Game 14: Conquering Empire Edition


Good day from the happiest sports place on earth right now, if you ignore the NBA team, that is! I’m Derek Schultz and that’s Nate Miller, and we’re here to provide hard-hitting recap analysis on the Colts’ first defeat of the hated Patriots since opening year of the Obama administration. With the win over red-hot New England, Indy announced to the rest of the NFL their status as contender in a weird and extremely flaky AFC season. We’ve been saying the Colts are *good* for weeks, it’s good finally having a win like this to point to. What’d you think, Nate?

MILLER: I’m just BEAMING. Really. Still, some 12 hours later. I bet this is what winning a war in the Bronze Ages felt like. I’m just lying blissfully in the mud, eating a ram leg, basking in the euphoria of a fallen foe. It is cold, yes—but the endless mental loop of JT’s final F—K YOU kill-shot is keeping me warm on this gray Sunday morning. The neighbors will have questions, that much is clear. This probably isn’t healthy. Whatever. Lighting off columns of flaming crossbow arrows wasn’t a healthy celebration either, but it was necessary.

SCHULTZ: Let’s get this out of the way: Colts just needed to win this game, any way possible. Carson Wentz could’ve throw for -572 yards and whichever rent-a-kicker they have back there could’ve missed a dozen field goals, and I wouldn’t have cared as long as they won. We can bitch about everything else, like we were “Whiny Carmel Season Ticket Guy” last week, but the result is what mattered last night. It was an important victory not just in this scope of this season, but evidence that the Colts are finally gaining real traction in the post-Luck era.

Hell, I was in my mid-20s the last time the Colts actually beat the Patriots (2009) and felt a strong urge to light up an entire pack of menthol cigarette and head down to Front Page to celebrate for old time’s sake!

MILLER: Yep, exactly. The any-means-necessary vibe felt palpable. It still does. Keep in mind, though: nobody wants to be “THE ONLY THING THAT MATTERS IS WINNING Guy.” Not publicly, at least, and certainly not before Christmas. That guy is a miserable sack of failed dreams on most days—a bitter, broken, insecure has-been who mistakenly associates virtue with wins and losses only. F—k that guy. Except last night, the only thing that mattered really was winning, nothing else. I’m so ashamed. I’m so happy. This is all so confusing. Is Jonathan Taylor some sort of ancient fable? An idea? Is this really happening? 

SCHULTZ: I’m admittedly not a big running backs guy! I don’t think it’s something you need to have, but man, it’s nice when you have one. In a season where there hasn’t been a quarterback standout, I think Taylor absolutely deserves real MVP consideration. You just won against an elite opponent, despite your quarterback being smelly garbage-water, largely because of him. We’re used to it being the other way, with Manning or Luck saving the day when everything else sucks. It’s a nice departure.

MILLER: I want to choose my words very carefully here so as not to exaggerate, and I believe I have: Jonathan Taylor makes Tecmo Bowl Bo Jackson look like turf-toe Trent Richardson, and I love him more than my own children.

SCHULTZ: If the Colts win two more, they’re in. The 9-3 finish that seemed so far away after a 1-4 start, feels like a near certainty now, and that takes a lot of the pressure off of this week’s trip to Arizona.

Until then, the Colts are finally good again, folks! Merry f*ckin’ Christmas!