Tuesday, December 11, 2007

High Risk, High Reward

The Super Bowl Champion Indianapolis Colts are primarily known by Joe Football Fan as a highly prolific offensive team. Peyton Manning is arguably one of the top 5 best QBs in the history of the league. What is interesting to me going into Sunday's battle in Oakland is that the Colts have one of the best kept secrets in football ... their D is equally if not better than their offense. Below is a summary of Indy & Oakland's primary offensive and defensive statistics. What these statistics summarize is that the Colts have one of the best and most balanced teams in the entire league.

The Questions that need to be answered on Sunday:

(1) How will the Raiders respond to the beat down administered by the Packers?
(2) What gameplan will DC Rob Ryan employ to combat Indy's high powered offense?
(3) Will Ryan sit back using his base defense and allow Manning to pick apart his D (slow water torture) or utilize some aggressive, exotic blitz packages (high risk roll of the dice)?
(4) How will JaMarcus Russell perform against the #2 NFL defense?
(5) Will the team view this game as a "nothing to lose" opportunity and play a spirited, high energy brand of football?
(6) What hidden gems does Kiffin have up his sleeve for this game? Onside kick by SeaBass? Fake punt by Lechler? Option pass by Curry?

With the deck stacked against the Raiders, I personally will be disappointed if Kiffin/Ryan play it safe. If you go down, go down with all of your cannons blazing!


Indy (NFL Rank)Oak NFL Rank
Total Offense366.5 yds / (4th)302.5 yds / (23rd)
Total Defense 274.4 yds / (2nd)342.6 / (23rd)
Points Scored29.3/ (3rd)18.5 / (23rd)
Points Allowed

16.7 (3rd)

22.9 / (20th)


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