No Experience Necessary: Colts Win in Saturday Debut

AnvilSEVEN WEEKS have passed since our last Indy Monthly Colts Game Recap and what a month and a half—wait. Our last one was seven days ago? How is that possible?! After a whirlwind week of complete ridiculousness, which felt more like seven weeks than seven days, what can we possibly take from Sunday’s 25-20 victory in Vegas?The Colts did just enough against the NFL’s worst defense and the inexperienced Jeff Saturday outfoxed the league’s most incompetent coach (Josh McDaniels, remember him??), but it was a win that strangely … felt good. It’s completely counterproductive to the Colts’ future, especially beyond this season, to start stacking Ws in a .500-ish campaign, but hey, it felt nice and it’s nice to feel nice after a week where this city was the NFL media’s punching bag and had a normally sane Bill Cowher FROTHING at the mouth. Also, Nate and I watched the game together! In the same room! With our kids!Nate, after the combination of my presence + a Colts win + crushing exactly two (2) High Noons, how are you feeling?MILLER: While I do apologize for subjecting you to such dysfunction and mayhem, I’m secretly glad that you’ve now tasted my world. (“4 out 5 normal people agree it tastes like getting tasered in the ear drum!!”©) Hard to analyze the Colts’ route-running scheme when there’s a never-ending game of “Frisbee-rugby” going on three feet in front of your face, isn’t it? Ahh, you handled it well, though! Better than Vegas predicted.All that said, WHAT A GAME! It’s fun not wanting to seppuku ourselves before halftime! Forgot what that feels like.

SCHULTZ: It was! It was a very fun game! Big plays (most of which actually went the Colts way for once)! That said, I feel weird even highlighting Colts-Raiders because those three hours in Vegas were like the 19th most notable storyline compared to everything else that happened last week. More than Colts-Raiders, last week was about Jim Irsay seizing back control of his franchise over a general manager who clearly didn’t pick the interim head coach and looked like he wanted to be anywhere in the universe other than Monday’s press conference. It was about going to a no-coaching-experience former player in Jeff Saturday, a move mocked and ridiculed in the national media (and some local—even I called it “ridiculous”), in a fascinating test case for something we routinely see in the NBA and MLB. It was about a 30-year-old playcaller in Parks Frazier, who likely isn’t old enough to have played Madden in the 16-, 32-, or 64-bit eras. Hell, it was even about going back to Matt Ryan as QB1 in pregame warmups after benching him—*checks watch*—13 days ago. 

So what does yesterday’s win mean? I have no idea. Probably nothing, but I’m still trying to untangle my brain’s connective tissue and figure out what’s really happening here.

MILLER: Whatever this last week has been, all I really care about is this: It’s been fun. It has been unorthodox and weirdand I think Edggerin James is now vice president of football operations(?)and the fact that grumpy old Meathead Coaches publicly howled their displeasure only makes me fancy it more. Is this something we want to be doing every week? Just Abby-Hat-Pick’ing crucial gameday decisions and/or running shit based solely on vibez? Oh heavens no. 

Whatever this last week has been, it has NOT been the foundation of a nutritious and healthy NFL diet. Quite the opposite, in fact. We just feasted on 36 billion empty calories—like, three Ale Emporium stuffed breadsticks—and there may be some regrets headed down the pike. (Like clinical football diabetes.) But not now! Not today! Today is, again, about FUN. It’s about blissfully lying comatose in our calzone coma and genuinely wondering if Jim Irsay will name Cato June as the Colts’ “Football Pope.” Fingers crossed! 

SCHULTZ: In the wake of Monday’s press conference, I was all pissy, but now? Bring on the weird! Edge as VP of football ops? Cool! Craphonso Thorpe as GM? Awesome! Jimmy Page’s authentic Les Paul guitar from Led Zeppelin’s 1973 European Tour as head of player development? Sure! If this season is going to get weird, let’s lean into it, because weird is definitely more fun than bad. Anything is better than bad.

A much bigger test awaits the Colts next week as the league’s lone unbeaten comes calling. We’ll see what Irsay’s Island of Misfit Toys has for the Eagles on Sunday.