On August 12th, I wrote a Fanpost hypothesizing that this is the year that the Colts fade. The post is here http://www.musiccitymiracles.com/2008/8/12/592488/is-this-the-year-the-colts
After 2 weeks of football, I thought it would be an opportune time to revisit the post.
In my August post, I made a number of assertions worth taking a look at. Namely, I pointed out that:
Marvin Harrison is getting long in the tooth, being distracted by legal troubles, and his health is still questionable. Fanboy Colt disciples will claim that he has looked fantastic in training camp - we'll see once he starts getting hit properly how well he holds up.
Through 2 games, Marvin Harrison has only 9 receptions for 92 yards. For a guy with a career average of about 6 receptions per game, coupled with a per-reception average of over 13 yards per catch, these numbers are not very impressive...
But maybe someone else is to blame for Harrison's lack of productivity :
Manning had an infected bursa sac removed and isn't there to practice. How serious was the procedure? Hard to say, but when a team starts filling its roster with backup quarterbacks, you know it's a concern of the FO.
Sure, Manning still has reliable targets in Dallas Clark, Reggie Wayne, and Anthony Gonzalez, but if something happens to any one of them, or if Peyton struggles with his injury recovery, this situation could quickly deteriorate.
Well, I think everyone can see that Manning is rusty; not as mobile as usual, not as sharp with his throws, and still needs to build up his strength. Is he too far behind to ever catch up this season? Through two games, he has 2 TDs and 2 picks. QB rating - 77.5. Completion %? Just over 60%. Not very impressive production from Peyton.
Ben Utecht is gone.
Yup, and Dalls Clark has missed a game with a knee injury, and has only 1 reception so far this year. He might be back this weekend; will he be 100%?
Freeney, the highly paid superstar DE, basically has not played football in about 10 months. His Lisfranc injury is serious, and could linger for years to come. To expect him to ever return to top form is wishful thinking; it could happen, but the odds are against him.
5 tackles, 2 sacks, and 1 forced fumble through 2 games. Apparently, Freeney's ok. With productivity like that, I'll give him props. Mea culpa.
A solid secondary and a decent linebacking corps does put the Colts in a good spot to play good defense again. But you slow down that offense, and put the Colts D on the field more, and you can expect them to fall off in effectiveness.
The Colts are 25th in the league in points allowed. The jury is still out on their secondary, who ranks 6th in the league in passing yards allowed, however, when the opposing Quarterbacks are named Tarvaris Jackson and Kyle Orton, it can hardly be declared as an achievement. Rushing Defense? how about last in the league - 31 teams in the NFL have been more effective than the Colts at stopping the run. The team has indeed failed to control the clock on offense. Time of possession by the Colts this year averages under 28 minutes per game.
Bob Sanders is injury prone, yet somehow managed to get through 2007 basically unscathed. Could he repeat this feat? Not so sure he can.
This might have been the easiest prediction of all... Sanders plays football in a way that leads to inuries, and once again, it did.
It is my sense that we will see the beginning of the great unravelling this year. My prediction, the Colts win 10 games and finish 3rd in the AFC South.
I might have been too generous in giving them 10 games.
It will be so much fun for the Titans to maul this team this year.
It really will be fun. I can't wait.