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Tough to figure out what's up with this Colts team. I think Peyton and his receivers have yet to get on the same page, but you have to keep in mind the way Polian has built this team: last year, it was right there with the Packers as the youngest team in the league. There are a lot of undrafted free agents.
These aren't your 2003-2005 Colts, either. Those teams had a lot more of a veteran presence, be it Edgerrin James, Stokley, Pollard, Tarik Glenn, etc. Their OL is young and has been hit with injuries - they're missing Jake Scott, who left in free agency, and Ryan Lilja, who is on PUP. Yet in 2003, they had some holes too, with a young Diem, and some JAG-types in Tupe Peko and Steve Sciullo at RG.
I think a big part of it is defense. Right now, they have Eric Foster and Keyunta Dawson at DT, both of whom are late-round pick/undrafted types. They moved Raheem Brock back to DE, giving them their classic rotation of Freeney, Brock, and Mathis. They've gone through a good number of veteran DTs over the years, too - Tripplett, Reagor, Simon, and they just cut their promising DT Ed Johnson. They don't have that presence inside anymore, nor the depth they once had along the line with Brad Scioli and Chad Bratzke (now it's Josh Thomas and more late-round project types). At linebacker, they've lost Peterson, Thornton, Morris, and June over the past few years (although Morris is a FA now), and they are going with a young Keiaho, Brackett, and Session right now. However, they've made good improvement at DB since the 2003-2005 years. Jackson, Hayden, Sanders, and Bethea are a great young group, replacing Macklin, Walt Harris, Bashir, and Doss that they had back then.
This is the nature of Polian's Colts: scouting lesser-known prospects (like Bethea) and turning them into solid players. Yet they also neglect free agency almost entirely (Vinatieri being the exception). At some point, you need the depth and experience that shopping in free agency can bring, and right now, the Colts just don't have it.
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I have to admit, I definitely do not watch many Texans games, but from afar, it seems to me that the Texans play real well when Rosenfels is in the game. I bet they think Schaub is soft. Theres always something wrong with the guy
The thing is after today, the Colts could have easily been 0-4 if Brad Childress had any stones. I thought they were a 10-6 team going into the season. Right now, I think they will be lucky to go 8-8 this season unless they get healthy and on track in a hurry. People will be quick to blame the injuries especially to the o-line, but I don't think the o-line was their biggest problem on offense today. Manning has had time and his receivers have gotten open and they are just not on the same page.
And the offense can't cover the defense any more because Manning has always struggled without elite weapons he's on exactly the same wave length with. That is the difference between him and Tom. No QB likes to be missing pieces but it seems to wear on Peyton while Tommy eventually shakes it off and gets to work making the best of whatever he ends up with. Manning can still flash and burn you, but he seems to struggle with the concept to the point he can't be dominant/consistent this season.