Nothing on TV, no chores to catch up on, and a number of diverse thoughts to set down for your perusal and comment 1. I am now convinced that Peyton Manning has played his final game as a Colt. He is another victim of his own contract. The Colts CANNOT pass up Luck, nor can they start to rebuild a team when so much of their cap assets would be tied up in the QB position. It's time for the Colts to start the rebuilding process and endure a couple of years of mediocrity while they try to rebuild their team around another franchise QB. 2. With this reality becoming the common wisdom more and more each day, the next question that arises is what can the Colts get in trade for a future HOF QB. I would opine....not much. At least not as much as most fans think. For as good a QB as Manning has been, he IS coming off of 3 neck surgeries. He IS 36 years old. He HAS just missed the entire season. He has NEVER played a majority of his games outside. He has only played in one offense, so whomever trades for him will have to use Payton's offense. And finally, he comes WITH a massive salary cap hit. The only thing that comes close to a comparison was when the Chiefs traded for Joe Montana at the end of his career. They gave up a first pick for him but got a 3rd rounder plus a starting player in return. I'm not draft savvy enough to know what that translates to in slot terms, but it is certainly LESS than a #1 pick. In fact if you add in Manning's contract and medical condition, he is less inviting than Montana was at this stage of his career. I'm thinking that the Colts would be lucky to get a 3rd or 4th for him. A lot less than the common wisdom is expecting Its a strange case where the untried pick is worth a lot more than the proven HOF aging starter. 3, The next question is WHERE is the best Manning fit. He's not going to want to go to any team that is not a playoff contender. The team that gets him will HAVE to have a solid OL, and some receivers. They would have to be willing change their offense to Manning's. In other words they would be getting a QB AND an OC. Miami would be the best fit IMHO. They seem to have a good defense, solid OL, and talented WRs. With Manning and a talented receiving TE, the Dolphins would have an offense to match the Pats. I am not liking that scenario. 4. Eric Moore is back and Cunningham looks like he's moving to the IR. This would end a REALLY disappointing season for Cunningham, who looked so promising his rookie year. Its too early to give up on him just yet, but that being said, realistically you can't plan for the future counting on him to be productive. 5. Ryan Kerrigan turned out to be the player may of us hoped he'd be for the Pats. Its very interesting to see how well he's done. But given the impact that Nate Solder has been this season, I wonder who would have had the bigger impact to the team's success. It would have been nice to have a young OLB who can rush the passer and still be solid against the run But its also hard to think about where the OL would have been without Solder to fill in as a LT, RT, and TE. I don't think there is a right or wrong answer here, just an interesting question. BTW- its not like he was there for the Pats to take. Washington was ahead of the Pats, and the Pats would have had to find a trading partner to make the move up. 6. I can't understand the big fine Mayo got. First IMHO, the picture they had posted on PFT clearly showed Mayo hitting Orlovsky with his face mask planted right in his CHEST, a perfect form tackle. Unless you thought the hit was late, I don't understand the fine, ESPECIALLY when one would think the league had the time to review it from all the angles. The ref didn't think in merited a flag. Secondly, why such a big fine. I don't recall Mayo as being a constant repeat offender, and how does the league justify fining Seymour just $7500 for punching a player and getting thrown out, yet fines Mayo twenty grand for what was AT BEST a marginal infraction. It makes no sense. 7. The key to the Washington game is simple. It will hinge on how well Solder and Light do against Orakbo and Kerrigan. If they limit them to under 10 sacks/hits/hurries, then this game will be a cake walk. 8 I'm sorry that Laron Landry isn't likely to play. Since he is one of the FA's I'd love to see the Pats pick up this off season, I wanted to see him in action for myself 9. Since it is very likely that the Skins will play the Pats aggressively up front. I am interested to see how the Pats offense has progressed in attacking that "blueprint" style. Look for the Skins to double BOTH Gronk and Welker, playing them physically underneath with help over the top. Then play Branch and Hernandez one on one. Could be a big day for Hernandez, receptions by the RBs and the run game 10. Once again we embark on another episode of the season ending road to media and fan dissatisfaction. I am now convinced that there is nothing this team can do over the final 4 games that will encourage or satisfy the now spoiled media and fan base. Winning certainly doesn't do the job anymore. Its no longer good enough. Style points seem to now matter more than substance. This shouldn't be a surprise since we live in an age where "style" is valued over "substance" 11. The thing for me is that its taken a lot of the enjoyment of the build up to any of these games. Media comment is so predictable I no longer listen to a lot of the programming that has built up over the decade to cater to rabid Pats fans. For those of you who closely follow the programming at Patriots.com, its like its "Nitpick Tuesday" all week long. The Pats can no longer draft. They can't play defense. The OL is shaky. And all of our personnel is not as good as the other team's, except for Gronk and Brady. Every injury the opposing team has is a massive lucky break, while we can play our 4th starting Center of the year with hardly a comment. In fact the only thing I really look forward to is the Patriot all Access segments that show the locker rooom after the game and "their path to the NFL" Like I've said before, as far as the media and fan base goes, NOTHING we do in the last 4 games matters. Until this team wins a playoff game, we will just sleep walk through this month, needlessly b!ching and moaning like a bunch of entitled reality TV "stars". Fortunately this angst doesn't permeate the team we follow. Bill has build a bubble around them and allows them do simply "do their job" and provide us with the wins, that we no longer deem to be "enough" Sorry for repeating my own little "whine". I am resigned to it now, and it won't be mentioned again. But, in that vein though I hope the game day "chicken littles" will wait until the middle of 2nd quarter before they start to throw in the towel.