Every week we go Inside the Enemy Camp and speak with the blogger who covers the next
victim opponent of the Kansas City Chiefs.
This week I sat down with Adam Hughes of Naptown’s Finest, FanSided’s Indianapolis Colts blog. Adam just took over the site this year and the Colts thanked him by starting the season 0-4. There is a lot of turmoil in Indy these days without Peyton Manning behind center. Find out what is going on from a Colts fan’s perspective as we go Inside the Enemy Camp!
What do you think of Painter? Would you rather see him take the reins the rest of the way instead of Old Man Collins?
I was really happy with the Collins signing when it happened, thinking that it gave the Colts their best chance to win without Manning. Now, though, the combination of Collins’ age and the Colts’ young (and injured) offensive line makes him a sitting duck. It’s pretty clear that the Colts aren’t going to do much this year without Manning, and Collins only stands to get beat up more if he continues to be planted in the pocket.
With that background, I think now is the time to give Painter an extended look. I’m one of those Colts fans who ridiculed Painter’s play over the past few years, but the team has stood by him through all the embarrassing play. Hopefully, Painter will show decisively that he can be a long-term answer as a backup or that he’s not cut out for the NFL. After one-plus games, it honestly looks like he might be OK.
You would think with the lack of a solid passing game sans Manning that the Colts would be trying to run a lot. Are they leaning on the running game more than usual and how is it working out?
They are trying to lean on the running game more this year, but it hasn’t always worked. Joseph Addai looked refreshed in the first few games of the year and picked up (for him) big yards. Delone Carter may be the bruiser the Colts have lacked in recent years and should help with third-and-short situations. The offensive line, though, has been shuffled all season long so far, and now the injuries are piling up. Against Tampa, the offense was pretty much all about passing under Painter, which was a nice surprise, but the running game withered.
Does it distress you that the team appears to be so poor without Manning? By that I mean, the team seems to rely so heavily on him that it might make you wonder how well the Colts have really been drafting recently. After years of stability at QB, do you feel the team should have been more prepared for this?
We ALL think that now, of course, but there was a small cadre of fans who clamored for a capable backup during the last few years, and I number myself among those. I really wanted the Colts to use one of their low first-round picks on a decent quarterback or to give their undrafted free agents more of a chance, but they held firm. It’s a poorly kept secret around here that the Colts haven’t had a decent first-round pick, in the long term, since Addai in 2006. What harm could taking a chance on a quarterback have done?
I am sure what most Colts fans want is just to get Peyton back as soon as is possible. That being said, are they starting up their own “Suck for Luck” bandwagon?
Yes, we’ve been hearing a lot of Luck talk since late in the summer when people began to get nervous about Manning’s availability. The thing is, though, I’m not convinced would take Luck even if they go 0-16, particularly if Manning will be healthy next season. I think drafting Luck would be a great idea, particularly if he’s open to a Favre-Rodgers scenario where he spends a few years learning from Manning, but I’m not holding my breath. If Painter does a halfway decent job and Manning returns, Bill/Chris Polian and Jim Irsay could very well feel smug enough about the QB slot to draft another high-priority position. They might even trade Number 1 for a bag of beans. Honestly, I and many others have lost some faith in the Colts’ draft-day decisions.
Lastly, your predictions for the game please.
I think that Painter will have another decent game and that the Colts’ running backs will rebound somewhat. I’m not too concerned with the Chiefs ground game, but the Matt Cassel and the KC’s special teams might have fun exploiting Indy’s weak points. Still, this may be the Colts best chance for a victory, and I’ll give it to them, 24-21 over the Chiefs.
Check out more on the Colts at Naptown’s Finest.