Colts Power Rankings: 2011, Week 2

Each week, Coltzilla will scour the net for team rankings from football experts covering the previous week, and discuss them from the fan’s perspective.

Two games, two loses, and no relief in sight as the team hosts the Pittsburg Steelers this Sunday night. After dropping thirteen spots last week, there isn’t much farther to fall. Let’s see if any of the experts have anything positive to say now that Week 2 is behind us.

Average Ranking: 30.0 (previously 24.5) – I hate to crush any hope you may have brought with you, but don’t expect to ready anything positive or encouraging from the experts this week. It’s all doom-and-gloom, folks. There may even be locusts.

CBS Sports – Pete Prisco – 29th (-7): They sink lower and lower on this list. By season’s end, will they be at the bottom? – [It may not take that long, Pete. With two tough games coming up and 0-4 a real possibility, things could get much worse before they get better.]

ESPN – Kuharsky – 30th (-7): The talk is of staying the course, not making changes and improving. But we’re talking small increments. (Kuharsky) – [But it's all correctable, Paul. Honest! Hey, I'm gonna get another Kool Aid. Can I bring you one?]

Fox Sports – 29th (-13): Losing is a new experience for the Colts, but they are going to get familiar with it this season. This loss is followed up with games against Pittsburgh at home and Tampa Bay on the road, and then hosting the Chiefs on Oct. 9. That game will most likely feature two winless teams and will decide who is the worst in the NFL. – [It's hard to argue with anything the guys at Fox have said here. But I can't bring myself to believe we're seeing the best this team (sans Manning) can be. I'm holding onto hope that the offense will show improvement over the next few weeks and the team will start winning some games.]

WEEI in Boston – 31st (-6): Now that Peyton Manning is out, the Colts’ lackluster defense is spending more time on the field. Manning was able to build leads for his defense and keep it rested on the sidelines. Now, all of the weaknesses of this team are being exposed and the Colts will continue to lose games until their starting QB returns. – [Is that the sound of smirking hiding behind the text from our friends in Boston? I reluctantly admit to smiling a bit when Brady went down in 2008. Funny how the two situations have resulted in such different outcomes. Can there be any remaining question about who the league MVP is?]

Pro Football Talk – 30th (-1): Maybe the Colts will need Peyton Manning to return not to compete for the playoffs, but to avoid matching the 2008 Lions. – [No, they need Manning to play to make sure he'll be OK for 2012. Beyond that, it's downright discouraging to hear how many analysts think Indy could actually go winless this year. It's also discouraging to hear so many Colts fans dis their team and call for Polian's and Caldwell's jobs. Show a bit of commitment, folks. There will be plenty of Manning-ball in Indy for a few years to come; maybe even this year.]

Sports Illustrated – Don Banks – 30th (-8): Nobody’s saying it just yet, but I think it’s pretty obvious there’s no reason for Peyton Manning to even try to come back this season. There will be no season for him to come back to in Indy. What’s the point of risking anything to play for a team that could be 2-10 and hopelessly buried by the time Manning is ready to give it a go? But if this whole saga winds up earning the Colts the rights to Andrew Luck, and Luck gives them a decade-plus run like the one Manning just put together, will all of Indianapolis some day look back on Manning’s injury as fortuitous? – [That, friends, is a comment from a pragmatic football strategist... not from a fan. Real fans love the players; players who happen to make up the team. This fan loves Peyton Manning (in a manly, scratch-and-spit sort of way). This fan wants Manning to win 5 more rings, break all QB records, and go down in history as unquestionably the best ever. And I want this for Peyton as much as for the personal opportunity to witness and enjoy it. If I ever look back on Peyton's injury as fortuitous it will be because his absence forces the team to become better, and because when Peyton does return, the team wins those rings.]

Walter Football – 31st (-1): Beloved GameCenter poster Taton, an avid Colts fan, hasn’t posted anything in three weeks. Here was the last thing he wrote on GameCenter: “Coach Cadwell never learn from his mistake oh well Colts wont be good if Colts keep Cadwell.” Perhaps Taton should coach the Colts instead of “Cadwell.” Against the Browns, Indianapolis challenged a stupid 2-yard completion on 2nd-and-9. They won the review to put Cleveland in a 3rd-and-9 instead of a 3rd-and-7. Unfortunately, “Cadwell’s” strategy failed, as Colt McCoy converted the first down on the next play anyway. – [I got nothing. I'm just embarrassed for Colts fans everywhere.]

Yahoo Sports – 30th (-1): Jeff George wants to come back? Columnists calling for Favre? A mess in Indy. – [People who are surprised things in Indy are a bit of a mess right now haven't been paying attention. Practically every aspect of this team is built for and around Peyton. You don't remove the quartz movement and expect a clock to keep perfect time.]