Life without Manning: Even worse than the Colts imagined


Yeah, this Colts season could get ugly fast.

Here’s what we learned while watching the Texans race out to a 34-0 halftime lead against the Colts on their way to a 34-7 win

1. Peyton Manning covered up so many issues for the Colts. They all showed up Sunday.

The offensive line couldn’t protect Kerry Collins.  The running game was nowhere to be found.  The team struggled to recognize Houston’s blitzes.  Special teams was poor, as usual.  The defense couldn’t stop the run, as usual.

2. Collins started 5-for-5, but that came with two lost fumbles.  Both Colts tackles looked a little lost at times.  Communication was an issue for Indy’s offensive line.

3. It doesn’t matter who’s at running back for the Texans. When Derrick Ward left with an injury at halftime, Ben Tate finished the job with 116 yards and a touchdown.  We even had a Steve Slaton sighting.

Houston is the new Denver.  Their offensive line is that good; any back they play will get yards.

4. So much for that slow transition to Wade Phillips’ defense.  Mario Williams had two sacks. Antonio Smith was possibly more disruptive and looked like a perfect fit for the defense.  Rookie J.J. Watt was a huge factor all day.

It was the perfect first week opponent for Houston. Now the defense has confidence the new scheme works.

5. The Texans are favorites in the AFC South.  It doesn’t mean we should just hand them the division, but they should be able to create distance with Indy in short order.  Tennessee and Jacksonville have issues.

76 responses to “Life without Manning: Even worse than the Colts imagined

  1. The colts with peyton manning weren’t all that great either last year. The division has been pretty lousy the last couple years and they win by default. Sure, not having him is a huge loss, but I’m not convinced that it would’ve changed the outcome of this game.

  2. It appears that Peyton’s influence is over the whole team as he doesn’t play defense and they just got hammered. Doesn’t say much for Caldwell aka “The Blank Stare”.

    It really is a one man team and without Peyton they are toast……

  3. So if the Colts are a mess and total garbage without Peyton (and I am not a Colts fan) – how much can you really take away from beating them? Congrats – you did what you’re supposed to do and SHOULD have done. Great – I guess.

    It’s like the people who do nothing but rag on Notre Dame’s football program as being crap but then celebrate like they won the lottery when they beat them.

  4. Now maybe the Colts bring in David Garrard and place Manning on IR? Or they go down in flames so they can get Luck with the first overall pick

  5. I really do feel sorry for Colts fans, i like Manning but damn that was a huge loss he is the field general. Collins was looking like molases out there. At this rate they might as well start Painter because Collins is done.

  6. The personal foul call in the 2nd half for hitting a defenseless receiver was total BS. Roger Goodell and his sissy rules strike again!!

  7. Captain, this is not the day to be throwing around war terms like battle and militia when referring to a damn game that my 10 yr old plays. I am a veteran and we need to get some perspective. It’s only football, not WAR

  8. Here’s a few tissues after so many years of success, the Buffalo Bills will happily take your normal spot in the playoffs.

  9. I found it humorous the people saying that the Colst might be able to go 500 without Manning. Manning is there team. Yes, they have some talented players but those player’s talent was much more to do with Manning than anyone would ever admit. You really think Dallas Clark would approach 100 receptions a year on any other team?

  10. As a Jag fan, I’d rather have a healthy Peyton out there and beat the Colts at 100%.

    Here is to a speedy recovery, #18.

    I’d like to know what the “issues” the Jags have that would keep us out of contention. Pretty sloppy reporting.

  11. Yeah! That was just plain ugly. At least the defense showed up in the second half after trailing by 34. It’s going to be a looooong season for Indy.

  12. the texans better make the playoffs this year because indy is gonna draft andrew luck first and then the texans wont make it for another 15 years

  13. The only thing worse than life without Manning is life WITH Roethlisberger.

    Also, I’m watching the Chargers vs. Vikes late game on Fox in L.A. and inexplicably they just refuse to put the Cards vs. Panthers score on their crawl.

    For like an hour now it will go through EVERY single freakin’ score except the Cards vs. Panthers.

    Wonder who the Einstein responsible for that is?

  14. With the Colts being this bad without him, P. Manning should win MVP this year even if he doesn’t take a single snap.

    His absence proves he is, truly, the epitome of Most Valuable Player.

  15. “Captain, this is not the day to be throwing around war terms like battle and militia when referring to a damn game that my 10 yr old plays. I am a veteran and we need to get some perspective. It’s only football, not WAR”

    It’s called an analogy.

  16. I guess the Steelers and falcons are done for the year. Steelers has SAME SCORE! both even had 100 yard receiver.

  17. I’m bringing a sign to the game next week that will say “fire the Polians”. I wonder if it will be confiscated or I will be ejected and/or my season tickets will be revoked as Mike Brown would do in Cincinnati? Peyton has been hiding a lot of weaknesses for a number of years. Polian has jumped the shark. Fire his arrogant a$&.

  18. Yes it is the Texan year. Oh wait I thought last year was their year. Oh it was the year before that wasn’t it. I love how the Texan are the new sexy. On paper they are nice, but we know what that means.

    Colts, Colt, Colts. 34-7, that’s funny. Where is the great mind of Bill Polian? I’ve been saying for 5-6 years, Peyton covers every single flaw on this team. Welcome back to reality Colts.

  19. And with the first pick of the 2012 NFL draft, the Colts select Andrew Luck, QB, Stanford. Yep might as well tank the season and along the way fire GM Polian and Coach Tidwell.

  20. thespeaker08 – …if the Colts ever practiced with another QB of quality, they would be fine. The reason NE did well without Brady is because they planned accordingly….all this shows is the Colts are an incompetent and clueless organization….

  21. everydayimfumbilin says:

    manning is overrated
    I know….but just about everyone in NY gets over rated a little bit. But Eli is still a good playing. wink.

  22. 1. The big question is will Indy still get all those pass interference calls that they got when Manning was in there???

    2. Manning is a great player, but both side on their lines have been deteriorating fast the last few years.

  23. I’m not a colts fan but, manning should win mvp every year. u see what happens when he’s pulled in the first quarter to rest for the playoffs. now we see what happens when he doesn’t even play. he is the coach and leader of this team.

  24. “Houston is the new Denver. Their offensive line is that good; any back they play will get yards.”

    Not sure what you’ve been up to on Sundays, but that Denver hasn’t been around for about 10 years.

  25. I had the Colts missing the playoffs even with Manning this season. With Manning Colts were 10-6 at best.

    Imo this is more about poor management then anything else. The Colts have never even tried to develop a back up QB.

    They brought Collins in like 2 weeks before the season started you can’t expect anything from an average team with a new starter that has had 2 weeks to learn the offense.

  26. Who is more valuable, Manning or Brady? Without Brady, Pats go 11-5. Without Manning, the Colts might not score 11.

  27. I love it…..manning fans say it is ALL him when they win regular season games…yet, they say it is a team sport when the Colts choke in the playoffs….which is it?…it cannot be both!?

  28. fringetastic – ahhhhh, wrong….who is more valuable given production….Brady wins by a mile……..the Colts being so incompetent and they are too clueless to have quality back-ups at QB is no reflection on Brady’s worth…sorry!

  29. Seeing this performance, Manning’s postseason record should be looked at as another accomplishment. 9-10 record, and 2 Superbowl appearances with this sorry team… pretty amazing if you ask me…

  30. @green18blue52

    lighten up. Football has been described as a war in the trenches since it was conceived. Just because you are a vet doesn’t mean there is some sacred lock on ever using the war for any purpose other then to describe conflict between nations. It’s a verb, a noun and an adjective and there was nothing wrong with it’s use in describing two football teams battling it out against each other.

    u sir are a DB

  31. How much are the Colts paying the QB position? What’s Manning getting $26M, Collins $7M. That folks is great management.
    Also, look at their drafts the last three years.

  32. This was the type of game I was totally hoping for. I despise the Colts organization and how they changed the league rules around their Precious. There was zero planning for this contingency and it should be exposed for all 16 weeks.

    I don’t blame Collins for this at all…he’ll get better in the offense as he becomes more familiar with the scheme AND his teammates. It will take awhile, but he’ll eventually be serviceable.

    Manning’s presence alone put pressure on opposing offenses, coaching staffs, and of course, defenses. His ability to score at will gets his team fired up and they have been able to rally around that. He truly has been the MVP since being crowned king in Indy.

    Caldwell (AKA Blank Stare is a perfect nickname for the guy) is going to get exposed as a poor HC. He may know football and may be a good coach, but being a HC is a lot more than that. Standing there watching the game without saying a damn thing or doing a lick of coaching during said game is horrendous. I say they’re good for 3 wins….if that.

  33. It doesn’t look like the Colts are going to get a $36 million dollar effort out of Manning afterall.

    Maybe now the Colts owner gets the message that paying your big name players big money doesn’t mean anything when it comes down to winning games.

  34. It’s funny how someone named “ravensfan4life52” is calling out Colts fans as not real.

    So ravens fan, the team began in 1996. I’m assuming you are 15 years old or younger (or didn’t watch football before 15 years ago.) Otherwise, you jumped off some other team’s bandwagon.

    As for the Colts. If anything, this should improve Peyton’s legacy. He has been so amazing of a QB, that he covered up amazingly glaring weaknesses in the team for years. And contrary to the haters, it is not his contract that hurt the team. It was scheme and philosophy…coupled with some bad personnel moves in the last 5 or so years by Polian.

    Peyton’s play didn’t hid the problems. We all saw them. His play simply minimized the negatives.

    Look at the Saints Superbowl. Everyone is quick to attack Peyton for the pick 6. But watch the game. By that point, the Colts were already down by a TD because the defense showed their inability (as always) to get off the field and let the Saints simply eat up yardage and time from the clock. So people needed Peyton to pull miracles to make up for the other side of the ball. Believe me, even if Peyton went down the field and threw a TD to tie the game instead of a pick 6 with 5 minutes or so left, you really think the defense would’ve held the Saints even out of game winning FG range?

  35. jersey73 – you MUST be a Colts fan because you are an idiot……the year the Colts won the SB, they had a guy named Bob Sanders who won the D League Award that year………which is why the WON the SB anyway………………..

    Also, if the Colts didn’t spend so much on Offense , maybe they could afford more defensive help……..they decided to put all their money on the offensive side of the ball……..and it didnt work………Manning couldnt pull it out….sorry

  36. badtimeoutcaldwell – you sir are an idiot……..i suggest you go check the Pro Bowls rosters……….Bob Sanders, Freeney…….Clark, Wayne, Harrison……if you think manning hasn’t been surrounded by talent…….you are a dumba$$

  37. The Colts have had a horrible defense for years and now there’s no Peyton Manning to balance the awful defense! Thanks mr. Polian for always drafting “the best player available” rather than addressing team needs.

  38. @golonger: this team still has lots of “pro-bowlers” and they will STILL SUCK!

    How much you wanna bet, that suddenly when the Colts don’t have Manning this year, they go from usually getting 5-8 pro-bowlers in there every year, to maybe 1 or 2 this year? Coincidence???

  39. Regarding Peyton and the playoffs. I just want to point out that the last 4 years (2007 through 2010), Peyton has had the Colts in the lead in the 4th quarter only to watch his pathetic defense give it up. Last year, when Manning got the team the lead against the Jets in the playoffs, I was hosting a playoff party and had about 20 people over watching the game. There was right around 1 minute left on the clock when the Colts scored to take the lead, and everyone said unamously that we gave the Jets too much time. Not because of the greatness of Sanchez, but because we had watched our defense suck all to often. Now at least they will be suck for Luck.

    If Peyton played on a team with a great defense like the Steelers or Ravens, he whould have all the Playoff records to go along with everything else. Oh the rings he would have…

  40. I am a Colts fan going back to the first days in Indy. And I can tell you first hand that the Colts are a joke of an organization. They have a complete moron for an owner who’s only accomplishment was being born. The Polians are overrated as Bill is very old and just not able to do it like he once could. Dont forget this is a team that, before Peyton, was looked upon in the same light as the Bengals. The organization didnt become great all of a sudden. What they did was they drafted Manning and he covered up EVERYONE’S FLAWS! This team would have been a perennial loser without their legend of a QB and they will return to being a perennial loser once he has left the building. As a fan, my only hope is that we get Luck and he turns out to be otherworldly like Peyton has been so he to can cover up everyone elses ineptitude.

  41. Colts played well and won the second half 7-0. Colts coaching staff is well known for not have it’s veteran players ready for the first game. Compound that with a new QB that is calibrating the timing/delivery of his passes. It’s one game. So many wanna be unintelligent football idiots out there.

  42. jasoncnz – wrong….the Colts changed a few years prior to getting Manning…..Harrison was there before Manning….they started getting good players……as any GM in the NFL would attest to,…they have been (over the past 15 years) one of the best drafting teams in the NFL……..and NOT because they drafted ONE person…….are they a joke of an organization? yes…..but they have drafted well..

  43. jasoncnz – please…….Manning lost to the Chargers because of all the ints he threw………and the only reason the Colts won the SB they did is BECAUSE of their defense……their defense was the worst in the league that year and somehow got their act together for the playoffs…….they were the BEST in the playoffs and the Colts won in spite of mannings poor performance overall…….he threw as many pics as he did TDs that playoff run……..if you want to try and create YOUR history, go ahead…..but it wont change THE history………….

  44. badtimeoutcaldwell – WRONG idiot……….they will STILL have Pro Bowlers……..I love how you think Manning does EVERYTHING…………LOL…..totally false………..but if so, he does EVERYTHING in the playoffs too……….and his record is poor!

  45. @golonger

    I get all your points but they got destroyed yesterday and completely humiliated by a team that honestly did nothing but run the ball down their throats again,again,again. Everything was pretty predictable again on how to beat the Colts. I can’t honestly see any changes from year to year on how it justifies excitement if your a Colts fan to think that this team is going to be great. It wasn’t obvious until now and its OBVIOUS that they are the 2008 Detroit Lions without Peyton Manning but worse, they cannot even compete.

    I think the backlash is overdue, wouldn’t you say? C’mon, you want Peyton to come back to play for that team with that busted line, still no running game and putrid defense. Are these not facts? Won’t he get killed?

    As for Wayne and Harrison, Manning has had pro bowls without Harrison and great games without using Wayne and was actually using Collie way more last year before Collie was hurt. Its too bad they couldn’t win more super bowls with Harrison and Wayne together.

    This is how I look at it. Perhaps this team was NEVER as talented as we thought they were and it was just all ONE player. And perhaps through the years the Colts organization realized it and the team gradually insisted on settling for average talent because they thought the team could still win. They have never addressed the tackle position or the defensive tackle position probably because its one of the more expensive positions in football that may or maynot make a game changing difference. Bill Polian just doesn’t want to spend money or thinks its wasting money on those positions or he would have thoroughly addressed them. Right now what your watching is what the system that Bill Polian created, but without Manning its clear what he drafted was alot of cheap low level players minus a few lucky great ones who he overpays, to make up for the huge gapping holes he has on both sides of the ball.

  46. And to everyone who thinks that this is just ONE game. C’mon back to reality please. The Texans are not that good and they sure in the hell are not 34-7 good. The Colts have clearly the same weaknesses that they have never gotten better at and to give a certain fan hope that they are going to compete even against a medicore team is wishing for a miracle. If the team was drafted well it wouldn’t get destroyed in the pre season and it wouldn’t have gotten destroyed last week. They can’t run the ball, they can’t stop the run, special teams is still terrible and right now the difference is that their passing game is not even half as good.

    So right now, the only thing your capable of improving from a realistic standpoint is the passing game….Do you Colts fans think Collins is capable of scoring 28 points a game? Polian said he was a “master” and there wasn’t any offense he couldn’t “master” in 48 hours. No way

  47. Anyone who says that Manning is overrated is clearly delusional. If you take anything away from Sunday’s game is that Manning should’ve won more MVP awards.

    But with that said, if you look at the entire game, it was not that bad. You have a quarterback that had 17 days to learn an NFL offense, develop chemistry with the wide receivers, and learn the deficiencies of his offensive line. IT CAN’T BE DONE IN 2 WEEKS! Collins came out rusy, as expected. Fumbled twice early which put the game away. But the upside is the Colts second half. Held the Titans to zero points (even though they played conservatively at times) and moved the ball fairly well. The defense who started off horrible started playing substantially better after half.

    People need to have realistic expectations, the Colts were going to start off 1-2 regardless. It will take Collins 3 games to start to get an understanding of the offense. The season doesn’t start until week three.

    The Texans will win the division, their defense is ridiculous, but lets just be realistic about the Colts.

  48. “fringetastic says: Sep 11, 2011 6:55 PM

    Who is more valuable, Manning or Brady? Without Brady, Pats go 11-5. Without Manning, the Colts might not score 11.”

    This analogy is so tired. The Patriots won 5 less games the year Brady was out. If the Colts do the same they will be 5-11, which is pretty realistic.

    Stop trying to tarnish Brady because the Patriots were smart enough to have a decent back-up. One who started for another NFL team last year and had 27 TD and 7 INT.

    Brady got injured and left his backup a 16-0 team, Manning has captain of a 10-6 team that wasnt really considered a top contender this year even with Manning. Peyton is GREAT, no doubt, but people need to stop comparing this situation to the 2008 Patriots.

  49. Jeez, and I thought Indy +9 was a gift! I thought…… Collins isn’t that bad and, for Christ’s sake, they are playing the Texans not the Patriots! That and picking the Browns to cover against ANYONE as a favorite were my NFL Dumbest Wagers of the Year.

  50. @golonger

    What an asinine statement.. “withour Harrison or Wayne…”

    You can say that about any quarterback that won a pro bowl. Saying that Montana without Rice, Brady without Moss, Aikman without Irvin, etc etc etc.

    Manning had Collie leading the league in Touchdown receptions (tied with Hakeem Nicks) and in the top 20 for receiving yards before his consecutive concussions, has Dallas Clark with over 100 receptions last year, and Tamme (when Clark was down) averaging about 70 yards a game. And you make a completely unfounded statement that without Wayne or Harrison, he’s not a Pro Bowler… GET REAL!

    Look at his receiving core: Wayne, Collie, Gonzalez, Clark, Tamme, Garcon, White.. these are the guys that he’s taken to the post season every year.

  51. “Look at his receiving core: Wayne, Collie, Gonzalez, Clark, Tamme, Garcon, White.. these are the guys that he’s taken to the post season every year.”

    Lets see him win one with Patton, Brown, and Givens.

    But yes your overall point is completely valid. Anyone who claims Manning is totally a product of his weapons is off base.

  52. @golonger You call me an idiot, but you don’t know anything.

    Bob Sanders missed most of the Superbowl season with an injury. He was defensive POY the following season when the Colts lost in the divisional round. But thanks for playing.

    Sanders played a whole 4 regular season games the SB season and the Colts had the worst run defense in the league. But Peyton still led the team to a 12-4 record.

    The Colts have spent on defense. Big contracts for Sanders (who couldn’t stay healthy), Bethea, Freeney, Brackett, and Hayden.

    And let’s look at the drafts first three rounds:

    2006: RB, CB, LB ( 2 of 3 on defense)
    2007: WR, OT, CB, DT (2 of 4 on defense)
    2008: C, LB (1 of 2 on defense)
    2009: RB, DT, CB (2 of 3 on defense)
    2010: DE, LB, CB (3 of 3 on defense)
    2011: OT, OT, DT (1 of 3 on defense)

    But don’t let facts stand in the way of your ill-informed comments.

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