|The Colts' picture doesn't look good|
with Curtis doing the painting. (Getty)
We'll take a little tour across the country for this one and start in the northwest of Seattle.
Pete Carroll, I love you, man, and I think you did great things at USC! Heck, one of the great things you did was build some fantastic quarterbacks. Carson Palmer and Matt Leinart both won Heisman Trophies under your tutelage, Mark Sanchez likely would have won it had he returned for his final year of eligibility and even John David Booty looked like a stud in the cardinal-and-gold. So, what the heck's going on with the Seahawks, Coach!?
The team got rid of a solid quarterback in Matt Hasselbeck, who was unappreciated considering he took that team to a Super Bowl game. Last year, he managed to win the Seahawks enough games to steal, and I mean should-have-been-locked-up-for-robbery-type stealing, a playoff spot, and then won a game when they got there. He's moved to Tennessee, where he has his team right in contention this season. The Seahawks, they've moved on to an ugly combination of never-was Tarvaris Jackson and never-will-be Charlie Whitehurst.
Now, Coach, Palmer was available as the trade deadline approached. Leinart's just eating peanuts on the Houston bench. After getting cut by the Texans, Booty's just out there. There had to have been someone better than the combo that Seattle is trying, and failing, to win games with! The Seahawks decision to bail on Hasselbeck and replace him with almost less than nothing has turned them into an irrelevant 2-5.
While Coach Carroll ponders the reunification with some of his Trojan legends, let's hop on the plane and go wheels down in Indianapolis.
We get it! Peyton Manning's hurt. That sucks for the Colts, but I'm sick of that being the excuse. Sure, we didn't expect Indianapolis to make a playoff run without their mastermind, on-field leader, but we did expect them to win at least one game this season. Heck, a terrible Rams team led by career back-up A.J. Feeley has won a game this season! In fact, they beat the same team the Colts lost to the week before 62-7! Sixty-two to seven!
Manning has long been compared to Tom Brady, so I think it's fair to compare their back-ups to one another. When Brady went down in the first quarter of the first game in 2008, Matt Cassel stepped in and the team went 11-5. Even if Brady went down this year (knock on wood he doesn't), I think Brian Hoyer could step in and win maybe 35-50% of the remaining games. Sure, the Pats wouldn't be the same team, but they wouldn't be inept. Manning should be the difference between 13-3 and 7-9, not 13-3 and 0-16!
At some point, the Colts should have considered the possibility that Manning's iron-man run could, possibly, come to an end. At which point, they should be prepared to slot in someone that might, possibly, be able to win a game, maybe even two.
Curtis Painter's not that guy. In 2011, he's has just five touchdown passes, averages only 177.7 yards/game and posts a QB rating of 75.1. His stats are actually better than Kerry Collins, who he replaced several weeks ago, but keep in mind Collins was comfortably living out the rest of his life until just a few weeks before the season when Indy pulled him out of retirement. That probably should have been a clear cut admission from the Colts that they didn't have a back up to Manning that they thought was capable of winning in the NFL.
Despite their poor decisions about even considering a safety net for Manning, they definitely got one thing right: they indeed did not have a back up capable of winning in the NFL.
Before we get hit with any excuses from Indy fans, let's make like LeBron James and take our talents to South Beach.
Miami's probably the least guilty of a mind-boggling quarterback decision, but I'm not prepared to let the Dolphins swim free. They knew they had issues after last season (they've known they've had issues for the last decade!). While the lockout might have hurt their ability to bring in a new quarterback, it didn't stop the Titans from acquiring Hasselbeck; it didn't stop the Cardinals from acquiring Kolb (not that he's been the answer); and, it didn't stop the Vikings from acquiring McNabb (again, not the best example). There were some options out there and the best Miami did was Matt Moore.
Moore is better served as a back up quarterback and was slated for that role when he arrived. The best thing about having him end up as the starter is that it usually translates into having a great opportunity to draft someone to replace him. Last year, he ended up playing for Carolina. Carolina went 2-14 and drafted QB Cam Newton with the first pick. At 0-7, the Dolphins are already lining up to draft QB Andrew Luck with their first pick next season.
While Moore would have been a fantastic choice for a team like the Colts, who really just need someone to put out there that might not screw things up too badly, the problem with the Dolphins was that they didn't have a great starting QB for him to back up. Chad Henne is out for the year, but it should be evident by his career line of 31 touchdowns to 37 interceptions and a QB rating of 75.7, that he's not fit to start in the NFL.
Again, I feel like the Dolphins are different from the first two teams. They didn't let a competent QB, like Hasselbeck go, and they didn't totally ignore the concept of having a useable back up. However, Dan Marino retired 12 years ago, Miami! The fact they haven't had anyone back there aside from a brief flirtation with my boy from Dartmouth, Jay Fielder, to take snaps is crazy. They really need to win the Andrew Luck sweepstakes, because they're not going to be any good until they heal themselves of this chronic quarterback pain.