They were perennial winners of their division, playoff regulars and the arch enemy of the New England Patriots. In 2011, they just suck and there’s no way around the fact that Peyton Manning made Bill Polian and the Colts winners. They made many mistakes this past year, but no one knew Manning was that crucial to them.
Long time Patriot hater Bill Polian should be blasted for not having a suitable backup for Manning. In 30+ years of following football in the NFL, we’ve never seen such ineptitude. You don’t go from 10-6 to 0-11 unless you’ve royally screwed up.
The annual slugfest this year has lost it's luster, taken out of the flex spot for primetime and moved to 1:00pm, just another game. The Colts are supposed to be the challenge that benchmarks how good the Patriots are. This year, the ruler has been put away and there's no one to blame but the Colts themselves.
Manning utterly played them for fools, with Indy re-signing him after the lockout and then he dropped the bomb about his neck. That’s really nice. Can you imagine Tom Brady doing that to Bill Belichick? And really, do you think that Belichick didn’t have his doctor’s green light before he re-signed Brady? As good of a relationship that Belichick and Brady have, it's still business.
Polian slept on his business, taking for granted and handing out the biggest contract in NFL history for a QB who may never see the field again. Picking up Kerry Collins was a joke. We saw what happened to Curtis Painter in 2009 when he was inserted for Manning against a New York Jets team fighting to make the playoffs.
Sweet huh, well how about not having a college level backup QB, let alone an NFL caliber one?
However, the blame doesn’t stop there, as Jim Caldwell has done probably the worst coaching job since the 0-16 Detroit Lions. Where have all the good players gone? Aren’t Reggie Wayne, Dwight Freeney, Dallas Clark and Robert Mathis on this team? They all quit and it’s sad, even as a Patriots fan, it's bad to see them that way.
We remember when Tom Brady went down with a knee injury and was gone for the year in 2008. We remember how that team refused to lie down and went 11-5, although they missed the playoff off a tiebreaker. That year, we learned how tough Bill Belichick and the Patriots organization is. How they took a QB who hadn’t started a game in the NFL and marched into the Meadowlands and beat their bitter rival the New York Jets.
As Patriots fans, we can’t feel sorry for the Colts even if it wasn’t their fault... but it is.