Monday, September 5, 2011

Without Peyton Manning, Are The Indianapolis Colts Doomed? Not So Fast!

I wouldn't panic just as yet at the news that Peyton Manning is going to miss at least Week one of the 2011 season.  There are many reasons for this:

  • In case anyone forgot, the Colts lost in Week 1 last year to the Houston Texans, 34-24, and still managed to win the division with a strong finish to the year
  • Without Manning under center, the Colts should be more diversified.  Granted, the Colts system is highly predicated on Manning's system of complex hand signals and verbal codes, but it doesn't have to be.  Expect to see something rare this year from the Colts: this crazy thing called a huddle.
  • Kerry Collins is a very good experienced quarterback, and the best of the free agent bunch that was left available to the Colts.  They're in much better shape than if they hadn't signed a veteran, or if they took someone like Jake Delhomme.
Donald Brown
  • Perhaps the running game can now finally get on track.  I felt that Peyton's impatience with the running attack ultimately hampered the Colts.  .
    • 2010: 29th in rushing offense
    • 2009: 32nd
    • 2008: 31st
    • 2007: 18th
    • 2006: 18th
    • 2005: 16th
    • Neither Joseph Addai or Donald Brown ran for 500 yards last year
  • In contrast to the Colts, another team that is heavily known for its passing offense, the New England Patriots, was 9th overall in rushing offense in 2010.  
  • Ultimately, my feeling is that if the Colts learn how to rely more on the running game and vanilla-down their offense a bit for Collins, they may not miss Peyton as much as they think they will.

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