I will never believe one man can win a championship in the National Football League by himself. I do believe one man can get a team to the playoffs by himself almost though.
John Elway carried the Broncos to three Super Bowls in the 80s. His offensive talent was mediocre at best. His defense was good, but it came down to John Elway. Kurt Warner is the current poster image for a guy who just needs a line to do a decent job of blocking, and he’ll destroy any defense with his accurate passes.
But there is one more person alongside Kurt Warner who carries his team despite their flaws. That man is Peyton Manning. Peyton Manning is the guy who redefines the title, “Field General” with his audibles and knowledge of the game. Peyton may have only one Super Bowl ring, but he finally got it when his team helped him out in the end in 2006. I don’t doubt if he had been on a different organization with a more reliable defense, Peyton Manning would be the most successful quarterback we’ve ever seen.
My point will be proven by how ineffective the Colts will be without him. If Peyton Manning does not return this season, the Colts will have a top 10 draft pick in the 2012 NFL Draft. They are that weak without him leading. The team revolves around him, and they are now a captainless, rudderless ship in the midst of a storm.
The Colts got into this situation because they failed to give Peyton Manning enough help in many areas. The 2006 season was a great season with the Colts finally getting it done, but afterwards, the team has not stepped up to stay competitive. Joseph Addai has had two great years with the Colts. He was very effective in 2006 and 2007, and was a key contributor in 2009, but overall, he has not been the running back this offense has needed. His numbers and YPC average have gone down, and the Colts felt they needed to get another running back, so they drafted Donald Brown.
Donald Brown has been nothing but a bust. In two years, he has barely 1,100 yards from scrimmage. He didn’t even have 500 yards rushing. In fact, the guy didn’t even have a touch the last game do to, as head coach Jim Caldwell put it, “a production issue.” That is code for this guys is a bust.
The Colts picked him over very productive players like James Laurinaitis, Patrick Chung, and LeSean McCoy. Talk about making a bad pick. None of the other running backs have shown the capabilities of being the every down back a team would need, so the pressure is all on the quarterback, and with Peyton out, the Colts have either Curtis Painter or Kerry Collins to use all year.
Kerry Collins is older than Peyton, has not had nearly enough time to learn the playbook, and the Colts expect him to win games? It is not going to happen. The Colts management has severely slipped in efficiency the last few years.
From the year the Colts won the Super Bowl in 2006 to now, the Colts have had nearly zero production from the last five drafts. Pierre Garcon and Austin Collie are decent receivers, two semi-decent linebackers, and that’s about it. Too many of their draft picks are undeveloped or just not good enough. The way you build your team is through the draft, and the Colts can’t build a log house with the draft picks they’ve had recently.*
*Not counting the 2011 draft because no one knows how they will do. 2007-2010 drafts were graded.
The Colts also did nothing in free agency. They didn’t seriously go after any key players. Not Nmandi Asomugha, not Jonathan Joseph, not O.J. Atogwe, not a backup quarterback like Vince Young. They did NOTHING to better their team. Nothing that would create a splash anyway. No, the Colts figured that all they need is Peyton Manning or at least that’s how it almost appears to be.
Now, their basket of eggs is gone, and they have no backup plan. They have a young backup quarterback in Curtis Painter, but he’s borderline awful. He’s just a clone of Jim Sorgi. Just hold a clipboard for us. That is a huge mistake in judgement by them. Just awful.
I severely blame Jim Caldwell. He’s not just the head coach, but he was the quarterbacks’ coach at one point, and it is his job to make Painter ready, but he didn’t. That man just assumed that Manning would be back, and he really should’ve been working with Painter nonstop or insisted upon Bill Polian to draft another quarterback to develop.
The Colts defense may have Dwight Freeney and Robert Mathis as the two defensive ends, but those guys get a lot of numbers because Peyton Manning leads the Colts to a quick big lead. After that, opposing teams just start throwing the ball to try to catch up, and Freeney and Mathis just pin their ears back and rush the passer.
The Colts can’t stop the run. Their linebackers are just linebackers except for Brackett, and he’s overrated too. The Colts have inadequate defensive backs except for Antoine Bethea. Melvin Bullitt is a decent safety, but no defensive player on the Colts is a guy that causes true fear in offenses. There isn’t an Ed Reed or a Brian Urlacher or a Darrelle Revis. They are a less than average defense that slows teams down while Peyton Manning commands the offense to 27.2 points per game.
Peyton Manning has to be elite every game or the Colts lose every game. That defense cannot pick up any slack for him.
And there isn’t anything special about the special teams. This team showed what it was against the Texans in week one. I watched that game live. It was like playing Madden on easy during the first half. Besides a tipped pass to Andre Johnson that let to an interception, Matt Schaub and the Texans just destroyed the Colts.
No surprise. Time to wake up Colts players. You aren’t good. Peyton Manning won’t tell you, but I will. You are a product of him alone, and it really is disgusting to see that his legacy may not be truly appreciated because he had a grand part of you as dead weight for his career. Some of you have been great help to him, but the majority? Not even close.
Jim Caldwell thinks that everything wrong with the team is “correctable.” It isn’t. He doesn’t have enough time, he doesn’t have enough talent around him, and he isn’t the man who can turn that team around. This guy is gutless. I have zero confidence in his ability to make these players rise above their levels. These Colts need a coach who will get in their faces and tell them that you’re not doing good enough, do better or you are cut.
Please… Jim Caldwell is nothing close to a great coach. This is the guy who told the fans that, “The perfect season has never been one of our goals.”
How can players respect a man who will tell them that he won’t take chances or do something daring? A coach’s job is to bring out the most in every players, and on his best day, Jim Caldwell has not done that for the Colts.
This team has no coach, little talent, no Peyton Manning, and zero hope for this season. All that adds up to an 0-16 to a 4-12 season. I’d start selling my season tickets now.
James Williamson’s nonfootball thought of the day: I love the new Looney Tunes Show. They make Daffy Duck so funny with his quirks, and his lack of common sense at times.