Sunday, September 11, 2011

Thoughts from NFL Week 1

From Thursday night's season-opener to Sunday's all-day football marathon, the NFL has already provided plenty of story lines to keep an eye on for the next five months. In just a few days, the 2011-2012 season has already begun to take shape. Granted - as I sit here midway through the fast half of the Redskins-Giants game - the first week isn't even over yet, but that doesn't mean there aren't some things for NFL fans to consider.

Is there any team in the NFL that relies on one player more than the Indianapolis Colts depend on Peyton Manning?
Colts starting quarterback Peyton Manning
will miss at least 2-to-3 months while he
recovers from neck surgery.
Source: AP
I don't think so. The 35-year-old's status for the season is now in doubt after undergoing his third neck surgery in 19 months just days before the start of the season. With an expected recovery time of two to three months, it's not out of the question that Manning will opt to miss the entire year and come back stronger in 2012.
So in his absence, the Colts signed 38-year-old Kerry Collins out of retirement and gave him the reigns of the offense with just three weeks to learn the playbook. Needless to say, that move didn't pay off in Week 1.
Collins's stats (16-of-31, 194 yards and a touchdown) don't necessarily show that he played badly, but the 34-7 loss to division rival Houston Texans tells the whole story. Indianapolis gave up 34 straight points to Houston - who was without starting running back Arian Foster - before Collins finally tossed a 6-yard touchdown pass to Reggie Wayne with 10 minutes left in the fourth quarter and the game well out of reach.
It's not that Collins isn't a good quarterback. He has proven to be a very good back-up and at times, a serviceable starter. In fact, he played well during his time with the Tennessee Titans. But for the Colts to sign this guy, who was already retired, three weeks before the season starts and put him in charge of the Indianapolis offense - what did they think was going to happen?
The starting quarterback position for the Colts isn't like any other job in the NFL. If anyone has even taken the time to watch one play with Manning at the helm, it's like watching a painter working on his masterpiece. Even if it's as simple as a run up the middle, Manning barks out orders, calls for adjustments from his offensive line and audibles into something he might like just a little bit better. Every. Single. Time. And it works, too. The former Tennessee Volunteer is easily the smartest quarterback in the league, and his knowledge of the Colts playbook is ridiculous.
No other team in the league relies on a single player as much as the Colts rely on Manning. If the Most Valuable Player award was actually given to the league's MVP, Manning would win it every year. For Indianapolis to sign Collins and give him three weeks to step into Manning's shoes only sets him and the rest of the team up for failure.
While Peyton Manning (left) misses the next several months
recovering from neck injury, it's up to 16-year veteran
Kerry Collins (right) to fill in the void.
Source: Getty Images
It's going to be interesting to see where they go from here. I'll be back later with more story lines from Week 1, so check back in a few hours for more.


  1. I don't think I have every watched NFL before. But it's still rather interesting.

  2. i don't always have time to watch the games, but it's always fascinating to hear the commentary! also, well written.

  3. manning should stay out.

  4. I cant say Im super pumped for football this year. that whole greed struggle over the off-season has soured the game for me personally