Week 1: At Least its Over

I expected this to be bad.  It was worse.  I think Pro Football Talk’s headline sums it up nicely: “Life Without Manning: Even Worse than the Colts Expected”.  I have some observations, but not much.  It can all be summed up in the word “terrible”.  

  • The Colts may just be the worst team in the NFL.  However, they have the best single player in the NFL (and in my opinion, all of NFL history) who covers over a ton of problems. 
    • The most obvious of the problems is the offensive line.  Those who really knew the Colts last year knew that the line was very bad.  But the casual observer would point to the number of sacks and say they were good.  Manning has the quickest release in football and covers for it.  We saw it yesterday, with the line allowing 3 sacks and tons of pressure.  I expect much more pressure as the season goes on (in other words, not much improvement).
  • Kerry Collins is not all to blame.  He did fumble 3 times and lost 2 (the same amount as Peyton lost all of last year).  He wasn’t sharp.  He looked like the 38 year old who was retired just a month ago.  But Collins is a pro, a good quarterback, and he will improve.  He will keep the Colts in some games, and will probably (hopefully) win a few games. 
  • This offense is impossible for anyone but Peyton to run, in my opinion.  13 years ago, Peyton began learning Tom Moore’s complex and very good offense.  After mastering that in a few years, Manning began making his own changes to it.  As you can imagine, that many years of changes makes it a different offense.  Manning mastered it and no one will be able to in just 1 year.
  • Offense was outplayed.  Defense was outplayed.  Special Teams was outplayed.  Coaching staff was outcoached. 
  • Why the heck was Dallas Clark blocking one of the best pass rushers in football in Mario Williams??? 

Every week, I’ll also post Bob Kravitz’s report card grades, plus the link to the article.  It is the best weekly recap of Colts games I have found.  This week, the grades are actually better than I expected: 

Run Offense:              B

Run Defense:              C

Pass Offense:              C

Pass Defense:              C

Special Teams:            F         

Coaching:                    D

Intangibles:                 B+  (Hunter Smith makes an appearance) 

Bottom line, Colts stink.  It’s going to be a long year, Colts fans.  But in spite of the struggles, remember the successes that this team has enjoyed the past decade and be thankful.  And hope that 18 will be back for the final stretch of the closing window.

SPECIAL NOTE:  Bill Polian was at the Stanford-Duke game Saturday scouting Stanford QB Andrew Luck.  Luck is almost guaranteed to go number 1 overall in the 2012 NFL Draft, and the Colts are in the running for it.  If they get the chance, they need to and will take him.  Would make me feel really good about the transition out of the Manning era in a few years.  But thats a big “if” on the first draft pick, and I’m not rooting to be bad just to get Luck.  Unfortunatly, I just think they might be bad enough to get him.

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About Josh Wilson
Follow Josh on twitter @jwilsonWL, on Facebook at the Operation: Freedom page, or you can reach him by email at operation.freedom@yahoo.com.

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