THIS IS YOUR RALLY CRY, COLTS NATION.
Relax. Don’t jump off the bandwagon yet.
I understand your fear. Peyton Manning is the Indianapolis Colts’ franchise quarterback and a future Hall of Famer.
Believe THIS: Kerry Collins is the best back-up quarterback in the NFL and I’m backed up here.
I hear what’s being said by all the analysts.
And… I get it. I really do.
Peyton is the most important player on his team and his value to his organization trumps that of any player on any roster in the NFL today. He is coming off of neck surgery and is expected to miss significant time. According to Stephania Bell, Peyton should be out 2-3 months.
Pack it in. Mail it off. It’s over. We’re toast. Pray we are worse than Buffalo. Or Carolina. Or any NFC West team. Pray we get Andrew Luck.
This is what I’m hearing from Colts fans.
Stop it. Put down the bottle. Don’t drink the Kool-Aid. Don’t believe the hype.
I’m calling it now. The Colts still make the Playoffs. You heard it here first.
No, we won’t have home field advantage.
The advantage is that this team is going to have to find another way to win and they’re going to have to do it together and without Peyton’s physical presence on the field.
The difference between the Colts this year and in years past is that, instead of packing up the Division by week 14(read: fantasy football playoff time); this year, they have to play it out.
Get to 11 or 12 wins. Go into the playoffs with some momentum, grab the 2nd, 3rd or 4th seed and take it to someone in their house.
So, no, I’m not drinking this “we’re going to win 3 games” Kool-Aid. It’s far too bitter.
Here’s my prediction for what happens without Peyton this week. Each week before the game, I will write a new piece predicting the outcome.
Again, I’m predicting this. I’m not an expert. I just see Kerry Collins as the 2nd best quarterback in the AFC South. He’s done quite a bit in this league without a lot of help, especially during his time with the Titans.
Week 1 – Houston Texans
Simply put, the Colts got better on defense with the additions of Drake Nevis, Jamaal Anderson, and Ernie Sims (among others). They will spell the starters and are better than last year’s backups.
If I’m the Colts, I put 8 in the box most of the time to stymie the run, force a double team on Andre Johnson during passing situations, and make you beat me with the likes of Owen Daniels and Kevin Walter.
The Texans offensive line has struggled against the Colts in the past. The Colts will pressure Schaub into mistakes.
The biggest threat to the Colts is a solid rushing game. While I am wary of a healthy Arian Foster, I’m not nearly as worried about Ben Tate and/or Derrick Ward (but can acknowledge that they may cause some problems).
Arian Foster’s injury is worse than he or the Texans are letting on. Stephania Bell reported after having seen the MRI photo Foster posted on Twitter that she didn’t think it was as mild as he and the Texans are letting on.
Trading Vontae Leach away hurts the Texans running game. There’s a reason the Ravens put a premium on him.
The Colts are going to give up some points on defense, but I don’t believe we’ll get gouged nearly as bad as is being predicted.
The Colts picking up Chris Gronkowski is largely posturing. They want teams to think the Colts are going to settle into a run first, pass later offense. I disagree entirely. Kerry Collins is a tall, smart quarterback with a big arm who hasn’t had quite this high quality of an offense to work with. Just for reference, Kerry Collins had 9 touchdown passes in his last 4 games with Tennessee last year after Kenny Britt came back. He is capable of having big games throwing the football.
Something to watch is how the Texans defensive transition effects their ability to force its will on the Colts offense. I see the possibility of the Texans struggling against the short passing game of the Colts.
Watch the Colts air it out efficiently and control the ball when they have to(and they will).
Your Colts win. A city breathes a sigh of relief.
Colts 27 Texans 24
By the time Peyton comes back, Kerry Collins should pass Joe Montana for 10th all-time in career passing yards. That is no small feat.
I’m not sure how you feel, Colts Nation, but I still Bleed Blue.
Drink to that.