I don't claim to have anything profound to say, but these are a few of my thoughts on what finally ended our run.
1. It was a great season. We are very spoiled indeed if we are disappointed if we don't win the Super Bowl every year. In the end, we were a play or two away from going back, even with half our defense throwing up in the locker room.
2. In the end, the lack of a true #1 wide receiver finally caught up with us. Caldwell dropped two balls that were right in his breadbasket, one that probably would have resulted in a go-ahead by 7 touchdown (the one where no one on the Colts covered him). That certainly would have changed the complexion of the game and put more pressure on Manning. I don't blame Caldwell; he and Gafney did far more than what was expected of them, but in the end they just weren't as good as we needed them to be.
3. The other thing that hurt us was the lack of depth at linebacker. Vrabel was on the sidelines for a good bit of the 2nd and 3re quarter and Colvin missed pretty much the entire second half. There was no stopping Manning and the Colts once they went out; they scored on 4 or 5 straight positions, at least 3 of them touchdowns.
4. Add to that all the injuries in the secondary, starting in training camp when we lost Tebucky Jones and others. We sure could have used Tebucky after Hawkins went down.
5. Give the Colts credit; even with our weakened defense, they still had to make a lot of clutch plays to come back from a 21-3 deficit.
6. We need to resign Asante Samuel, or franchise him, even if we have to pay a bit more than we think he is worth.
7. Our top offseason priorities (in no particular order) need to be
a. Bringing in another very good YOUNG linebacker.
b. Upgrade the WR corps
c. Resign Samuel
8. Ellis Hobbs had a faceguarding penalty in the end zone that hurt us, but otherwise had a solid game at corner. And without his 2 long kickoff returns the game would not have even been close.
9. Did Dwight Freeney have a sack? I thought Matt Light did a really good job, and had him 1 on 1 a lot.
10. I like our chances next year. We have a LOT of good young players who will improve next year: Hobbs, Kaczur, O'Callaghan, Maroney, Jackson (hopefully), Thomas, and Gostkowski (who certainly did his job in the playoffs, but he will be even more reliable with more seasoning). Add to that 2 first round picks plus all our other picks and we should be in great shape to challenge for our 4th Super Bowl.
Re: Final thoughts
I would have liked our chances with Ty Law instead of Alexander in coverage. If we had kept Branch, we wouldn't have had Gaffney, who had a fine playoffs.
Re: Final thoughts
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