Comparing the Colts and the Patriots position by position.
And needless to say many of the hardcore sheep on Indy Star can't agree enough with this objective Colt's fans crack assessment:
"I know that I’m going to be accused of feeding the trolls, but here goes.
Quarterback—Manning vs. Brady
At this point in time, the race to determine who is the best QB in the National Football League has come to resemble the 1973 Belmont Stakes. Peyton’s in the lead by 27 lengths and everyone else is competing for 2nd place.
Advantage: Colts Well, I'll give him this - Manning may more strongly resemble Secretariat, but Tommy is the QB with the triple crown rings to match Big Red's. Peyton is like one of those Preakness triple crown spoilers who snag one jewel in a weak field when the favorite developed a quarter crack...
RB—Addai vs. Moroney
If any position is equal on these two teams, this is surely it. Picking between Moroney and Addai is like choosing between Dickerson and Dorsett. I’d rather have Dickerson, but I wouldn’t be unhappy with the Cowboy back, either.
Advantage: None (I guess experienced backups and change of pace backs and fullbacks don't count...
WR—Harrison, Wayne, Gonzalez, Moorehead, Thorpe, Hall vs. Moss, Stallworth, Welker, Jackson, Gaffney, Caldwell and Brown
The Patriots have what has to be considered one of the deepest pools of WR talent ever assembled. If only they could figure out a way to line up in a 7 WR set. But, since they can’t, let’s look at the top of the top few rungs of the depth chart.
In Marvin Harrison and Reggie Wayne, the Colts have assembled one of the elite pass receiving tandems in league history, right up there with the Marks Brothers; Stallworth and Swann; and Rice and Taylor. 1st round pick, Anthony Gonzalez gives them a legit game breaking type talent in the slot, and a bevy of high quality players will vie for 4th place on the depth chart. .
A lot’s been made of the Patriot’s offseason spending spree at WR. In Welker and Stallworth, they’ve brought in two pretty decent receivers. But, it’s the acquisition of Randy Moss that’s garnered huge attention. My guess is that the preseason magazines like Lindy’s and Athlon will gush effusively over the pickup. They’ll rank the receivers and tell us that Moss is one of the elite half dozen. The problem is that that hasn’t been true in years, and it certainly isn’t true after two years in Oakland in which he, essentially, quit playing. At his best, Randy is a one note, run 40 yards down the sideline, leap into the air and catch the ball over the DB, receiver. At his worst, he’s a cancer in the locker room.
The bottom line is that God gave him all the talent in the world, and he’s squandered most of it.
TE—Dallas Clark, Ben Utecht and Bryan Fletcher vs. Ben Watson and Kyle Brady I guess he doesn't know we have 2 more TE on the roster...
The problem Dallas Clark has in gaining recognition is that he’s the 3rd option behind two future hall of famers. For the Dolphins, or any team with less talent at the receiver position, he’d catch 80 balls a year and routinely rack up 1,000 yards. As far as Utecht and Fletcher are concerned, put either one of them on most team’s rosters and they’d be penciled in #1.
In Ben Watson, the Patriots have a legit talent at TE who stacks up well against most every other TE in the league. Kyle Brady is a fine blocker who brings somewhat less talent at catching the ball to the huddle.
The difference, though, is that Clark is a big play; get open 40 yards downfield, kind of weapon.
Advantage: Slight Colts
OL: Glenn, Lilja, Saturday, Scott, Diem vs. Kaczur, Mankins, Koppen, Neal and Light
When talking about Tarik Glenn and Jeff Saturday, it’s tough to find enough superlatives. Both are pro bowl fixtures, and either one of them could end up in Canton. Aren't these the same guys Manning and Polian were tossing under busses in 2005?
Ryan Diem is a decent bookend at RT, and the Guards are solid.
The Patriots, on the other hand, have 4 solid players in Light, Mankins, Koppen and Neal. RT, Nick Kaczur, while not a liability, isn’t much more than workmanlike at RT. All things considered, it’s a credit to the Patriot’s coaching staff that they’ve been able to accomplish so much with so little.
Advantage: Big Colts
DL: Mathis, Brock, McFarland and Freeney vs. Warren, Wilfork and Seymour
In Freeney and Mathis, the Colts have the best DE tandem in the league. Unfortunately, the situation isn’t as bright at DT. McFarland was solid, last season, and I have to figure that a full offseason in the system will allow him to elevate his play. But, as long as they have Brock at DT, they’re going to be vulnerable.
The Patriots have put together one of the top 4 Defensive Lines in the league. Seymour is superb, and Wilfork and Warren aren’t far behind.
Right now, any rational person would have to give the edge to New England. That could change, however, if Corey Simon manages to make a comeback—unlikely—or if Quinn Pit**** fulfills the potential he showed at Ohio State.
LB: Keiaho, Brackett and Morris vs. Colvin, Bruschi, Vrabel and Thomas
This position could be a huge asset for the Colts, or a huge mess. Questions abound. Can Keiaho replace Cato June? Is Brackett big enough for the position? Was Rob Morris’s performance, once he made the transition to the outside, an illusion or a preview of coming attractions?
The Patriots have questions, too. They’re moving Vrabel back inside, where he’s less effective, and you don’t know how he’ll react to the move. There’s also the age question, which also applies to Tedy Bruschi. Life’s been hard to the gallant warrior. He’s played 12 years, and started to show signs, last year, of slowing down. On the outside, Roosevelt Colvin shows little of the talent he exuded at Chicago, and the Patriots are depending on Adalius Thomas to step in and become the next Mike Vrabel.
For the past few years, the Patriots have been playing a game of Russian roulette with age. They haven’t drafted well at the position, depending on quick fixes in free agency. It didn’t work with Colvin, and this year’s candidate to step up is Adalius Thomas. They’ve got to hope that he isn’t the product of the system in Baltimore, looking good because he lined up next to Ray Lewis. Frankly, after watching the Ravens play Indy in the playoffs, I suspect that he’ll be a huge bust.
He did a nice job covering Dallas Clark, but did little else to impress. He was ineffective as a blitzer, and if the run wasn’t right at him, he seemed half hearted, unable to shed blocks and get to the play.
DB’s: Jackson, Hayden, Sanders and Bethea vs. Samuel, Hobbs, Harrison and Hawkins
For the Colts, much is riding on how Jackson and Hayden make the transition to starters. The tail end of last season and the playoffs offered some reassurance, but you never know until you know. At Safety, if Sanders can stay healthy, he and Bethea are the best Safety tandem in the league.
For the Patriots, life is bleak at DB. The only player worth keeping on a roster is in the middle of a nasty contract dispute. At the other Corner, Hobbs is solid—unless he has to face an elite level receiver. As far as the Safeties are concerned, Hawkins is a nonentity and Harrison brings little to the table other than toughness. He no longer has the speed to play the position and excels, only, at dealing out cheap shots. Anybody got Rodney's email address handy...
For the Patriots, Samuel is the trump card. He’s an elite level Cornerback, and the Colts have no one with anywhere near as much talent. Well, he got that half right...
Unfortunately for them, however, the cupboard is bare almost everywhere else.