It’s true, what they say…winning does cure everything. Or most things, anyway.
I, for one, am very happy. Because Sunday was the most powerful, balanced, statement game I have seen the Colts play in many years.
They ran the ball. Ahmad Bradshaw, who Coach Pagano describes as an angry runner, was running mad all day. And he had the 49ers running scared. Our shiny new running back scored a touchdown on his first carry as a Colt. Welcome home, Trent Richardson.
Back that up with a deadly passing game and a quarterback, Andrew Luck, who can take off at will for a down or even a touchdown…and you have an offense with a one, two punch. Make that a one, two, three punch.
And on top of it, the defense didn’t just stop the run, it stopped Colin Kaepernick. In his tracks. It kept Frank Gore confined to human being numbers. And it sent the 49ers off the field scoreless time and time again.
It’s funny. In the first half, there were some play calls I wasn’t wild about (again), specifically the use of Donald Brown on third down. I was getting frustrated with the sideways passes (bubble screens) for no yardage, and the lack of air bombs to Reggie Wayne.
But, in the second half, as I realized our offense was…working, I suddenly was alright with it. All of it. Even the stuff I didn’t like.
And then, it occurred to me. I have been making a big mistake as a fan. I’ve been holding on to an identity and expectations for this team that were built by another regime…for another team. The managers, coaches and players from the Peyton Manning laser rocket, gun-slinging quarterback era are gone.
The team has changed and so has the league. What worked then, doesn’t necessarily work now. And to be honest, it didn’t always work then.
I made a decision. I am going to let the days of Tony Dungy, Tom Moore, and Peyton Manning go. I’m going to forget altogether the days of Jim Caldwell. And I’m going to embrace the Chuck Pagano, Pep Hamilton, Andrew Luck “no coast offense” for one reason…it’s now. And it’s real. And it’s working.
Change is hard. Sometimes we hold onto ideas that no longer reflect our current reality.
People change. Teams change.
And this fan has opted to change with them.
From here on, I vow to let Andrew Luck be Andrew Luck. And let the Colts offense be West Coast, East Coast, or no coast.
Because someday, in the not too distant future, I’m going to be holding another group of players to the ridiculous standards they set.