Monday, August 25, 2008

NFL Preview Show Extravaganza: Indianapolis Colts

We're more than half way done with the AFC in our preview of all 32 teams. This week, our attention turns to the AFC South. Today, we focus on the farthest Northern team in the South, the Indianapolis Colts.

When the Colts won Super Bowl XLI, it took a lot of pressure off of Colts quarterback, Peyton Manning. He had finally won the championship that has been missing in his hall-of-fame (or so I think) career.

With a title under their belt, the Colts were now on the same level as Tom Brady and the New England Patriots.

In 2007, the Colts didn't let up, going 13-3 and clinching the AFC South. It was the Colts sixth straight season of at least 10 wins, all during Tony Dungy's reign as head coach.

Not only were the Colts strong on the offensive side of the ball, but their defense played tough too. For the first time in 40 years, the Colts were a top-5 offense and defense. The Colts gave up the fewest points in 2007, giving up only 262 points. The defense was also second best in the league in giving up passing yards.

If it wasn't for the Patriots season, no doubt people would be talking about how great the Colts were on both sides of the football.

Then came the San Diego Chargers in the divisional round of the playoffs. In what might be one of the best playoff games ever, the Chargers and the Colts battled it out for all four quarters. The Chargers would win the game with LT and Phillip Rivers on the sideline. Manning had 400 yards passing in the loss.

What can be said about the playoff loss, I don't know. We've seen Manning perform in the playoffs before. The Colts were tough on both sides of the ball. They brought in Adam Vinatieri a couple of seasons ago to solve the kicking issue. Plus, LT was out virtually the entire game and Rivers didn't leave the game until late in the 3rd quarter. The odds were definitely in the Colts favor.

Are the Colts starting to lose their luster? It is certainly possible given that the Colts won their Super Bowl.

Plus, you have to factor in the division. The Colts have been the only division winner in AFC South history. However, Jacksonville and Tennessee are starting to make names for themselves and are ready to compete with the Colts. You could also make a case for the Texans, given that they finished the 2007 season in last place, at 8-8.

At this point, anything is possible for the Colts.

The Colts open up the 2008 regular season on Sunday Night Football. They face the Chicago Bears. The Colts will be playing their first game in Lucas Oil Stadium. At their new home, the Colts will face, Baltimore, New England and Cincy. On the road, the Colts will face Pittsburgh, San Diego and Minnesota.

Time for those burnin' questions (yearbook style):
  • Passing Yards for Peyton Manning: 3800

  • Touchdown passes for Manning: 27

  • Number of commercials for Manning this season: About 4 or 5

  • Number of commercials with Manning wearing a mustache: Hopefully 1 or 2 (He has to like 6'5" quarterbacks with a laser rocket arm too)

  • Rushing yards for Joseph Addai: 1000 yards

  • Leading receiver: Reggie Wayne- 1223 yards

  • Number of seasons before Tony Dungy retires: 2

  • Coolest names (Top 3): Tyjuan Hagler, Raheem Brock, Kyle Shotwell

  • 80s song to best describe team: Should I Stay or Should I Go- The Clash

  • In 2008, the Colts will: Go 10-6

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