Each week, we’ll be scouring the net for team rankings, from football experts, covering the previous week, and discussing them here. Let’s see what they have to say this week.
Average Ranking: 4.54 (previously 5.15) – A modest rise after a narrow win over a pretty good Washington team in spite of inconsistent play in all three phases. I find myself wondering, if the Clark injury had been known, would the ranking be quite so high?
CBS Sports – Pete Prisco – 4th (+2): Peyton Manning is still playing at a high level, no matter what Ron Jaworski said about him. The Joseph Addai injury bears watching.
(Most of us agree that Jaw’s pronouncement was premature. There will come a day when we question whether 18′s play has started to degrade, but not today. The Addai injury, however, is worrisome. Still Pete moves the Colts above Baltimore.)
Cold Hard Football Facts – 4th (+1): Willy Wonka once gave an everlasting gobstopper to Peyton Manning. It lasted 2.3 seconds. Peyton Manning can divide by zero. Peyton Manning can touch M.C. Hammer. Peyton Manning is … the most interesting man in the world. Or just the best quarterback in it. He hasn’t had a three-game losing streak since Weeks 7-9 of 2002.
(“…the best quarterback…” Yet another cold, hard, football fact.)
ESPN – Kuharsky – 5th (no change): WR Pierre Garcon’s one-handed catch vs. Washington barely outpoints DB Aaron Francisco’s one-handed pick. (Kuharsky)
(Not to mention Jerraud Power’s one-handed interception. Just three of several big plays that made the difference on Sunday.)
Fox Sports – 5th (+2): South is up for grabs, so they’re in great position as they head into their Week 7 bye after beating the Redskins. But for this team to go far in the playoffs, they probably will have to get SS Bob Sanders back on defense at some point.
(He’s right about the need for Sanders… and Joe… and now Clark. So many injuries.)
National Football Post – 6th (+1): The Colts head into the bye with two weeks to game plan for the Monday night re-match with Houston.
(The team enters the bye down several key players. Game planning for a team they know all too well isn’t the key – getting healthy is.)
NFL.com’s Collective Brain Trust – 5th (no change):
Michael Silver – 6th (no change): Did Peyton Manning just lap Father Time?
(Perhaps. Peyton is off to a great start. Then again, he did have three pretty ugly near-picks.)
Sporting News – 4th (+1): The offense is humming as usual. Now, they must shore up some defensive issues—in preparation to get revenge on Houston on Nov, 1.
(Seems to me, this offense was anything but ‘as usual’. They ran on Sunday. They did it because Washington dared them to. Of course, teams have dared them to run before, but Sunday was unusual in that the Colts succeeded… and it felt good.)
Sports Illustrated – Don Banks – 4th (+2): If Ron Jaworski starts experiencing back pains in the coming days, the first thing his doctor should try to rule out is the possibility that Peyton Manning is sticking pins in a little voodoo doll of the ex-Eagles quarterback turned ESPN analyst. Not that No. 18 pays any attention to anything that anyone says about him. None whatsoever.
(I’m sure Peyton is aware of Jaw’s comment. I’m just as sure he doesn’t care.)
Sports Illustrated – Peter King – 5th (no change): Everyone’s right: The Colts aren’t the same with so many injuries, and with guys like Brody Eldredge (you know Brody — he was the backup tight end at Oklahoma last year) playing big roles. But they can still rush the passer, still force the Donovan McNabbs of the world into mistakes the way they did Sunday night, and they have a quarterback who’s pretty good too.
(Peter has it right (although he spelled Brody’s name wrong) – so many injuries, yet the Colts simply plug in another body and keep winning. But how many key injuries can they overcome?)
USA Today – 3rd (+1): Will get chance for revenge vs. Texans after the bye.
(It’s funny, but I don’t dislike Houston enough to call it revenge. San Diego? That’s another story.)
Walter Football – 3th (no change): I’m going on the record now. I think Indianapolis will win its next five games, which will make Peyton Manning and company 8-2 going into a tough battle against the Chargers. If I’m right, I rule. If I’m wrong, I’ll just make up some excuse and still consider myself awesome.
I’m one-fifth on the way to being awesome.
(I don’t know Walter from Adam, but I’m sitting here pulling for two-fifths of awesomeness. Anyone else?)
WEEI in Boston – 5th (no change): 4-2 Plagued with injuries, it seems the Colts can overcome anything as long as they have No. 18 under center. Peyton Manning has been playing outstanding as usual. Indy is also able to rush the passer and is able to force mistakes with Dwight Freeney and Robert Mathis on the ends.
(The Colts do seem to operate using interchangeable parts, and yet they continue to win. Could they win without Freeney, Mathis, or Manning? What about Addai and Clark? Looks like we’ll find out in just over a week.)