Here’s some reading material to help you kill time between now and game time:
Footballoutsiders have posted their staff predictions. Only one writer picked the Colts to win the Super Bowl, but note how many have picked them to win the South despite the superiority of the Jags in the stats. I like FO because they used numbers, but aren’t slaves to them.
Coldhardfootballfacts somehow manages to sound smug even when they are admitting they got their heads handed to them. Here’s one more review of the 2006 Colts. These guys are about the only people alive who really still think that Brady is better than Manning.
Matt Willamson of Scouts Inc (a noted Jaguar apologist) has a good piece on the Colts offensive scheme. He rightly credits incredible execution and not strategy as the amazing engine that drives the machine.
Jason Whitlock predicts a slow start and big finish for the Colts. He also has his doubts on Vince Young.
Finally, Len Pasquarelli has a nice little piece comparing Peyton and Payton.
One more quick note…why do people keep listing Mike Doss as a major starter lost by the Colts? He got hurt, missed a huge chunk of the year, and had lost his starting job anyway. Sometimes, commentators just throw names out there without actually knowing their relevance. For instance, did you know that the Colts lost Gilbert Gardner? He was a starting linebacker and now he’s gone! What will the Blue do?
Also, what would you say about these two teams if you didn’t know the logo on the helmet:
Team 1: An older team that signed several big name free agents in the off season, the average age of whom is 30. They only kept 2 of their recent draft picks, cutting the majority of their team. Is this team being smart?
Team 2: Had a defense ranked last against the run and 22nd overall. They replaced starting corners, linebackers, and a defensive tackle. Is this team being smart?
The answers to these questions are easy, but for some reason when you put logos on the helmets and call them the Patriots and Colts, the analysis gets muddled. I’m not sure why that is.
Demond Sanders’ Comments: Seven of the FootballOutsiders picked the Jags to win the division? Wow. They’ll want that pick back right around midnight tonight. Whitlock is Whitlock. I like him, but only agree with him about half the time. I shouldn’t give the national media too much grief for not believing in the Colts. When you don’t follow a team closely or see any preseason games I guess you have to fall back on snap judgements and AP articles about free agency losses.
The funny thing is last season proved you can have an entire season of evidence and still have no idea whether your team is any good. I had the habit of quoting Sean Salisbury to Deshawn Zombie all season long in 2006, “The Colts are capable of winning the Super Bowl, but it would be the most improbable run of all time because of their defense.” DZ and I argue about this all the time. I still say the playoff run was as improbable as anything we’ve seen in the NFL; he says any time you have Peyton Manning you have a shot. That might be true, but to have that wretched defense not only win the Super Bowl, but to have it be the catalyst for the run is baffling. Anyway, I’m rambling out of excitement. Final Score: Colts 30, Saints 24