Colts Power Rankings: 2011, Week 5

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.

Welcome to the basement, Colts fans. There’s plenty of seating and snacks are in the fridge. Make yourself comfortable while our Colts try to dig themselves out. If you hear voices in the background, don’t worry about it. That’s just Greg, Brett, and Laura recording the next episode of Check It to Pancakes.

So, Curtis Painter made his second NFL start on Sunday and looked pretty darned good… through the first half, at least. It’s great to see him develop chemistry with his primary receivers Garcon, Collie, and Clark… Clark? You think you had a bad week, I’m sure Dallas has thought of little else except his repeated drops on Sunday. And the defensive implosion in the second half against a poor Chiefs team was downright ugly. Could it get worse, or has the team hit rock bottom?

Average Ranking: 31.38 (previously 29.88) – Wow, it’s almost unanimous. Colts are playing terribly right now. Colts at 0-5 and Lions at 5-0. What is this, Bizarro World?

CBS Sports – Pete Prisco – 32nd (-1): They are looking more and more like they could have the top pick next spring. Andrew Luck? Can you hear the groans? – [Yes, Pete. I hear lots of groaning. It's me. I groan every time someone mentions the Colts and Andrew Luck in the same sentence. The Colts may end up with the number one pick in next year's draft, but it won't be because they gave up or purposefully lost.]

ESPN – Kuharsky – 32nd (-3): Maybe they surprise, but 0-8 is looking like a distinct possibility for the Colts. (Kuharsky) – [If the injuries keep piling up, we could be looking at 0-16. This team needs Drake Nevis, Anthony Castonzo, and Jerraud Powers on the field. It's looking like none of them will play against Cincinnati.]

Fox Sports – 32st (-5): The Colts continue to fight hard, but continue to lose. I think Curtis Painter has played his way into the starting quarterback role, regardless of a healthy Kerry Collins. – [If you believe Jim Caldwell, Painter will start the rest of the season. Personally, I'm done playing the 'What if Painter had started week 1?' game and have come to believe that starting Collins was a positive thing for Painter, long-term. It may have cost the Colts a few wins, but it's also allowed Curtis to observe the offense with someone besides Manning at the helm... and watch them struggle. I can't help but think that it allowed Painter to come in with more confidence and a better idea of what does and does not work in the Colts' offense.]

WEEI in Boston – 32nd (no change): The Colts are the early front-runners for Luck. It will be interesting to see what happens if they do get the No. 1 overall pick in the 2012 draft. How can the Colts justify drafting Luck after signing Peyton Manning to a five-year, $90 million contract? I’m sure if Manning has a say, he will push for a running back. The Colts have many areas to address in the offseason. – [Groan... And now, in addition to the 'suck for Luck' conspiracy, we have to hear speculation on how Peyton will sabotage the team's future for his own benefit. Really? It's come to this?]

Pro Football Talk – 30th (no change): If the Colts get to 0-14, will Bill Polian rest his starters? – [Ha! OK, even as depressed as I've been about how things are going for the team this year and how frustrated I am with the nonsense the major media have been spouting, I have to admit that's pretty funny. And yes, I'm choosing to totally ignore the 'suck for Luck' insinuation and assume they're just trying to be clever.]

Sports Illustrated – Don Banks – 32nd (-1): All those seasons filled with big wins and good news and playoff trips, and then this in Indy: the Colts’ first 0-5 start since 1997, their first five-game losing streak since 2001, and occupying last place in one of the weaker divisions in the league. Has there ever been a contending team fall off a cliff quite like this? To say the Colts are finding out how the other half lives in the NFL is putting it way too mildly. – [You don't remove a four time league MVP from a team and expect it to compete. Yet the Colts HAVE competed in four of their five games. OK, three and a half of their five games. I'm still totally baffled by the second half performance against Kansas City.]

Walter Football – 30th (+1): How did the Colts blow a 17-0 lead? What happened to Curtis Painter in the second half? And why does Donald Brown suck so much? – [You'll have to click the link to read the rest, although I don't recommend it.]

Yahoo Sports – 31st (-2): Looks like the Colts will be down here all season long without Manning. – [They may be, and we fans have to adjust our expectations. Which reminds me; if you're a season ticket holder and have sold your tickets to the opposing team's fans, shame on you! The players deserve better.]