The second War of 1812 picked up right where the first one left off. Especially for Colts wide receiver Reggie Wayne.
The last game he played in was October 20, 2013 against the Denver Broncos at Lucas Oil Stadium on Sunday Night Football.
And here he was. September 7, 2014. On Sunday Night Football. Facing off against the Denver Broncos. Only this time, at Mile High Stadium.
As I watched Reggie Wayne catch that first pass of that first play, I wondered if it felt like he had never left the last game. Like he just woke up from a crazy dream, only to realize that a year had passed and nothing had changed.
Because, well…it felt like nothing had changed.
The Colts got off to a slow start. They missed catches, dropped interceptions, failed to recover fumbles, and even missed a field goal. They went into halftime down 7-24.
And then, the second half…cue the miraculous comeback.
Fueled by determination, drive, and a little bit of Luck, the Colts quarterback led the team on another one of his famous battles. The Colts defense cooperated and forced Peyton Manning into the one place he’s least effective: the sideline. And momentum fueled the drive.
But, the little things didn’t fall into place and it was too little, too late for the Colts. They fell to the Broncos 31-24.
This game wasn’t a must win for the Colts. And despite the same nagging issues, this team has improved on their strengths and strengthened their weaknesses. If they can take care of the little things (which add up to big things), there should be no limit to what the Colts can achieve this season.
But like last season, they’ll have to do it without one of their star players. This week news broke that linebacker Robert Mathis, suspended four games for use of an illegal substance, tore his Achilles Tendon while working out in Atlanta.
A team leader on and off the field, Mathis’ presence will be impossible to replace. But like last season, it leaves the door open for someone else. The players who stepped up in Reggie Wayne’s absence: T.Y. Hilton and Griff Whalen, are now key contributors on the Colts offense. And there are players on the Colts defense desperate for an opportunity to do the same. To those players: THIS IS YOUR TIME.
Something tells me the War of 1812 isn’t over.
It just feels like it’s written in the stars…
That there is still a game to be played.
That there is still a battle to be won.
That there is still a story to be written…
And that in the end, it will go down as one of the greatest ever told.