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A lot of people like to talk trash about the Colts. That's fine. What drives me nuts is people throwing out 'facts' about the Horse without having the real information. Here are 5 of the most common myths about our team coupled with the truth.
Myth 1: Tony Dungy is a defensive coach firstPropagated by: Just about everyone, but here's a link in particular.
Why it seems true: The argument is that Tony Dungy was a defensive player, defensive coach, defensive coordinator, defensive innovator, so he must be a defensive head coach first.Why it’s false: Dungy’s mindset has never been defense first. He is a complete head coach who has proved he is capable of winning in a variety of ways. True, when with the Tampa Bay Bucs, he built a team into a perennial contender based almost exclusively on defense. Then he took over the Colts and built a perennial contender based almost exclusively on offense. Peyton Manning himself was worried about Dungy coming in an changing the Colts aggressive offense, but in fact he got a head coach who had run the very same offense the Colts run today as a college quarterback at Minnesota. Dungy’s team priorities are:
5 in turnover ratio (affects
both sides of the ball)
Verdict: Tony’s strategies and focus are based on having a balanced team with offense, defense and special teams all working well. He managed to successfully coach teams built to favor one or the other, but his goal has always been a balance between offense and defense.
Myth 2: Peyton Manning always choked in the playoffs before 2006Propagated by: Bill Simmons, Terry Bradshaw, and many others
Why it seems true: The Colts lost Manning’s first 3 post-season games. In all three, the Colts offense scored below its season average.
Why it’s false: This is a case of blaming the quarterback for all losses by a team. If you look at the three games in question, you realize that Manning is not to blame for the losses.Game 1:
Simmons complained recently that Manning didn’t throw a TD pass in that game. It’s true, but he did have a clutch 15 yard TD run to keep the Colts hopes alive with a minute to play.
Compare the stat line for McNair and Manning on that day:
Mora chose option 2, thinking that Mike
Vanderjagt would win
the game. Vandy
shanked the ball so far
right that you had to wonder what set of goal posts he was aiming at.
Jets 41-Colts 0-Simmons went over and over this
game and how it was
Manning’s fault. Let’s recall the drive
Before Manning ever got the ball back a second time (and remember that he drove the team downfield on the first possession), the Colts were losing 17-0. HOW WAS THIS HIS FAULT? He had nothing to do with any of those points. Again, only an idiot would say that the Colts lost this game because Manning choked. Since 1972 NO TEAM has come back from 17 down on the road. How can you say that Manning choked when his team put him in an impossible position? He did throw two ints in that game. ..IN THE FOURTH QUARTER WHEN THEY WERE DOWN 30. There was no choke here, at least not by Peyton.
Manning has had three other playoff losses. In 2003, he legitimately
stank in the AFC
Championship game (in the snow, on the road, against a great defense
officiating crew that was determined never to call illegal contact). This was on the heels of
two of the most
brilliant postseason games by a QB ever.
In 2004, Manning played fine against the Pats, but
two fumbles by WRs
deep in Patriots territory doomed the offense.
Verdict: In 3 of Manning’s 6 postseason losses, Vanderjagt missed key field goals. Yes, before 06, he was 3-6 in the playoffs. If he had had a better kicker, he would likely have been 5-4 or better. Bad luck is not choking. Good luck (tuck rule) isn’t being great. Only simpletons confuse these things.
Myth 3: Dwight Freeney is a liability on run defense
Propagated by: Vic Ketchman and others
Why it seems true: Freeney flies up field so fast that surely he’s terrible against the run. The Colts have a bad run D. It must be because their best D lineman can’t play the run.
Why it’s false: As shown by this article the Colts were incredibly successful in stopping runs at Freeney. As the article points out, this isn’t all on Dwight. There are several factors:
Verdict: Freeney’s rush style is not the reason the Colts D is bad. He has always played the run well. When he rushes madly up field, that is a coaching decision designed to disrupt offensive rhythm. In the Colts D, it’s the LBs who have to play the run well.
Myth 4: The Colts are a dome team who struggles on the road
Propagated by: I’ll leave myself open to charges of ‘straw man’, but I swear I hear it every year come playoff time
Why it seems true: The Colts lost 4 straight postseason games on the road from 2000-2004
Why it’s false: Since Dungy came to Indy, here’s the Colts road records each year-
2002 5-3 (0-1 in the
Verdict: During the regular season in the Dungy era, the Colts have gone 28-12 on the road. This includes 2 games they didn’t even try to win. In the playoffs in this span, they’ve gone 2-3 on the road. If you include the Super Bowl, they are 3-3. Certainly, a .500 record ON THE ROAD in the playoffs is not bad. Overall, the Colts winning % of .700 during the regular season is excellent as well. By comparison, over the same span the Colts are 4-1 at home in the post season and were 32-8 at home for a .800 winning %. The Colts play better at home, as does most every team in the NFL. That does not mean that they struggle on the road.
Myth 5:Tony Dungy only won a Super Bowl because of Peyton Manning
Propagated by: Colin Cowherd
Why it seems true: Because he never won a
it’s false: Peyton Manning’s career record before Tony Dungy came to
28, 15, 15, 23 19, 10, 10, 10, 9
Clearly, Dungy’s calming influence on Manning altered the way he played.
Verdict: Dungy and Manning won the title together. Dungy’s presence and demeanor clearly helped Manning develop into a consistent winner. Dungy was a top flight coach in Tampa and clearly prepared the Bucs for the title they won. The further Tampa gets from the Dungy era, the worse they do. If not for a bad call in the NFC title game in 1999, the Bucs might have won a title under Dungy. It takes luck and skill to win. Dungy always had the skills; in 2006 he and Manning finally found the luck.
Got a myth or a response? Email us at email@example.com