Well, I'm far enough removed from the stupid playoff opener between the Colts and Chargers to be able to talk about it now. Mostly I just want to write something here, so I can look back years later when we win another Super Bowl (knock), and remember how depressing this was.
I really thought the Colts had a good chance to win it all this year, dangit. They were playing so well. But sure enough, the Chargers came in and ruined things again. Chargers, Patriots, Steelers. Seems like every year (except one), these three teams have our number. I really hate the Chargers now. Can't stand them. Actually, I mostly just hate Rivers and Merriman (even when he's not playing). Oh well, congrats to them.
As far as the game goes. The Colts defense actually played a pretty good game against a tough offense, until the last drive of regulation and that retarded opening drive in OT. I mean seriously, you let them convert 3rd and 11 in overtime in the playoffs while on the road?!?! Come on!! But, other than not having a great running game, not being able to stop Sproles, and losing a coin flip, there are two major reasons we lost this game.
The first one was the Chargers punter, Scifres. The man was ridiculous. All 17 of their points came when he pinned the Colts down around the 5 yard line. All three of those stupid punts led to short fields for the Chargers, which turned into 17 points. The Colts had to go like 80 and 90 yards for their scores (haven't checked my facts there, but it seems like it). And that last punt of his in the 4th quarter somehow stopped on a dime and didn't get into the end zone. Ridiculous. Which leads to the other reason we lost.
Two nice runs on our last possession give us a 3rd and 2 around the 9 yard line. Get this first down and we win the game. Who in the world decided it was a good idea to EMPTY THE BACKFIELD and shotgun the stupid football? Gee, I wonder if we're gonna pass the ball? Usually, you can second guess decisions and say "well, if it worked, nobody would be saying anything." I'm sorry, but even if it worked, that was a stupid stupid decision. And of course it didn't work. We get sacked for a loss and a tired defense has to return for the next two possessions, which lead to 9 points and another playoff loss. Ahh, makes me sick.
So, another season comes and goes and another talented team is left saying, "maybe next year." I hate it.
Part II: Dungy Should Retire?
This will probably be Dungy's last year. Kravitz is already calling for his retirement (see here). I actually tend to agree with Kravitz on most of his articles, even though he often seems to write controversial stories just to generate buzz and bring traffic to IndyStar. In this case though, he's an idiot.
I'm sorry, but you cannot blame these playoff losses on the coach. Here's an interesting quote from the article:
Right now, angry, frustrated Colts fans want a spittle-spewing, butt-chewing SOB who will inspire this team to play as well in the playoffs as it does in the regular season -- and I don't blame them. They don't want soft-spoken. They don't want even-keel.
Really? If you're one of those fans, then let me be one of the first to tell you that you are an idiot. You really think this group of Colts veterans needs someone to inspire them to play well in the playoffs? That's just dumb. Dungy has been and is a great coach. The toughest thing for a coach to do is get his team to the playoffs. After that, it's up to the players to perform. Any man who needs a coach to spit in his face so that he'll play his best when it matters most is never going to be in the playoffs anyway.
And the Colts did not play this game any worse than any other game this year. This whole season we didn't have a great running game, we struggled to stop the run and were suspect on special teams. Same thing this game. When we played San Diego in the regular season, it came down to a last second field goal. So, to anyone who's paying attention, this team did "play as well in the playoffs as it did in the regular season." Our offense couldn't convert a 3rd and 2, and that means Dungy should be replaced by a "butt-chewing SOB." Yeah, that's brilliant.
Of course if Dungy called that last offensive play, then maybe Kravitz is right.
Dungy will probably retire, and he probably should, but not because the Colts lost in their first game of the playoffs yet again. This game had nothing to do with Dungy's ability to inspire players when it really matters. Anyone saying otherwise is either super frustrated and just looking for answers, or an idiot sports columnist looking for headlines.