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Bearly Winning
The Colts must learn to put teams away in the second half of the season
written by Stephen Conway

The scene last Sunday at the RCA Dome was eerily familiar. And it wasn't because of the Halloween spirit in the air. The Colts jumped out to an impressive and dominating performance over Detroit in the first half but came out flat and unfocused in the second. Thanks to a stand out job by the defense, it did not cost us the victory as it did earlier in the season versus Oakland. One shaky game can be written off, but two second half let downs could be construed as the beginning of a trend.

The Colts seem to thrive on adversity rather than success. Against tough opponents and in close games, their attention rarely wavers. But in games where they have established quick early leads, it seems as though they relax, only slightly, but enough to allow opposing teams to scrape their way back into games.  As the Colts have learned, no victory is assured, regardless of the score, until the clock reads  00:00. 

Why is this happening? And what can be done to prevent it? Some may say it is the team's inability to handle the additional pressure and expectations  that come with the success they achieved last year. I disagree. The answer to why this is happening can be summed up in a single word: youth. The climb into the upper echelons of the NFL has been so fast and so dramatic, that it is easy to forget just how young this team is. The players insist that the up and coming image doesn't apply any more, but until they begin to put teams away when they have the chance, this accusation will have legs.  If the letdown problem looms large enough for those of us in the stands to notice, it's safe to assume that Coach (and former Marine) Jim Mora will find a way to keep his team fired up after the half. Can you say pushups?

The Colts' next opponent are the 1-7 Chicago Bears. Coming off their bye week, the Bears will have had two weeks to prepare for the Colts. No win in the NFL is easy and this will be no exception. But the Colts must enter the game with the mindset that they are the superior team. The question is, will they go out and prove it for 60 minutes?

Breakdowns of the key matchups on offense, defense, and special teams.

Game Prediction
The Colts clearly have more weapons in their arsenal at this point in the season. Bears QB Cade McNown has been sidelined with a shoulder injury and they have failed to mount a credible running attack yet this season. Defensively, the Bears are giving up nearly 140 yards per game. 

This is just the sort of game the Colts must win. They cannot take the opponent lightly and assume that a lesser effort will do. If the Colts play up to their abilities, this game should not be a nail biter. Look for Edgerrin James to punish the defense and for the play action passing game to provide several big play opportunities for Manning and Harrison.

Score: Colts 31  Bears 17

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Chicago Bears

when: 1:00
where: Soldier Field

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1999 Season
Issue #1
Issue #2
Issue #3

Issue #4
Issue #5

2000 Schedule
Issue #6

Issue #7
Issue #8
Issue #9
Issue #10
Issue #11

Issue #12
Issue #13

9/03 at KC

W  27-14

9/10 OAK

L   31-38

9/17 BYE  
9/25 JAX

W  43-14

10/1 at Buff W  18-16
10/8 at NE L   16-24
10/15 at SEA W  37-24
10/22 NE W  30-23
10/29 DET W  30-18
11/05 at CHI
11/12 NYJ
11/19 at GB
11/26 MIAMI
12/03 at NYJ
12/11 BUFF
12/17 at MIAMI
12/24 MINN


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1999, 2000