We here at Naptown’s Finest have just awoken from our turkey-and-gravy-induced comas so let’s get back to business: Colts vs. Falcons, Thanksgiving night.
It may be too soon to say this, but the Colts may be back into something resembling rhythm. Marvin Harrison’s still questionable for the Jags game this coming Sunday, but it was great to see the o-line backups (Tony Ugoh and Ryan Diem were still out) were able to step up their games and deliver decent pocket-protection for Peyton Manning.
Speaking of Manning, coming off a horrendous three-game stretch (including a record six INTs in one game) he finally found some rhythm with a somewhat rejuvenated receiving corps, connecting on TDs with Reggie Wayne for 23 yards, Dallas Clark for 8 yards and even Ben Utecht for 5 yards. Anthony Gonzalez really stepped up from being there for the short dishes to making big plays (35-yard and 32-yard catches, respectively) to set up two of Manning’s three Q2 TDs, finally claiming that coveted “3rd receiver” he’d not quite earned so far this season with injury and Clark’s demanding presence on the field. He had only one INT on the night (ATL’s DeAngelo Hall), but still finished with a solid 272 yards passing.
The rushing game kept improving Thursday night as both Joseph Addai and Kenton Keith put up good numbers, Keith leading with 74 yards on 17 carries; Addai with 44 yards on 10 carries and a rushing TD. Addai did receive a neck injury in the Q2 but returend shortly afterwards.
Special teams didn’t do anything wrong, so we couldn’t ask for more from them. Adam Vinatieri even made some of those FGs he forgot how to make over the last few weeks.
And the defense was its same ole self, especially when Antoine Bethea‘s wtf-hit on Atlanta’s Laurent Robinson resulted in a Kelvin Hayden INT-dish-off to Bob Sanders. Also, Gary Brackett had 13 tackles (11 of them solo), Raheem Brock and Simeon Rice got a sack apiece, and Rocky Boiman also contributed an INT with a 26-yard runback.
All-in-all, it was a great outing for a squad that looked like some car in Bruce Willis’ Last Man Standing, riddled with bullet holes. The 10-day R&R should be great for injuries, especially since Tony Dungy‘s not having them even think about putting pads on until Wednesday.