During today’s PFT Live, we suggested that Colts owner Jim Irsay possibly has a method to his apparent madness. Irsay, in subtly calling out former Indy quarterback Peyton Manning, could be trying to raise the stakes of a regular-season game, making it more like one of the postseason games in which Manning has routinely failed to deliver.
Someone who knows both guys well agrees with that outside-the-box notion.
“I think that’s what he’s trying to do,” former Colts coach Tony Dungy told ESPN in a text message. “Have him make it such a big game he doesn’t perform well. I can’t figure any other reason to go this way.”
Consider the implications of that statement, given that Dungy worked for Irsay and coached Peyton for seven years. Dungy believes that Irsay is trying to psyche Peyton out — and that Peyton possibly could be psyched out.
Still, Dungy disagrees with Irsay’s words.
“Without Peyton, there would be no Lucas Oil Stadium,” Dungy told ESPN. “This team would be playing in L.A. right now. I don’t understand Jim saying this. . . . Jim is making this personal. I’m surprised.”
Still, it’s not surprising if Irsay thinks that the man who went one-and-out seven times in 11 playoff appearances is capable of laying an egg in a big spot — and that Irsay is willing to publicly twist Peyton’s tail in order to provoke him into making the game so significant that he reverts to his more-common-than-not postseason form.