Merry Christmas/Holidays/New Year from your friendly neighborhood Colts Recapper Guys!
Derek Schultz and Nate Miller here, and despite having to deal with the consequences of personal choices made by their supposed team leaders, the Colts got it done again last night, dumping a f*ckton of coal in the laps of the NFC contender Cardinals. Jonathan Taylor put up a quiet hundo-plus and Carson Wentz shook off early/mid-game accuracy issues to put together his best drive as a Colt when it mattered most … oh, and they did it behind an offensive line with four guys they picked up from the self-checkout line at Kroger.
Incredibly, that’s now an 8-2 run for Indy since the Monday night collapse in Baltimore. Nate, where are you with these Colts as they enter the final two weeks with a playoff berth basically sewn up?
MILLER: First things first: I am still aghast at Carson Wentz’s fourth-quarter touchdown pass, although “aghast” might not be the right word. “Awestruck” seems more fitting, with a dash of “discombobulated” and “possibly drugged with MDA” too. It was a bit too Matrix-y to be fully believed at first blush, and that it was completed to a computer-generated fictional player who doesn’t actually exist is still not helping the situation. Perhaps Wentz really is the One. I mean—that was too Mahomesian to be human, right? Perhaps Frank Reich really is the white Morpheus when it comes to freeing the minds of trash QBs.
Reich: The red zone has rules, Carson. But that does not mean that you are bound to adhere to them.
Wentz: OKAY, FOOTBALL DAD
Reich: Do you think that’s a Cover-3 nickelback you’re looking off?
I keep watching it over and over. How can this be real? It’s like ASMR for the eyes.
SCHULTZ: Let’s talk about Wentz and the “awestruck-ness” of that throw, because I think I’ve finally found a firm Carson Wentz Take Landing Spot after 15 games … I don’t think he’s ever going to be the guy that consistently carries you for four quarters, like The One or a real MVP-type (think Manning, Brady, Mahomes, etc.). I believe he settles somewhere in the Top 10-15 QB range overall (that’s pretty good!), but he has a few of those Mahomesian (I’m going to keep stealing all of your terms, Nate) tools in his bag. That fourth quarter drive was tremendous. His game-clinching throw to Patmon was a throw that probably only 7-8 other quarterbacks can make. He was all over the place in the third quarter, and looked jittery behind that evaporated offensive line, but he can still show up at any moment and give you *that*, even if it’s fleeting. He can be bad and/or disappear at times, sure, but at least he can also flash being great. I’ve been holding out for the next Manning or next Luck, but if Wentz can be good overall and hit *that* high every once in a while, while still having a really good roster around him, I think the Colts can contend. Certainly in a super weird year like this one, at least! Are you a believer in “contender”? Can we use that word? *nervous laughter* *starts breathing into a paper bag*
MILLER: Of course we are. We ALL are, whether we are publicly admitting that or not. The only non-believers at this point are analytics nerds and Mike Vanderjagt fans, but for entirely different reasons. Neither camps of grumpy skepticism allow themselves the danger of emotional attachment any longer—but WE can! And we are, at this very moment, for one very simple reason: This Colts team has evolved into a shockingly loveable outfit. Truly. Maybe it’s the Hard Knocks factor. Maybe it’s the Colts not rolling over dead on Christmas night when history & every Wise Man on the planet said they absolutely would. Maybe it’s T.Y.’s laugh. Maybe it’s having the raddest player in the NFL ready to break open any game in the blink of a cutback. Maybe it’s Frank Reich’s unmistakable, fleece-lined, Big Dad Energy permeating through all facets of this team—an air of pragmatic, well-priced L.L. Bean loafers in an adidas Yeezy’s world. Maybe it’s Kenny Moore and Michael Pittman, Jr. and Nyheim Hines and a dozen other players being truly, genuinely neat people in life who are easy to root for on the field.
Whatever it is, this team has it—and that they do cool football shit a lot is an added bonus that will come in handy in January, probably. I’m in. What the hell. It’s only pain. Sadomasochism is so hot right now, anyway. (“CRIPPLE ME EMOTIONALLY, DADDY.”) Let’s do this.
SCHULTZ: Are we getting sentimental on this thing? Because it feels like we’re getting sentimental on this thing, and I am absolutely here for it! Regardless of how it finishes from here, I’m ready to declare this team/season Fun, and in Indiana sports, that’s become my new bar rather than WIN ALL THE RINGZ OR U SUCK VRY MUCH.
So, zip up that L.L. Bean fleece because I think we’ve got a fun (and possibly special) January coming up!