Writers of Pro Football Prospectus 2008

19 Oct 2006

Week 7 Rundown: Escape from Indianapolis

This week in the rundown: The Colts run, the Redskins run, then the Colts run some more. Then the Redskins run some more too. Plus: The Patriots try to stay out of North Korea, and Marty Schottenheimer fights his inner nature and tries to play Interesting Ball.

Posted by: Mike Tanier on 19 Oct 2006

44 comments, Last at 23 Oct 2006, 5:33pm by DrewTS


by asg (not verified) :: Thu, 10/19/2006 - 3:49pm

Wow, the one-two punch of "appalling pun" and "obscure Wonder of the World reference" in the Dominic Rhodes paragraph caught me short. I had to pause and regain my composure.

by Kevin (not verified) :: Thu, 10/19/2006 - 5:07pm

The Giants have a pretty good shot at beating Dallas. For some reason, Coughlin is 3-1 against Parcells and the Cowboys. Last season's game in Dallas was one the Giants could've won easily if not for the worst turnovers you'll ever see... Jacobs fumbles at 1 yard line and Eli throws a pick into double coverage at the 2 yard line. Dallas does have the ever important "must-win game" edge for this one and I'm a true believer in that when combined with homefield. A victory for the Giants would make them 3-0 in the division with only 1 road division game left, which will be the last week of the season against the Jason Campbell-led Skins. A win would also make them 4-1 in the conference with 6 home games left. I'm a Giants fan, but I would be surprised if the Cowboys didn't win a nailbiter.

by Wanker79 (not verified) :: Thu, 10/19/2006 - 5:13pm

This week, they [the Texans] may cover themselves in a big teal tarp and pretend to be Jaguars fans.


by MJK (not verified) :: Thu, 10/19/2006 - 5:41pm

Isn't Minnesota technically a piratically themed football team? The Vikings went around in ships, raping, pillaging, and burning. And they won back in Week 1.

by zip (not verified) :: Thu, 10/19/2006 - 6:04pm


Pirates typically plundered other ships whereas Vikings pillaged Europeans on the land instead. This was because the softie Euros couldn't sail on the ocean yet, and it's hard to commit acts of piracy when you're the only culture capable of sailing the North Atlantic.

Or at least that's what I can recall from a semester.

by Pat (not verified) :: Thu, 10/19/2006 - 6:17pm

I'm still amazed that the Redskins didn't roster juggle to add another defensive tackle. Three DTs, two of whom are rookies, as the only ones active? That's an awful big load to put on Golston and Montgomery.

by Matthew Furtek (not verified) :: Thu, 10/19/2006 - 6:19pm

They cut Cedric Killings for who-knows-why...

I think Wynn could play some DT if needed.

by Pat (not verified) :: Thu, 10/19/2006 - 6:26pm

They cut Cedric Killings for who-knows-why…

Well, no one else signed him, so that might be a hint. :)

by Kaveman (not verified) :: Thu, 10/19/2006 - 6:38pm

rofl... thanks Mike Tanier. I look forward to this article as much as to TMQ nowadays.

by MikeT (not verified) :: Thu, 10/19/2006 - 6:47pm

I am amazed at how many e-mails I have gotten that go like this:

"Shouldn't the Vikings be considered a Pirate-themed team? Actually, probably they shouldn't. Never mind."

What about the Seahawks? Wasn't there a pirate named Seahawk at some time?

by MJK (not verified) :: Thu, 10/19/2006 - 7:01pm

Wasn’t there a pirate named Seahawk at some time?

There was, if you used to watch She-Ra! back in the 80's. He had a ship that could fly through the air using "solar sails". Yeah, that show's physics were about on par with TMQ's. (Before anyone makes a snide comment, I had two sisters growing up, so that's how I know this).

The seahawk is another name for the osprey, a fish-eating raptor about the size of a red-tailed hawk. Pretty birds, but they make a real mess when the perch on your mast and drop pieces of their dinner and worse things all over your boat.

The Vikings certainly were pirates, at least in the practical, if not the legally piratical, sense. What ships the non-norse Europeans had got preyed on by Viking longships, which enjoyed a major advantage over other European ships because they could be rowed quickly upwind. It is true that the Vikings mainly attacked settlements on land, but who said pirates can't attack ground targets. In the Caribbean, pirates would frequently land and launch ground attacks against rich settlements. This was the best approach given that pirate ships often couldnt' stand up to real naval vessels at sea, but pirates could fight troops on land more effectively.

The only reason why you wouldn't call the Vikings pirates is that the term "pirate" later came to legally imply that they were attacking shipping without the endorsement of a government, as opposed to a privateer that had such endorsement. That didn't stop rival nations from hanging privateer captains as pirates, but it was a distinction. Since there was no overarching Viking government, I don't see that you can apply that distinction to the Vikings. So I guess if that's your criterion, the argument can go either way.

However, to be really technical, the word "Raider" does not necessarily imply pirate either. Just someone who raids. The U.S. Cavalry during the Indian Wars were raiders.

So while the Bucaneers are definitely pirates, both the Vikings and the Raiders may or may not be pirates, but the Vikings were definitely Raiders.

OK, now I'm confusing myself. Ignore me...it's been a long day at work...

And speaking of pirates, people have commented before that Mike Tanier's picture looks decidely piratical...

by Will Allen (not verified) :: Thu, 10/19/2006 - 7:11pm

The whole "dread-the-poison-pill-contract" meme is overblown. If the Vikings really wanted to keep Burleson, they would have tendered a higher offer (they had the cap room), and forced somebody to yield a first round pick to sign him. The Seahawks simply erred in allowing Hutchinson to go out solicit offers, and the right of first refusal form of free agency was bound to come to this, because it is in the players' interest to for it to be this way.

It is a mistake to say the Vikings signing of Hutchinson has not helped them. Yes, they have struggled on offense, and lack of wr production is the primary reason, but their real error was putting faith in the prospect of Koren Robinson as their main playmaker catching the ball. Hutchinson's contract, absent severe injury, will be seen as money well spent in five years. Burleson needs to get off the bench before his contract becomes worthwhile.

The Vikings defense will have to play well to hold Seattle to less than 20, and they might do it. Unfortunately, I have a tough time envisioning the Vikings offense scoring more than 13 or 14. Here's hoping for another turnover returned for a touchdown....

by Will Allen (not verified) :: Thu, 10/19/2006 - 7:15pm

Yeah, a stuffed parrott on Mike's shoulder in the photo may be a good look...maybe an eyepatch, too.....

by GBS (not verified) :: Thu, 10/19/2006 - 7:25pm

Where's that guy who thinks this site is biased against the Rams? Since they're on bye, I was thinking maybe he'd want to be an honorary Colts' fan this week maybe.

Count me in among those who really liked the Colossus joke.

by calig23 (not verified) :: Thu, 10/19/2006 - 9:39pm

I think I've become a fan of Kenard Lang.

by JTB (not verified) :: Thu, 10/19/2006 - 10:09pm

Yes, last year's Colts skated to some close wins, but that was different. Their 13-6 win over the Browns in 2005 was a classic example of turtle football: they took a 13-3 lead on a rainy day then hid in their shells during the fourth quarter.

Huh? The game was played INDOORS in Indy, so what did the weather have to do with it?

by Scott P. (not verified) :: Fri, 10/20/2006 - 1:33am

Why does Tanier say that it's too early for playoff choke cheap shots...& then he takes about 10 cheap shots at them anyway?

"The Colts are one of the weakest 5-0 teams we've seen in years."

I think it's interesting to note that only 10 teams over the past 5 seasons have been undefeated through 5 weeks-- the Colts (3 times) & 7 other teams.
'06 Bears & Colts
'05 Colts 13-0
'04 Eagles 7-0, Pats 6-0, Jets 5-0
'03 Chiefs 9-0, Vikes 6-0, Colts 5-0, Panthers 5-0
'02 none

"...the Colts may not be so fortunate now that their bye month is over."
The Colts have wins at NYG, at NYJ, & at home vs Jax. Since when does they teams suck? All 3 currently have 3 wins.

by Travis (not verified) :: Fri, 10/20/2006 - 2:19am

Yes, last year’s Colts skated to some close wins, but that was different. Their 13-6 win over the Browns in 2005 was a classic example of turtle football: they took a 13-3 lead on a rainy day then hid in their shells during the fourth quarter.

Huh? The game was played INDOORS in Indy, so what did the weather have to do with it?

I have no idea why it's relevant (unless the RCA Dome has a leaky roof), but the gamebook for that game includes this: "Outdoor Weather: Light Rain, 75 Degrees."

by Becephalus (not verified) :: Fri, 10/20/2006 - 9:52am

I loved the colossus joke. Such erudite humor is priceless.

by Becephalus (not verified) :: Fri, 10/20/2006 - 9:52am

Maybe this should be a new theme, work in an obscure wonder themed joke each week until the end of the year, would at the very least stretch your writing skills to the limit :)

by MikeT (not verified) :: Fri, 10/20/2006 - 10:04am

I mentioned the rain because ... um ... I got home and away mixed up again.

I think of a Colts cheap shot as "Peyton Manning chokes har har har," which I needed to sew up the lead. I think of "they cannot stop the run," "they had a hard time beating two lousy teams", and "the first half schedule was soft" as observations.

by calig23 (not verified) :: Fri, 10/20/2006 - 10:29am


Eh, it's just a clear case of this site's anti-Colts bias.

Like the ant-Rams bias. And the anti-Falcons, anti-Giants, anti-Puppies, anti-Vikings, anti-Seahawks, anti-Patriots, anti-Elephants, anti-Steelers, anti-Broncos, anti-Children, anti-Saints, etc. biases

by Rocco (not verified) :: Fri, 10/20/2006 - 10:53am

As a Steelers fan, I'm scared- Vick is good for one monster game a year which causes the media to forget all of his ills and proclaim him the best QB ever. Since he hasn't had the monster game yet, I'm afraid he'll have it this week. I can live with ridiculous media hype, as long as they aren't showing clips of him torching my team while they're doing the hype.

by Ilanin (not verified) :: Fri, 10/20/2006 - 11:29am

23 - wouldn't it be more normal to expect Vick to have his monster game against a bottom 5 defence rather than a top 5 one?

by billvv (not verified) :: Fri, 10/20/2006 - 11:47am

#22 and the Jets. Don't forget the Jets!

by GBS (not verified) :: Fri, 10/20/2006 - 1:02pm

If he had to do another obscure wonder of the world joke every week, wouldn't he run out before the end of the year?

by putnamp (not verified) :: Fri, 10/20/2006 - 1:27pm


It was myu understanding that the Vikings could only force a 3rd round pick out of teams, but they were demanding a 2nd in trade. That's why the Seahawks signed him and willingly gave up the 3rd - it was still cheaper than Minnesota's asking price.

by the K (not verified) :: Fri, 10/20/2006 - 1:52pm

Don't forget the anti-Bills bias.

My favorite part:

They'll bounce back to salvage a win from their NFC South road trip. Fennelly will downgrade Gradkowski to Don Meredith and the Dandy Warhols next week.


by Stillio (not verified) :: Fri, 10/20/2006 - 2:23pm

As a Jaguar fan I would like to say that FO has no anti-cat bias, but then Millen went and ruined it for the rest of us.

by Will Allen (not verified) :: Fri, 10/20/2006 - 2:40pm

#27, if the Vikings had been willing to tender more guaranteed money to Burleson, they could have forced any team that signed him to give the Vkings a 1st round pick as compensation. They didn't want guarantee that much cash to Burleson, hence the tender which required a 3rd round pick as compensation.

by Bobman (not verified) :: Fri, 10/20/2006 - 2:44pm

And anti-Millen bias. Then again, who outside the Ford family doesn't???

You guys didn't mention the Heimlich joke in the intro--that was the first Indy choke "joke." And I think everybody agrees the Chiefs in 2003 were a very lightly regarded 9-0 team with HFA locked up, due to luck, some flukey wins, and mainly because of a suspect D and thanks to Dante Hall, who hasn't been able to bottle and recreate his magic since.

This site is hardly anti-Indy, not nearly as much as it was three seasons ago. And personally as an Indy fan, I love it. Ignore us national media. Slam us pundits, keep the guys firmly based in reality and focused on their shortcomings. Dare I invoke the RHDUM: the Rodney-Harrison-Disreepect-Us-Meme?

Maybe, come Jan and Feb, it'll pay off. (so long as somebody convinces Tony D that a playoff game is NOT "just another game....")

by bsr (not verified) :: Fri, 10/20/2006 - 2:52pm

Beware the wrath of NaPolian if you say anything bad about the Colts. The Patriots are certainly fearful. See linked article.

by Wanker79 (not verified) :: Fri, 10/20/2006 - 2:52pm

Ok, I have to ask. What the hell is "meme"? And while we're at it, what the hell does "FOMBC" stand for? I'm assuming Football Outsiders something something Curse.

by Ben (not verified) :: Fri, 10/20/2006 - 2:56pm

Re:32 I think it just shows that the Patriots employees are too finese-oriented and are soft...

by Bobman (not verified) :: Fri, 10/20/2006 - 3:17pm

Meme: a unit of cultural information (from wikipdia). Not just a cliche or repeated pattern, but one that has a back story. It can expand quite a bit, but can generally be conveyed with just one or a few words. And the cultural part means that most members of a culture (in this case FOers and most serious NFL fans) would recognize it while others probably would not.

That Polian article link at 32 was good. Doesn't take much set ol' Bill off, throwing his jack and pounding the counter and stuff. I bet his face gets red too. Man, sure sounds scary. Pretty sure my pre-schoolers would laugh in his face. As a GM, what's his won-lost record? His teams made the playoffs 90% of the time or more, I suspect. He's doing something right.

With some grammatical exceptions ("the Colts losses come at the Colts expense." Who else would they be charged to?) and the unsupportable Brady-Manning conclusion, the Five Reasons section was pretty good too. But why oh why would a Pats fan ever give two hoots about Indy? They are always taking swipes at Indy, which is just plain silly. Do you think Yankee fans walk around all the time ridiculing the Bosox? Never. The Sox are a minor irritant compared to 80 years of domination. If NE fans truly believe their team, methods, coaching, management, culture are all superior, why waste time thinking about the second-banana? Again, I ask why NE fans even deign to insult Indy. Maybe, psychologically, they're not so sure. Or they envy all Manning's sponsorship deals, even while they are decrying their ubiquity. Or something.

by B (not verified) :: Fri, 10/20/2006 - 3:29pm

This site doesn't have an anti-millen bias, but Millen does have an anti-Lions bias. How else can you explain his moves?

by Rocco (not verified) :: Fri, 10/20/2006 - 3:38pm

#24- Probably, but I'm still worried. I'm trying to avoid making any Ron Mexico jokes or disparaging his passing, just to avoid negative karma. Especially after last night's baseball game- both Yadier Molina and Jose Valentin got hits (in Molina's case, the game-winning HR) after I crapped on their hitting. I'm taking no chances.

by Tom Kelso (not verified) :: Fri, 10/20/2006 - 3:50pm

Please -- I've been fighting the anti-Ravens bias on this site for almost three years now. I mean, just look at it -- a whole shcedule of games, and not one word about Baltimore!

(sound of crickets chirping at The-Internet-went-Bust-So-We-Named-It-Again-After-a-Bank Stadium)

"FOMBC", Wanker, means Football Outsiders Messge Board Curse. It was coined last season, when first Denver fans, and then more memorably Atlanta fans, crashed the boards complaining about the "dissing" their favorite teams were getting. Denver had a short slump, while Atlanta totally bottomed out, and thus a legend was born.

by Jeff (not verified) :: Fri, 10/20/2006 - 4:35pm

"Talk about IDLE worship."

Hehe, that is a clever dig. Or bad editing.

by zlionsfan (not verified) :: Fri, 10/20/2006 - 5:05pm

Re 26: not necessarily. There are different categories of Wonders. While my Civ background may be confusing me on this, at the very least, there are ancient (which would leave 6 more for MikeT) and modern (which should get him into whatever happens after the regular season, I seem to have forgotten). There are also natural wonders.

In Civ IV, there are, I think, two more categories, just in case more are needed ...

by bsr (not verified) :: Fri, 10/20/2006 - 5:27pm

#35 - You are obviously not a Yankees or Red Sox fan. If you were, you would know that your statement is untrue. It is one of the best, even if lopsided, rivalries period, and it goes both ways. Yankee fans go out of their way to stick it to Red Sox fans, or at least they used to.

And how is that article in any way shape or form a dig at the Colts or their fans? I think it is humorous more than anything. It would be the equivalent of someone making fun of Belichick for his bubbly personality. Why so sensitive?

by Scott P. (not verified) :: Sat, 10/21/2006 - 2:26am

Hey MikeT-- Are "Heimlich manuever" & "Let's make sure they reach the postseason before we sweep them out of it..." simply more examples of your observations? Maybe we should question your ability to accurate check the facts anyway. As someone already pointed out, you had it raining inside the RCA Dome. You also wrote that "last year's Colts skated to some close wins..." If my memory serves, they set an NFL record by winning each of their first 13 games by 7 points or more.

Granted, the Colts needed LATE GAME HEROICS (you call it "getting lucky") to beat the lousy Jets & Titans. In comparison, the unstoppable juggernaut known as the Chicago Bears needed LATE GAME MIRACLES (I call it "getting lucky") to beat the lousy Vikings & Cardinals.

by GBS (not verified) :: Sat, 10/21/2006 - 8:47am

Hey, no fair using Civ wonders. Do you relly want Mike making obscure references to "Statue of Zeus" or "Great Lighthouse" in his next column?

I do remember now that there are supposedly 7 "modern wonders" in addition to the original 7, so you make a good point.

by DrewTS (not verified) :: Mon, 10/23/2006 - 5:33pm

Re 43

I'm pretty sure that the Statue of Zeus at Olympia and the Lighthouse of Alexandria are not just Civ wonders. They're members of the canon Seven Wonders of the Ancient World, along with the Colossus of Rhodes. The statue was destroyed in a fire, and the lighthouse was destroyed by an earthquake. Dominic's colossus was also downed by an earthquake. Seems like overkill, since a shoestring tackle is usually sufficient.