The Colts learned this week that four-time MVP quarterback Peyton Manning would miss 2-3 months after undergoing a third neck surgery. Even if he does return this season, which I don’t believe will happen, the Colts will play most of the year without him. They signed veteran Kerry Collins three weeks ago and plan to have him start their season opener. A lot of folks are projecting the Colts to be the worst team in football without Peyton. Some are thinking they could end up with the top overall pick in the draft. I agree that Indy won’t be anything close to a playoff team without Peyton, but I don’t think they’ll be dreadful.
Organizationally, the Colts have things together. Having Peyton at quarterback has led to consistent winning for the past decade, but Indy has also drafted well. They have some good receivers, a decent line, and an above average defensive line. They also have a bunch of professionals who don’t figure to be the quitting type.
If Collins were in camp earlier and working with the team, they would be in much better shape. They probably will need at least a few weeks to get the offense on point, but there is no reason the defense shouldn’t play well. The Colts will compete, and I don’t even think they’ll be the worst team in their division (the Jags are). Indy probably stacks up with Denver, Jacksonville, Cincinnati, Seattle, San Francisco, Washington and some of the other poor teams in the NFL. They won’t be good, but I don’t envision a two-win mess of a season coming on. I think six wins is the number.Google+