Here lies the season of the Indianapolis Colts. The Colts have been,perennially, a playoff team since Peyton Manning came into his third season with the team. Now this year’s Colts team has secured the worst season record in the team’s history and nearly joined the 2008 Detroit Lions and the expansion Bucs as the third team to go winless in a full season.
Causes of Death:
1. Severe neck injury – The injury and subsequent surgeries to the nerves in Peyton Manning’s neck have held him out of play for the entire season. The lack of depth that they had at the QB position forced them to go after Kerry Collins who then got injured and placed the season in the hands of Curtis Painter and Dan Orlovsky. Very few teams can win with those two.
2. A team built around one player – This is a bit redundant but I think it bears repeating the entire offensive and defensive scheme is based around one player being there and that guy is obviously Peyton Manning. The offense is built for Manning to read the defense and surgically pick apart the opposition. The defense was built around the team being ahead and the ends being able to pin their ears back and getting after the QB. Losing Manning essentially made the offense and defense inoperable.
3. The Defense – While I’ve already said that the D was based off from Manning, the fact still remains that the Colts D needs a major overhaul. The Colts have only drafted three defensive players in the first round in the past eight years. None of whom are starting, and only one of whom is still on the team. The Polians have completely and utterly ignored the defensive side of the football for years now. When it hasn’t been completely ignored it has been poorly addressed. Even without the best player on the team the defense should at the very least be able to be respectable.
What’s For The Future:
Now I can’t begin to think what Jim Irsay will actually do but if it were me Polian and Caldwell would both be out as the GM and Head Coach of the organization respectively. While Polian has been considered a genius this season’s record has shown that his draft picks have been carried by Peyton Manning for years now. Its time to clean house and start again as for head coaches here is what I see as the top coaching candidates for the Colts organization.
1. John Gruden – Gruden is an offensive mind and the Colts have been basically going from one coach to the next from that 2002 Tampa Bay Bucs team Gruden is now available could be the choice.
2. Mike Zimmer – Zimmer has transformed the Bengals Defense to a top 5 D in the league what wonders could he do with a ton of draft picks and two of the most dominant DE’s in the league. The mind wonders or he could slowly build a D who does have some talent (be it most of it injured) and have Peyton Manning do what he’s done for years now.
3. An unknown – The way it is right now if Polian is let go (which seems less and less likely by the week) then there is no telling who would be the next head coach of the organization will be. The new GM will bring in one of his guys to be the new head coach.
Suck For Luck:
Right now in spite of their recent winning streak the Colts are still in the drivers seat when it comes to the suck for Luck sweepstakes if they lose to the Jags they get a draft pick rumored to be worth between three and six first round draft selections. I usually never suggest a team lose on purpose but I don’t think either of these franchises really want to win on New Years Day.