It wasn’t that they didn’t fight hard. It wasn’t that there weren’t any good plays. They didn’t even make that many mistakes. But the Colts just couldn’t pull it off. Too many times today, the Colts didn’t finish the drives. It was like each drive had frayed ends. They just couldn’t wrap it up. Everyone played hard. They played clean. But when it came down to it, they left it empty. Colts fans are feeling the loss. Its like wind going out of the proverbial sails. And like that, the Colts are done. And Ray Lewis and the Baltimore Ravens are headed to Mile High to meet Peyton Manning and the Denver Broncos.
Rookie QB Andrew Luck ended his season with a respectable 288yds passing. But none of those yards were for a touchdown. The Colts never saw the endzone. All 9 points came off the foot of veteran kicker Adam Vinatieri. Statistically, the Colts SHOULD have won this game. But a few massive passes by Joe Flacco and the ability to make the important catches gave the edge to Baltimore. Both defenses played their hearts out, but Luck found himself sacked for a loss 3 times versus once for Flacco. Luck needed the protection, and he only sometimes got it. On the other hand, when the pocket was collapsing, he panicked and made rookie mistakes (i.e. and intentional ground call late in the first half) that hurt his team.
Baltimore was able to keep their emotions under control, albeit they were heavily penalized (including a potentially costly taunting penalty that netted the Colts 15yds and zilch on the scoreboard). Those controlled emotions lead them past and away from the Colts, effectively ending a near Cinderella season for the young Indianapolis team.
Let’s hope that a restful offseason will cultivate the talent more and get the Colts past the Wild Card grey-area and into clinching the playoff spot early next season.
See you all during the draft!