Writers of Pro Football Prospectus 2008

10 Oct 2005

Morning After Week 5

Len Pasquarelli checks in with a series of what seem to me rather obvious storylines. Colts' defense is good. Michael Vick gets hurt. Tatum Bell was part of the Bailey-Portis trade. Houston Texans are really bad. The one thing I disagree with, however, is using the 49ers game as a reason to lead with the Colts' defense. They got run over by Kevan Barlow and missed as many tackles as they did against the Patriots last January. Fortunately, Cato June was Alex Smith's second favorite target, and the only one he hit for a touchdown.

Posted by: Ned Macey on 10 Oct 2005

8 comments, Last at 10 Oct 2005, 11:04pm by emcee fleshy


by CoreyG (not verified) :: Mon, 10/10/2005 - 3:22pm

Wow, is the Atlanta secondary really as bad as Len makes them sound?

by djcolts (not verified) :: Mon, 10/10/2005 - 3:36pm

The Colts didn't play well yesterday - and many Colts fans were very disappointed with their performance. Luckily, they picked a good week to struggle. In the other games they've played they've tackled much better than they did yesterday.

I disagree with your interpretation of why Len P led with the Colts - it isn't because of the 49er game, but because they are the only unbeaten left. If TB, Wash or Cincy won yesterday, he likely would have led with one of those teams because they would still have the "unbeaten surprise" angle.

by RCH (not verified) :: Mon, 10/10/2005 - 4:12pm

I watched the Atlanta/Pats game...The Birds had particular trouble covering and tackling the TE's. Hall seemed to get beat quite a bit. The DBs didn't get much help from the pass rush, and for a team that is supposed to be blitz crazy they didn't seem to confuse the Pats O-Line.

by Sophandros (not verified) :: Mon, 10/10/2005 - 5:56pm


Yes. I've seen most of their games in the last couple of years, and they are a weak spot on the team, and have been for a couple of years.

One thing that bothered about the Falcons/Patriots broadcast was the commentator's saying that Atlanta's Offensive Line is underrated. Umm, those guys really are not underrated, because to be underrated, you have to be good. Yes, the Falcons run for a lot of yards, but much of that is despite their line, not because of it. Look at their rushing numbers when Vick isn't in the game, for example. Look at the sack totals and QB pressures. Sure, the blame can go around, but let's have some better analysis from the people who cover this game for a living.

BTW, living in ATL, I can't wait to see the Falcons' bandwagon come to an end. I hate just about every ATL pro team because of the bandwagons and stupid, stupid fans.

by charles (not verified) :: Mon, 10/10/2005 - 7:21pm

The DBs didn’t get much help from the pass rush, and for a team that is supposed to be blitz crazy they didn’t seem to confuse the Pats O-Line.

I have to somewhat disagree because the patriots o-line got called for at least five holding calls against the falcons pass rush. Those holding calles killed the patriots drives in the second half and allowed the falcons to creep back in the game. Brady took alot of hits, but you know it's brady he's got guts the size of a burglar (thanks sean salisbury) and still got completions. If anything the falcons db's would stop running after 30 yards thinking brady couldn't throw that far and then a ball would just float into a new england receiver's hands 40 yards down the field. That's exactly what happened on the bethel johnson td.

by tracey (not verified) :: Mon, 10/10/2005 - 8:57pm

"But, hey, Indianapolis didn't make the schedule and, last time we checked, you can only play the team that's next to your name on the calendar in a given week."

This is an oft used and lame method for trying to deflate an argument about a team's schedule. First acknowledge the schedule, then present it as if "not having a choice" somehow changes the circumstances. I do agree that the Colts defensive performances imply a marked improvement, not withstanding their schedule, this type of logic is annoying / insulting.

I also wonder: Is there any possibility that the Colts have altered their offense and this is positively affecting the defense? With such improved numbers on defense, the offense should be getting even more and better opportunities to score.

by tracey (not verified) :: Mon, 10/10/2005 - 9:05pm

RE #6:

I meant to say:

"I do agree that the Colts defensive performances imply a marked improvement, not withstanding their schedule; however, this type of logic is annoying / insulting."

(seems that the censors for the message board disagree with another, simpler conjunction in place of "however".)

by emcee fleshy (not verified) :: Mon, 10/10/2005 - 11:04pm

The Atlanta secondary really isn't all that bad. . . .Okay, except for this week, when they were high-school-quality awful.

They're painfully inconsistent, though. The guy who drives me the craziest is Bryan Scott, who can be great(!) one week, and then get absolutely destroyed the next, as if he's trying to see how many tackles he can make without using his arms. (This week and the NFC Championship game being good examples of the latter.)

Maybe it just seems this way because a bad game from a safety is more obvious than a bad game from any other position except QB.


On another note, it seems like Pasquarelli has more fun writing his column than nearly anybody else.