After a nearly nine month hiatus, and with the 2014 season upon us, this blogger has finally gotten off the schneid (and his arse) and decided to publish his thoughts on this year’s version of the Colts. I also will provide my take on the Week 1 unfortunately one sided matchup against Peyton Manning’s Denver Broncos.
To remind the tens of readers out there, I am not like Colts bloggers Brad Wells or Josh Wilson. I keep things out of the weeds and high level. My observations and based on my cynical and often negative outlook. I am not a hater, but you may accuse me of being one. I have just been burned too many times by this team, and the other professional major sports franchise in this town, to have not been scarred. (See the 2005 Playoff Loss to the Steelers (thank you Nick Harper’s wife and Vander-idiot), the Hank Baskett Super Bowl, in 2009, and the 1995 Playoff loss again against the Steelers where Lamott Warren, Quinten Coryatt or Aaron Bailey could have won the game. Not to mention Kordell Stewart running out of the back of the endzone and back in it to catch a touchdown during the two year period the instant replay was not used in the NFL. No one ever talks about that, especially the jerky Steelers fans.)
My motto is to expect to have your heart ripped up, my defense mechanism to cope with this is to always think your team is going to lose. To think they will win sets up a jinx, and as my dear Friend Matt says, ‘The power of the jinx is stronger than the power of the sword.’ Also, predicting victory sets yourself up for a let down. Most of my predictions admittedly are losses, but it makes the victories that much sweeter. This is neurotic I realize, but hey, if you want to listen to a homer, turn on Jersey Johnny pal!
Without further adieu my simplified take on the Colts.
It really begins and ends with #12. In the current state of the NFL with quick attack pass plays, no contact of the offensive player, no hitting a defenseless player, (which really is anyone who has his hands stretched out to receive a ball), having a top notch quarterback is of paramount importance. An excellent QB can, as we have seen with the Colts former pillar at the position, can compensate for:
- A Leaky Line
- A Non-Existent Running Game
- An Awful Defense
- Terrible Field Position
- Poor Coaching
- A Lack of Depth
- Bad Draft Classes
- Free Agent Busts
The current Colts may suffer from all these maladies, yet most talking heads, not that their opinions matter much, have the Colts winning the AFC South (that’s about as impressive as a Democrat winning an election in Chicago), and possibly playing for all the marbles in Super Bowl XLIX.
Sure, if any help is providing in any other area it lifts the burden on the quarterback, but it is gravy not an absolute must. If Andrew Luck continues his growth, gets rid of the ball, is accurate, the Colts will be in the mix come January. If he flattens out his production, gets dinged, or is careless with the ball, this team has danger of being .500 or worse.
There really is no group, sans the receivers/TEs, that is exceptional. Most are middle or back of the pack from a talent and production standpoint. Think about it. Both lines, the linebackers, running backs, are not terribly skilled or deep. The secondary has a few pieces, but is a mess at safety with little or no ability to cover. They will be good at being injured and getting 15 yard penalties.
Therefore, it is all on Luck. Get it done sir. If he has MVP type of production, (keep in mind his full value is not always reflected in his stats) the Colts could win 12 games and make it to the AFC conference title game. If he is only good or very good, the team will be 7-9.
Colts vs. Broncos
This is a mismatch. Just like the New England game in the Playoffs last year, I do not see this one being close. Manning will want to punish the Colts as much as he wanted to punish the Ravens in the 2013 opener after losing in the playoffs in the prior season. His stats in that one: 7 TDs and 462 yards with a 141.1 rating. Robert Mathis will be missed mightily. Peyton will do what he wants exploiting mismatches when LaRon Laundry is covering his TEs. Then, the Broncos will run roughshod over the yet again porous Colts rushing defense. Look for Denver to put up 50 points.
Offensively, the Colts will stumble. They will again try to run some 3rd and 1’s with two TEs and a fullback and get stuffed. They are not the juggernaut that Manning’s offenses are. They won’t be able to convert third downs at a high level. There will be some missed throws, and there will be a constant stream of pressure. Unless Luck does something miraculous, 55-13 Broncos.