Tuesday, January 6, 2015

A few brief thoughts on Horses vs. Horses

The Indianapolis Colts can beat the Denver Broncos this weekend.

There. I said it.

I said it, even though the Blob has resolutely avoided the Colts bandwagon this season, on account of they're simply not that good. They have no running game, at least on a sustained basis. Their offensive line is shaky. They got fat on the Little Sisters of the Poor in the AFC South, and they struggled at home with a depleted Bengals team in the wild-card round until Andrew Luck threw a touchdown pass right out of the Canton Collection.

So there's that.

But there's also this: The Broncos aren't all that good, either.

They beat the Colts in Denver by a touchdown in Week 1, but that was largely because they built a 24-0 lead before hanging on for a 31-24 win. Luck dinged them for 350 yards and two scores, and there's no reason to believe he won't put up comparable numbers this weekend. If the Colts get anything resembling what they got out of Boom Herron last weekend, they could do this -- especially with Peyton Manning in an apparent late-season fade.

The man put up video-game numbers again this season -- 4,727 yards and 39 touchdowns -- but all that does is obscure what he did the last month of the season, which was less a video game than Betamax. Since Thanksgiving, he's had one game in which his QBR has been over 100, and across the last four games he's thrown six interceptions against just three touchdowns, and looked markedly arm-weary doing it.

The joker in this deck, of course, is that Manning and the Broncos got a bye week to rest/heal up. So maybe the Colts get early-season Peyton instead of late-season Peyton. And unless they execute better than they did against the Bengals -- even in the easy win, they left a lot of points on the table -- that could mean the season ends in five days.

It says here that's exactly what's going to happen. But we're not saying it quite as resolutely as we once were.


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