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Tracking the Numbers

In the game of football, statistics are kept on just about anything you can possibly think of. Week in and week out, analyst will sit around and talk about the ODDs of a team doing this, or their chances of doing that, leaning heavily on these statistics for the formation of their opinions. It must be a nightmare trying to analyze this Colts football team, primarily because of the guy behind center, wearing #18. Ponder these numbers if you will;

Miami Colts
Time of Possession: 45:07 14:53
First Downs 27 14
Net Yards Rushing 239 61
Third Down Efficiency 71% 41%
Plays From Scrimmage 84 35

You look at these numbers and have to believe the Dolphins ran the Colts complete out of the stadium on Monday night, winning by a double digits or more – RIGHT? Here are the only numbers that really mattered though;

Miami Colts
Average Yards/Play 4.8 10.2

While all the questions about the Colts defense are still unanswered, they once again did everything that was necessary to give Peyton and the offense a chance to win the game. After the offense secured the lead with just over three minutes left to play, they provided just enough stops to allow them to sneak out of Land Shark Stadium with the most unlikely of wins. You can question the talent on this side of the ball all you want, but the heart cannot be brought into the debate.

Several of the young Colts played very big in this one. Pat McAfee added the kickoff duties to his repertoire and did so very impressively – three of his five kickoffs went into the end zone, with one not coming out. Donald Brown only carried the ball 4 times for 26 yards (6.5yd avg), but scored his fist NFL touchdown on a fifteen yard run to tie the game at 20-20. Pierre Garcon would also score his first NFL touchdown, at the 3:18 mark of the 4th quarter, on a 48 yard screen pass from Peyton Manning that would provide the Colts with all the points they would need to secure the victory.

Dallas Clark had the best receiving game of his career (fourth best in NFL history by a tight end) with 7 catches for 183 yards and a touchdown. It only took 12 seconds for him and Peyton Manning to hook up for the first score of the game, on an 80 yard pass play down the middle of the field. He would add other catches of 17, 20 and 49 yards at several key times throughout the game.

With Tiger Woods on the sidelines offering his support, Peyton Manning was absolutely brilliant. He would lead the Colts on scoring drives that lasted only :12, :32 and :43 seconds, as well as two others that lasted all of 3:17 and 4:03. He showed a national television audience exactly why he is the league MVP, and after just two games into this season, the NFL might want to start engraving his name on a record setting fourth trophy.

One can analyze this game any way they want and still not be able to make sense of the outcome. It speaks to the hours of preparation that Peyton Manning puts in each week, making sure he gets the offense into the right play at the right time against the right defensive alignments. It speaks to the heart of the players on Defense, that regardless of how poorly they have played throughout a game, they continually find a way to reach down and find what is necessary to get the stop that is ultimately needed. And it speaks to the confidence the coaching staff has in the players on both sides of the ball, not to panic, but to stand by the players when the game is on the line.

New coaches. New players. Same results. COLTS WIN!

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