Game 16: Raiders-Colts, Mauve Edition

AnvilHi and welcome to the newest installment of the infamous 2020 franchise, 2020 Part III: What3ver. So long, Part II, you bozo—you were the Temple of Doom sequel nobody asked for or remembers. Out with the old/in with the also old (but slightly stupider)! Auld lang syne and so forth, football friends!Of course, we’re not even through the opening credits of this dud just yet and the Raiders have already bested the Colts 23-20, partly because of predictable writing, I suppose … but mainly because nothing in the 2020 universe is allowed to stay super-awesome for long, The Surge™ included. It was a fine run. The Colts will still make the playoffs, probably. I think. So why does this not-hugely-significant loss feel so ugggghhhhhhhh?SCHULTZ: Maybe it’s the 589,273 calories I’ve consumed over the last 10 days, but I feel strangely numb to today’s defeat. Did Indy blow it today versus a whatever-they’re-sort-of-OK Raiders team? Absolutely! Will it matter if they win next week against a trash fire Jacksonville team? Probably not! The one caveat to this: Going to Arrowhead in the playoff opener is now in play, which wouldn’t have been had the Colts won their final two games. Also, as trash-fiery as the Jaguars are, I just hate leaving all of it up for chance going there. The Colts haven’t won in the Teal Thunderdome since 2014 and have lost to some extremely shitty Jags teams in nightmarish fashion in that span.MILLER: It does feel more like a bleeeehhhhh loss now that you mention it, which is a step up from the dreaded uggghhhhh loss. It’s still, you know, bad. But “bad” in that harmlessly dreary way we know so well—like drinking a can of LaCroix or rooting for the Pacers every year. Tolerable? Barely. Fatal? Not necessarily! Maybe 2022 won’t be so bad after all, you guys! Or at least no worse than parts I and II were. PCR TESTS CROSSED!SCHULTZ: It was blech more than ugh, but while I don’t think this loss is a huge deal, there’s something unsettling about Wentz’s propensity to be at his worst in these critical junctures—Tennessee (especially the 4th quarter/OT), New England, and with a Merry Clinchmas opportunity today. He shook off the inconsistency to be nails when it mattered most last week in Arizona, and deserves credit for that, but I was disappointed that things never got on track today. I mean, that was one of the most laughable touchdown passes that I can ever remember watching live. That throw must’ve had a 99.9999% interception probability. This game wasn’t entirely on him, though, as the rest of the team had zero juice. Maybe it’s because they all spent the week gorging on peppermint bark and vaccine information on Facebook! Who knows?MILLER: That pass was, is, and forever will be Wentz’s aura color. His energy field, if you will—if you’re a believer in such things. Not red (creative and energetic). Not mauve (powerful physically and intellectually; a sexual dynamo). His aura is that pass ( ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ ) with shades of hunting camo along the periphery (loves Mountain Dew Baja Blast). Ashton Dulin deserves a War Medal for diving into that platoon of waiting defenders to break up the double-interception.SCHULTZ: How do I type in mauve?MILLER: Let’s wrap this up.SCHULTZ: Win and they’re in. For all the ridiculousness this season: player vaccination statuses, blown double-digit leads, and miracle tipped touchdown passes, the Colts control their path. And, even with their recent nightmare run in Jacksonville, they’re playing the league’s worst team that has an incentive (No. 1 pick, baby) to lose. There are far, faaaaar worse positions for a team to be in than this one.