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We’ve moved (Sort of) to 18to88.com

December 4, 2008

This will be the last post at 18to88.blogspot.com

As part of our long-promised arrangement with MVN.com, you can now find us as part of their network.

The good news…there’s plenty.

1. It’s the same 18to88 as always. No changes.
2. We are easier to find than ever. Just type in 18to88.com

The articles from the old front page aren’t linked up yet, but they soon will be. You’ll finally be able to find ALL of 18to88.com in one place. Conveniently enough known as: 18to88.com.

So just to be 100% clear:

WE’VE MOVED! GO TO 18to88.com

Brackett: out. Deshawn: depressed.

December 3, 2008

The news that the emotional and mental leader of the Colts defense is out (likely for the rest of the regular season) with a broken leg is crushing news. For a team that has already had to deal with a back breaking run of injuries over the past 14 months, this one is especially painful because the Colts are likely starting something called a Buster Davis instead of a Pro-Bowl caliber MLB who excels in coverage. I’m not going to get into the merits of this seemingly insane move, because I’m sure Tony has his reasons for it. Still, the downgrade from Brackett to a guy who has spent most of the season on the inactive list is huge. Couple this with the loss of Dawson for a couple of weeks, and the future doesn’t look bright. The Colts will probably still win these next three games simply because their opponents are among the dregs of the NFL. Still, any hope we had of seeing this team finally get healthy and come together to play at the level we all believe them to be capable seems gone.

If Gary Brackett is truly done for the season, I can’t imagine the Colts beating any playoff team. Even Denver. Yes. He’s that important. I suppose we might see something truly insane like Bob Sanders playing MLB, with Bullitt on the field for the playoffs if Brackett can’t go. I don’t think the Colts would try this in the regular season because of the injury risk for Sanders, but in a pinch, it would at least get their best available players on the field all at once.


Demond Sanders: Check out the latest MVP rankings from Bucky Brooks. He’s got three of my five, and I certainly can’t fault him for having Eli at the top spot. He’s got Portis and Peterson on the list, which I understand. They have very similar numbers and they both star for teams with a limited passing game. I’ll consider adding them next week, but I’m not totally sold on them yet. Peyton is nowhere to be found, which isn’t a surprise. He is going to look a lot better after Sunday.

My Five Favorite Grandpa Ted Moments

December 3, 2008

In driving around town the last couple of days, I put on my audio copy of Super Bowl XLI. It happens to be the last game in which Ted Marchibroda served as color man. A quick listen to the tape reveals why…as well as some of the most unintentionally funny moments in broadcast history.

1. Ted insists on referring to Bob Sanders as Robert throughout the entire broadcast.
2. Ted refers to great seasons by “so many players” including someone named “Alvin Betheeeah”
3. During Bob Lamey’s monologues recapping the season, Ted spends the entire time mumbling incoherent assent with everything Bob said. No matter what Bob said, Ted would reply, “mmmhmmuh youahr righ”.
4. In the broadcast of the AFC Championship game, Ted was so excited to pointout that Fletcher had a mismatch in his favor that he almost comes out of his shoes pointing it out after Peyton hit him with the huge pass down to the NE 38.
5. After a Ben Utech catch he inexplicably says, “He looked it right into his chest and dropped it. You can’t just catch every one with your hands”. One play later, Manning would through a TD to Reggie Wayne. Ted attributed it to a major mistake by the Colts secondary.

I’m not trying to pick on good old Ted. I just found it hilarious, that’s all. He’s a good man, and valued member of the Colts community…but it’s a good thing he’s not in the booth any more.

I can’t stop watching this

December 3, 2008

MVP Update

December 1, 2008

This week was a debacle for most of the MVP favorites. As a result there has been a signifcant shake-up in the order and the addition of a player who was nowhere to be found last week. You could put these five players in almost any order and I would not argue. Peyton is ranked first based on the fact that his next two opponents are a combined 1-22. There is a ton of football left to play and the pressure is on each player to distinguish himself.

1.) Peyton Manning, Indianapolis Colts
Stats: 19 TDs, 12 INTs, 2948 YDs, 85.3 Rating
Team Record: 8-4, 2nd place AFC South
Last week: 2 INT in a win at Cleveland
Remaining Games: CIN, DET, @Jax, TEN

Manning’s stats took a big hit this week, but remarkably his MVP stock rose. The race is far from over, and he will need to pad his stats over the next two weeks. Peyton is certainly aware of the opportunity in front of him. Don’t expect to see much of Jim Sorgi as Manning subtly guns for the award.

2.) Eli Manning, New York Giants
Stats: 19 TDs, 8 INTs, 2624 YDs, 91.3 Rating
Team Record: 11-1, 1st place NFC East
Last week: 1 TD, 1 INT in a win at Washington
Remaining Games: PHI, @Dal, CAR, @Min

Little brother has better stats and more wins, but that alone won’t be enough. He’ll need to keep it up and hope the other contenders struggle down the stretch. The media and fans have slowly warmed to Eli and thus an MVP award would only be a minor upset.

3.) Kurt Warner, Arizona Cardinals
Stats: 24 TDs, 11 INTs, 3741 YDs, 99.4 Rating
Team Record: 7-5, 1st place NFC West
Last week: 3 TD, 3 INT in a loss at Philadelphia
Remaining Games: STL, MIN, @Pats, SEA

I could have dropped Warner much farther, but I think Peter King was harsh enough for the both of us. I think the Cardinals are a fraud and Warner has played poorly in their toughest games. Sadly, I can still see a path to the MVP for him because of a relatively friendly remaining schedule (3 of 4 at home).

4.) Tony Romo, Dallas Cowboys
Stats: 21 TDs, 8 INTs, 2559 YDs, 103.2 Rating
Team Record: 8-4, 2nd place NFC East
Last Week: 3 TDs, 1 INT in a win over Seattle
Remaining Games: @Pit, NYG, BALT, @Phi

Romo is having another great season, despite missing three games with a hand injury. Dallas went 1-2 with Romo out. He is currently the NFL’s highest rated passer. He would be much higher on this list if Dallas didn’t have a difficult remaining schedule. Don’t be surprised to see Romo rising to the top.

5.) Brett Favre, New York Jets
Stats: 20 TDs, 14 INTs, 2708 YDs, 90.4 Rating
Team Record: 8-4, 1st place AFC East
Last week: 1 INT in a loss to Denver
Remaining Games: @SF, BUF, @Sea, MIA

Favre has plenty of time to make up for his unspectacular play against Denver. His remaining schedule is favorable so there is no reason to count him out.

Others in the conversation: Matt Ryan (needs stats), Adrian Peterson (needs wins), Michael Turner (needs stats)

If you have any names to add to the list please shout them out.

Head on over…

December 1, 2008

to Stampede Blue for a nice little clash over whether or not the Colts are ‘average’. Some one has taken exception to my statement last night. I defend it (rather conclusively) in the comments below.

For the record, I said they were average with an ‘it’ quality. It’s not much of an explanation, but then again, I don’t really have one. The Colts are 8-4. They probably shouldn’t be, but 18, 93, and 98 have been amazing all year. Without any one of those guys…I don’t want to even think about what the record would be. Anyway, enjoy the debate.

Ok, so let’s speak of it one more time…

December 1, 2008

So here’s a quick postmortem of one of the least satisfying wins in recent history. These observations are in no particular order.

  • The day actually turned out great for the Colts, as they now are assured of a playoff spot by going 3-1. They may not need that extra loss, but it’s nice to have it in the back pocket.
  • The Jets got a a lot of pub for whipping the Titans, and then stank at home. I think the moral of this story is the Titans aren’t as good as people think they are.
  • Oddly enough, Manning came out of his worst game in solid shape in the MVP race. All the other major QB candidates had really bad games AND lost. Brees is done for sure, as two picks in the final 2:30 cost his team the game. Favre was exposed, and Warner sucked on national TV (sort of). Manning didn’t play well today (although the game looks different if Wayne hangs onto that TD pass), but ultimately his one turnover (not three as reported some places-the hail mary was irrelevant and the Colts actually recovered his fumble). In the end winning matters. Basically the whole race is more screwed than ever as the Skins lost too, which dings the Portis campaign. It may come down to Eli by default, though I haven’t heard anyone mention him. Maybe APete goes nuts tonight.
  • This team needs Jeff Saturday on the field. Richard played fine, but couldn’t handle his matchups on too many plays. Still, no sacks today, so he didn’t fail miserably.
  • Anyone notice that I haven’t said one negative word about Charlie Johnson in weeks?
  • We missed the passes to the RBs today. Addai had to stay in on blitz pick up (which he did wonderfully). I don’t know if that was scheme related or because the Colts didn’t trust Richard.
  • I said at the time that passing on the FG was a mistake at half time, and I was right. The weather made this game nearly impossible to score in, and you can’t turn your back on points. Those three points would have changed the complexion of the second half.
  • Whipping boys Session and Jennings both had very nice games. The Colts pass D held Cleveland under THREE YARDS A PASS. That’s insane.
  • Freeney and Mathis. Nothing else needs to be said.
  • The Browns are awful. Derek Anderson’s trade value is at the same level as the Loch Ness Monster…they don’t exist. If this game had been played on a calm day, it’s not even close. Outdoor football in bad weather isn’t fun. It’s pointless.
  • The Cleveland DBs made a couple of nice plays in this game. It almost was the only aspect of the game they played well in. Actually the LBs closed the holes pretty will on our running backs. There was space at the line, but it disappeared at the next level.
  • Ultimately, the Colts are still an average team on the field that has some kind of special ‘it quality’. Every week either Manning saves us, or Mathis/Freeney does. Those three players are operating at an other-wordly level that seems to make the difference in close games. This team is 8-4, but won’t truly roll until it gets Saturday and Sanders back. On top of that, now we have worry about Brackett and Dawson. Fun.
  • Once Indy took the lead, we all knew there was no chance in hell for the Browns to score. Anderson was awful. He made exactly one really nice throw all day.

Ultimately, winning beats the hell out of losing. Imagine how we’d feel today if that had gone against us.

Don Banks this is a good kind of win.

CHFF says the D is a winner.

I don’t think he put it right, but this season at least, Perloff is right. Manning’s three worst games were the wind games at GB, Tennessee, and Cleveland. It’s not the elements, it’s the wind. Manning’s won plenty of bad weather games, but he struggles to run this offense this year in the wind. The lack of a consistent run game is part of the reason.

PK elevates Manning to the top spot. When you look at his list, how can you argue?

Let’s never speak of this again

November 30, 2008

Colts 10 – Browns 6

Colts/Browns Live Game Blog

November 30, 2008

Once again, if you know you are going to participate, please email us at 18to88@gmail.com, and we’ll send you a panelist invite.

Please limit comments to mostly complete sentences about the game and try to limit exclamations.