Tag Archives: Charlie Whitehurst

The Colts Maintain Their Pulse in Week 16

The battered and bruised Indianapolis Colts showed enough moxie this past Sunday afternoon to pull off an 18-12 win over the Miami Dolphins in Sun Life Stadium. This victory was anything but pretty, but the way this season has gone for Indianapolis (7-8), they’ll take a win of any kind…beggars can’t be choosers, after all.

This was a game that the Colts were very lucky to win. Miami, now 5-10 on the year, outgained the Colts by nearly a hundred yards offensively, but there were some key moments that completely erased that advantage.

Indianapolis QB Matt Hasselbeck threw a first quarter interception that was negated by a holding call on Dolphins CB Brent Grimes. Later in the quarter, Miami QB Ryan Tannehill tried to hit WR DeVante Parker on a fade route in the corner of the end zone, but Tannehill was picked off by Indianapolis CB Vontae Davis. In the third quarter, Tannehill threw an apparent touchdown pass, only to have it taken off the board when WR Jarvis Landry was called for offensive pass interference on the play.

These three plays alone created an 18-point swing in favor of the Colts, but there was one last prayer they needed answered to pull this one out.

The Dolphins had driven to the Colts’ 5-yard line with under a minute to play, poised to find the end zone and score a likely game-winning touchdown. Instead, Tannehill threw the ball on three straight downs, misfiring each time. The fourth down play never got off the ground, as a mistimed snap caused Ryan Tannehill to be engulfed by the Colts defensive line before having any opportunity to get the ball out of his hands…and that was all she wrote for Miami.

Colts RB Frank Gore essentially carried the offense, rushing for 85 yards on 15 carries, including a nifty 37-yard touchdown run in the first quarter. Matt Hasselbeck was knocked out of yet another game, and third-stringer Charlie Whitehurst came in and did his job: he played unspectacular but mistake-free football.

Indianapolis’ much-maligned defense held down Miami’s rushing attack, and made enough plays against Tannehill and his receivers to keep the Colts in the game, although they did give up 329 passing yards on the day.

Miami did everything they could to give this one away, but the Colts did capitalize on the Dolphins’ errors, so Indianapolis does deserve some credit for being opportunistic.

Despite the victory, the Colts playoff chances are slim…the Houston Texans are responsible for that (they blew out Tennessee 34-6 on Sunday). Houston continues to hold a one-game lead over the Colts, and it would take a myriad of things to happen for Indianapolis to wiggle into the playoffs now.

This was a win the Colts badly needed. Even if the playoffs are out of reach, they needed this to gain some momentum and confidence. However, there’s a problem with the way the Colts deal with winning games like this.

There has been a pattern this season of head coach Chuck Pagano overreacting to his team’s victories. He gave an inspirational and emotional speech earlier this season after a come-from-behind win over the Titans. Yes, the Tennessee Titans. Pagano repeated this act after Indianapolis picked up the ‘W’ over a Miami team who was eliminated from playoff contention weeks ago.

Why is this a problem? It shows everyone how low the bar is set, and honestly, wreaks of desperation. There’s a saying in sports, “act like you’ve been there before.” Pagano acting like the Colts just won the Super Bowl each time they beat an also-ran is weak. He’s trying to convince his team that they accomplished something significant, and perhaps, hoping his boss (Jim Irsay) is fooled by this as well.

It’s not working, Chuck.

Jim Irsay’s goal is for the Colts to win multiple Super Bowls in the “Andrew Luck Era.” Surely he knows that will never happen with a head coach like Chuck Pagano. Pagano is a man of character and strength, and a very good NFL assistant coach…there’s a lot to like about Chuck Pagano. The simple fact is: he’s over his head trying to lead an NFL franchise to the Super Bowl, which is where the Colts want to go and believe they can go.

Yes, Indianapolis came out on top in this game. But, when you put it all in perspective, this victory rings very hollow.

Seeking a Friend for the Worst NFL Game Ever

If you were watching the NFL Network, it was right there at the top of your screen, counting down and tormenting you. In all fairness, some of the players families and a few sad souls in Northern Florida and the state of Tennessee might legitimately be looking forward to this mess, but I can’t say I’m acquainted with any of them. Of course, I’m nothing if not human, so I pity everyone that’s obligated to watch the Titans and Jaguars on Thursday, unless they’re doing so from one of the poolside cabanas at Everbank Stadium. Then again, it’s mid-December and it’s going to be around 56 degrees at kickoff in Jacksonville, so I feel sorry for them, but I mostly just feel sorry for myself.

If I’m forced to sell this game to the public, and keep in mind that I’m not, I don’t know where to start. Both teams are 2-12, and you’d say both teams would be in tank mode, if only Jacksonville didn’t have a somewhat promising future with Blake Bortles and less of a need for Oregon’s Marcus Mariota to save the day. Only the Bears have allowed more points this season than the Titans, and no team has scored fewer than the Jaguars, so something has to give.

The more I’ve thought about wasting three hours of a Thursday night with this thing, the more I think about the final minutes I’ll spend on my death bed, wondering why I didn’t make better use of my healthy years. I know, if I were to watch this one, I’d be watching it alone. Seriously, how do I convince someone to spend the time with me, Jim Nantz, Phil Simms, and Tracy Wolfson…on a Thursday?

I’ve thought about women. I’ve thought about beer. I’ve thought about “making it interesting”. I’ve joked, as comedian Larry Miller did long before me, that the female presence dictated where I went and how long I’ve stayed places in the past, but what female is going to spend any night within a week of Christmas watching the tandem of Ken Whisenhunt and Chas Whitehurst on a Thirsty Thursday?

Aside from Blake Bortles partner, I’m not sure these are the type of ladies with whom you’d want to share their company. Unless your beer is laced with the type of substance that turns Allen Hurns into a rejuvenate Keanan McCardell, literally every gin-joint from Chula Vista to Fairport, Maine is a better option. And, have as much fun as you’d like with the wagers in this one; the home team is favored by a field goal and the over/under is 40, but I’m not sure any amount of money is going to be a worthwhile return on the 180 minutes or so of your time. Unless, “trick-shot quarterback”, yes that’s a thing, Alex Tanney gets on the field, the NFL Network will bring as much interesting content as three hours of dead air.

Still, I find myself facing the Family Circus Dilemma from the movie “Go”, admittedly a guilty pleasure of mine.

“Okay. You sit down and read your paper, and you’re enjoying your entire two-page comics spread. Right? And then there’s the Family fucking Circus, bottom right-hand corner, just waiting to suck.”

-Timothy Olyphant (as Todd Gaines in Go)

So, the game is on National TV, as if that means something. There might be alternatives. Big Bang Theory is running a repeat from December, so that’s out. The NBA is featuring Oklahoma City and Golden State, so that’s got some promise. Ditto for the Habs and Ducks on the ice, but these are sports that play 82-game seasons and start their post-seasons in about four months. This is my last chance to see a meaningful professional football game until after Labor Day. Alright, I most definitely could not type that last sentence with a straight face, but the bottom line is that I can’t not watch this game.

CraigsListTitansJags

My Cleveland Sports Weekend

Dear Diary,

You won’t believe the sports weekend I just had!

First, in high school football action on Friday, my North Ridgeville Rangers suffered a Homecoming Game defeat to the dreaded Midview Middies, 28-14. Junior RB Demario McCall (Run DMC we call him) had a terrible time trying toRunDMC cut and run in the muddy, wet conditions and just couldn’t get it done. It’s strange to say that 103 yards and a TD is his worst game of the season but it’s true. Word on the street is that Ohio State Buckeyes head coach Urban Meyer was checking him out a few weeks ago… Hmmmm.

Saturday was all about the Buckeyes. I’ll admit, their pass defense leaves much to be desired. They are playing like two separate defensive units, The Front Seven and buckeyesThe Back Four. Nope, not a fan of the Fickell, but you already know that. Anyway, with Cincinnati QB Gunner “The Gunslinger” Kiel at the helm, the Bearcats got over 400 yards of offense. Heck Gunner threw for 4 TDs and 346 yards! Luckily, JT Barrett and Ezekiel Elliott were more than ready to show that the Buckeyes have some offense too… JT had 324 passing yards, 79 rushing yards and 4 TDs of his own! And Zeke with 188 rushing yards?!? Amazing! Mark another one in the Buckeyes Win Column 50-28! That’s three games in a row where the offense socred 50+ points. I guess if the defense can’t hold ’em, we’ll have to win in shoot-out fashion!

I hear the Cavaliers had some kind of scrimmage and then a game vs the head coaches former team from Israel but really, it’s football season. Am I right? LOL Whatevs.

Now, Sunday was the capper! Let me tell you, diary, I was freaking out until around 4:10pm watching the Browns play down at the Tennessee Titans. It’s a good thing I am the only one in the office on Sundays because I was screaming and yelling and throwing things (just a couple things and they were soft so nothing got broken), but really, the missed tackles and mental mistakes make me crazy! Being down 28-10 at the half is insane! I know we came back to tie the Steelers in week 1 being down 24 points but I hadn’t seen enough to have faith that good guys in the white jerseys could come from behind. Again. And don’t even get me started on the defense! Could we give up just a few more points to backup QB Charlie Whitehurst? And his pony tail? Really? REALLY??? ARGH!BrownsvTitans

But oh gee lordy was I surprised when the second half started and the defense just shut them down. Plus, we never gave up on the run, just kept cranking away and chipping their lead down until we were ahead by 1 point! And yes, I was afraid that 1 minute on the clock was too much time for us to give the Titans. Can you blame me? Well, all I can say now is: HALELUJIAH BABY IT’S VICTORY MONDAY! I totally <3 Travis Benjamin. Sigh. He’s really making a name for himself as the Play Maker this team needs while JG is out. I’m not ready to declare them the Kardiac Kids 2.014 but maybe the Comeback Kids is who they are… or The Spread Coverers. LOL

Can I handle a long season of 3-point games differentials? As long as we are actually scoring TDs and finding ways to WIN these close games, you bet your butt I can handle it! Go Browns!

Respectfully Submitted,

Cleveland Kate