaking at the right time. The Colts D made my prediction look good (I'd say two picks, one on the goal line, amounts to big plays) against an admittedly anemic offense. You can bet that they won't hold their next opponent to only six points, but I'm becoming skeptical that they'll get run all over either. Maybe Manning will crap the bed in the AFC Championship game, but hey, he's got the opportunity all over again. That's all Colts fans can ask for. Thanks again, Pats, for letting Vinatieri go... it might come back to haunt you next week.