Denver – I’ve spent an entire day in the Denver airport. I fly all the time. I know you need to get to the airport early. I was here an hour and a half before my flight left this morning. Not good enough. A long line at United Airlines and a ridiculous line at security made me miss a flight for just the 2nd time in my 17 years of traveling for WTHR.
I’ve paid the price in a big way. Airline change, two standby flights came and went, and now I will finally get home around midnight. My luggage has been in Indy since 2:45 pm.
I’ve done lots of people watching. My colleague, who will remain nameless, asked at one point if there was an old hookers convention going on in Denver. It was actually a legitimate question.
I’ve also had plenty of time to think about the Colts win over the Broncos Sunday. The Colts gave up 519 yards total offense and Kyle Orton enjoyed a career day through the air. But the Colts defense rightly took pride in holding the Broncos to just one touchdown on five trips to the red zone. I agree with players who say the scoreboard is the only number that matters.
But I heard something Sunday I don’t want to hear again: bend but don’t break. The Colts defense lived by that identity for several seasons. It finally went away a few years ago. I don’t want it to come back. I know Bob Sanders is out for the season. But this defense should be playing better. This defense has enough talent to get off the field quicker. This defense should not be getting run over by the Texans and under aerial assault from the Broncos.
Peyton Manning broke another record Sunday that probably went most unnoticed. He has now won 133 games in a Colts uniform, more than any other player to wear a horseshoe on his helmet. He passed legendary Johnny Unitas, taking away one of the few records Peyton had not already swiped from the late Baltimore Colt.
I thought the Colts would play more two tight end offense with Pierre Garcon and Anthony Gonzalez out. But the Colts proved that next man up thing again with a solid contribution from Blair White in his first NFL game, including a touchdown catch. White was the preseason All-Pro. He might be cut and back on the practice squad before the season is over. But he was ready when his number was called.
One more tidbit. Pat McAfee’s kickoff touchbacks are putting opponents in a huge hole. McAfee put 6 kickoffs in the endzone Sunday, maybe with a little help from the thin air in Denver. But he kicked a bunch deep the previous Sunday against Giants too at Lucas Oil Stadium. It’s hard to put a value on the advantage that gives the Colts. An 80 yard drive is a long way to go.
I’ve still got a long way to go to get home tonight.
-Rich Nye, WTHR Sports Reporter