What’s Missing Here?

The Colts are 13-0 and will not play a meaningful game for a month.  We know the Colts will get a shot at perfection.  We know the Colts will host a home game on either January 16th or 17th.  We know Indy will be rested and close to full strength when the playoffs come around.  There are, however, a few things we don’t know yet.

1.)  What’s up with Adam Vinatieri? He started the first five games of the season, going 6 for 8.  AV has missed the past 8 games with a knee injury.  His replacement, Matt Stover has gone 9 for 11 with a long of 43.  Bill Polian has given AV the ultimate sign of (well earned) respect by keeping him on the active roster in hopes that he will be able to kick in the playoffs.

  • My guess: I believe AV may have played his last game as a Colt.  On the bright side:  Matt Stover will turn 42 during the upcoming playoffs.  Because of his limited power I expect the Colts to eschew field goal tries longer than 50 yards.  Four downs for Manning.  Sweet.

2.) What’s up with Anthony Gonzalez? He fell to the turf in pain during the first half of the 2009 opener.  We haven’t seen or heard from him since.  Gonzalez has remained on the 53 man roster all season with a knee injury.  At some point along the way he suffered what Bill Polian described as a ‘setback’.  This situation is reminiscent of Marvin Harrison’s nightmare 2007 season.

  • My guess: I can’t see any way Gonzalez returns and contributes in a meaningful way.  But… what does it say about Hank Baskett that the Indy coaching staff thinks a rusty and hobbled Gonzo is worth keeping around as a potential playoff backup?  It says everything.

3.) What’s up with Donald Brown? He has missed four games this season and has logged just 59 carries.  It would be unfair to label him a disappointment, but he hasn’t yet lived up to his first round billing.  Colts fans, myself included, still have great faith in the kid.

  • My guess: Caldwell knows how critical it is to have a potent two-back attack in the postseason.  Brown will get some work against either New York or Buffalo, and will be ready to go for the divisional round.   

4.)  Will the Colts finish the regular season undefeated? A lot depends on the team’s performance against Jacksonville on Thursday night.  The Indy defense is coming off a physically draining game against the Broncos.  The Jaguars need this game as badly as a team can need a game.

  • My guess: The Colts are going 16-0.  I think Peyton comes out firing on Thursday night because that’s what Peyton does.  He shows up in primetime and clinches MVP awards.  I think the Colts beat the Jags in a fairly high scoring game.  I think the best way to handle the Jets is to play everyone.  The Jets aren’t very good.  The Colts will be up big by halftime.  They can cruise to victory with the backups.  I think the Colts will beat the Bills with almost any combination of players they wish to put on the field.  It’s gonna happen.
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