The Herald Bulletin

Afternoon Update

Sports Columns

December 15, 2013

Mike Lopresti: Griff Whalen Gang strikes

No muss, no fuss, no sweat. The Indianapolis Colts — to be known the rest of this account as the Griff Whalen Gang — were so dominant Sunday, they didn't even trail at halftime.

What's a quick way to feel good after you've been feeling bad? A 25-3 walk in the stadium will do. Of course, it could be mentioned it came against a 2-12 Houston team that has not seen victory since mid-September. But that's quibbling. Time must tell if Sunday was the result of refreshed Indianapolis prospects, or a broken opponent mailing in the rest of the season. Or maybe both.

"It's a big win regardless," Antoine Bethea said. "It's not easy to get wins in the NFL. "And as Chuck Pagano said, having sat through some ugly Colts game films lately, "We needed it."

The Griff Whalen Gang has seen more close shaves lately than a bathroom mirror; its previous six victories had been by an average of 5.2 points. So it was relaxing for them to have a sleepy fourth quarter.

The Griff Whalen Gang ended the Great Drought of 2013, having gone six games without a first-half touchdown, which is an utterly remarkable statistic for a division champion. Hoping for a spark with a no-huddle offense, they scored two — count 'em — two Sunday.

The Griff Whalen Gang is now 9-5 and looking for some pre-playoff mojo, continuing its thisaway-thataway pattern. The past six weeks, every loss has been followed by a win. And vice versa.

There were plenty of points Sunday, including those scored by Eric Dickerson and Marshall Faulk on the scoreboard screens at halftime, as they went into the Ring of Honor.

Plus, Robert Mathis had his 108th sack to set a franchise record. All in all, a nice day.

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