HI, FOLKS I’M NATE MILLER. I’ll be piloting this lawless bicycle-bar journey today. Michael Rubino and Derek Schultz will be doing the heavy pedaling. So hop on board and crank up the tunes, we have rush-hour traffic patterns and lives to disrupt! Everyone will hate us.
Cutting to the chase here: The final score will show that the Rams defeated the Colts 27 to 24, and that is undoubtedly true. The Colts lost. They are 0–2 for the first time since every other year, and Carson Wentz somehow managed to *SHOVEL* an interception onto that first-half lice fire. We should be rioting along the Eagle Creek Fitness Trail right about now.
But we’re not.
And we won’t be, I don’t reckon, but only because that was fun. It was interesting. It was worthwhile, if only in the second half. It was all we could have asked for on a 119-degree Sunday in September. That was fun, right? I think it was fun. It was better than last week, yes?
SCHULTZ: Are we doing a rolling game thread this year, because the Colts are wayyyy too rollercoaster-y to do a rolling game thread. After two very Indiana Hoosier goal-to-go sequences in the first half, things seemed to have settled down offensively and defensively. The fourth quarter just started, but I’m actually … impressed with Carson Wentz? Is that weird to say? It feels weird to say.
RUBINO: I don’t think it’s weird to be impressed with Wentz. He had a solid game, especially considering that once again (sacked three times) he was running for his life far too often. Part of that is on him; he holds the ball a tick too long. But, the offensive line just didn’t get the job done again. My concern is that Wentz might feel the need to press if that continues, which was one of the issues in Philly. You saw that on a few plays in the red zone. Is this an issue? If so, what’s the solution?
MILLER: The solution is this: There is no solution. Not right now, at least. That opportunity passed long ago, somewhere along the endless stretch of time between Anthony Costanzo considering his retirement and when he did, in fact, retire. The “solution” would have been to draft/trade for/build from cadaver parts/kidnap an NFL-quality offensive lineman to replace him. Instead, the Colts chose to sign the Tupac hologram from Coachella. This has proven unhelpful to Wentz, Michael, you are right about that.
Speaking of Wentz, I agree with Derek. He was surprisingly impressive. He was … fun. He was interesting. He did his own research, all right. HE COMPILED HIS OWN DATA, and the data is clear: You can’t spell “hydroxychloroquine” without “QB one.” (Well you can, technically—but you shouldn’t. #FreeYourMind)
RUBINO: For what it’s worth, here are some things I’m wondering. 1) Are the Colts a well-coached football team? 2) Along those lines, what was up with the defense with regard to covering Cooper Kupp? The unit didn’t look great in the first half. In the second, they had three 3-and-outs at one point that allowed them to get back into the game, and then Kupp re-emerged. 3) What are the Colts? What is their identity? 4) How good are the Rams? 5) What was the cause of the Colts’ red zone issues today? 6) If 0–2 is what you guys expected, can you tell me what comes next? Wentz got knocked out of the game. Imagine what the next few games could look like without him.
SCHULTZ: Let me try to TACKLE (See, we’re real football #analysts, amirite?) all six of those: 1) I’m still a Reich believer. I think it’s hard to call plays in goal-to-go situations when the offensive line is a complete trash fire, but I hated running three straight times on the first drive. 2) Defense was actually fine today. Rams are a legit contender. 3) *stares blankly into the abyss*. 4) See No. 2. 5) A combination of having only 3½ NFL-caliber OL available, getting overly boring and then overly cute. 6) I felt all along that these first five games were about survival—“surviving” would be 2–3 and I think they can get there. The problem is the rest of the slate (notably, the Raiders and Niners) looks far more daunting than it did in the preseason.
MILLER: My turn.
[shoos away all the snark like an Angie’s List witch shooing away the bad energy from your Aunt Kay’s new condo]
I don’t know what is or isn’t a well-coached team. I don’t know what a quote-unquote “scheme” is, or whether the Colts’ version of it is problematic. All I can say is that I enjoyed this game a great deal—the second half of it, at least—and that is all more than any non-meathead Colts fan deserves. Maybe it’s the hustle … maybe it’s Edgerrin. Maybe it’s the heat. Whatever it is, I am not ready to repurpose this 0–2 Hobby Lobby into a “Halloween Express” just yet, is what I’m saying.
This concludes the earnest portion of the “recap.” Never again. I hate you both for tricking me into this.
RUBINO: You volunteered.
MILLER: Here is the bottom line of Week 2: The Colts are a fine team, more or less! At least for now they are. They don’t win very much or block real good, but so what? They proved that they can be fun, and there is great value in that. Some 0–2 starts are more worrisome than others. This one feels somewhat benign.
And with that, we are headed on to Nashville next week with excitement and possibility dancing through our heads, like an obnoxious bachelorette party. Derek will pilot that outing.