The first rule of coaching is this: Don’t listen to the fans. Or pretty soon, you’ll be sitting with them. And generally, that’s probably true.
But, on Sunday, the Colts finally ran the offense the fans have been screaming for. And…it worked.
Now, I’m not saying coach Chuck Pagano or offensive coordinator Pep Hamilton were listening to the fans. Nor should they be.
But even someone who knows nothing about football could tell you what wasn’t working on the Colts offense. Andrew Luck was holding the ball too long and getting hit too often, the running backs had nowhere to run, the receivers weren’t getting open and weren’t making plays when they were. It looked tight, forced, and uncomfortable.
Until the fourth quarter, when they loosened up, opened everything up, and made some plays. Only by then, they had another opponent…the clock.
The Colts repeated this pattern week after week (after week). Until week 15, when they finally decided to pull a chapter out of the old Tom Moore playbook…and “start with lightning.”
What a concept. Let’s do what works…right from the start. And guess what? It worked!
On Sunday, the Colts started fast against the Texans. Andrew Luck had the offense moving. He got rid of the ball before his protection collapsed. The receivers got open. The running backs had running lanes. And for the second week in a row, Andrew Luck played toss and run with Trent Richardson with great results.
And just like that…with a pass to Griff Whalen, the Colts scored a touchdown. In the first half of the game. And not just the first half…the first possession of the first quarter.
I didn’t realize the Colts hadn’t scored a first half touchdown since the Broncos game on October 20th. It had been months. But in a way, it felt like longer. All I knew was that it had been too long.
But that touchdown set the tone for the game. Not feeling the pressure of coming from behind, the defense went out and made some plays too. Big plays.
Darius Butler had two interceptions. Vontae Davis held Andre Johnson to zero touchdowns. Zero.
In fact, the Texans never got a touchdown. The Colts started early and finished early, beating the Houston Texans 25-3.
The fans may not always be right.
But, they’re also not always wrong.
It’s time for the Colts to send the “no coast offense” back to the place it came from. Because that’s exactly where it was taking them…and fast.
And instead…let’s start with lightning. Finish with lightning. And in between…lightning.
Time to light it up…