The Colts had the best two-minute drive quarterback of his era, perhaps any era, and they chose to run the ball with Mike Hart instead.
The Colts’ decision to go conservative late in the first half, more than any other, is ripe for debate by Monday morning quarterbacks like us. (Actually, it’s Tuesday. But I spent Monday flying home and recharging after an intense nine days in south Florida.)
The following quote from Peyton Manning indicates that the decision to run came from above.
“Had we gotten that first down, we were going to call a timeout and
then go back to our two-minute offense, but Jim Caldwell told Tom [Moore] to try to get a first down, try to punch it out first,” Manning said.
feel like you should convert that third down and we didn’t. Then we
gave them a short field and gave them the easy field goal. That was a
disappointing series,” he finished. (Manning unsurprisingly didn’t sound thrilled with the decision.)
The call was poor and the execution was worse. But we’re still confused with the Colts didn’t start the drive more aggressively. The Colts drove 80 yards in 58 seconds against the top-ranked pass defense in the league in their previous game. Surely, the Saints were worth attacking.
Instead, that sequence set the table for a second half where it felt like the Colts were in retreat.