A lot of Colts fans out their are wringing their hands about the idea of Peyton Manning not being ready for the first game of the season.
The Colts are doing everything they can to reassure you without actually saying the words, all you have to do is look at what they are doing on offense.
The "first team" offense has only scored one field goal in two games. Some of this lack of scoring is due to mistakes, but only some. Does it look to anybody that the Colts are really trying to score points?
In past preseasons for whatever reason the offensive line has been a shamble when Manning leaves the game. No run push at all and allowing free rushers to the QB on most pass plays. You could not blame them for not having an aggressive downfield offense - you don't want to get you QB killed after all.
This preseason has been completely different. The offensive line has been the best unit on the team, both 1st and 2nd strings. While not every pocket is a totally clean pocket, there has been plenty of time to pass the ball downfield.
So why are they choosing not to?
This last game I think I counted eight of the first nine passing plays were either a screen, swing pass or dump off. And most of them looked like that was the called play - not that every downfield reciever was covered.
There are several reasons this might be going on. It could be because of the revolving door at WR. It could be simple incompetence by the non-Manning QBs in the game. It could be that they are just trying to stay as vanilla as possible.
Or it could be that they know that Manning will be in there week one and they are not even practicing a non-Manning offense in camp.
This is what I think is going on. Painter comes to the line and he is not even calling any audibles. They are about 95% running the play that is called in the huddle. Huddle. That's right, they are huddling on every play.
Say what you will, but if the Colts truly thought that there was a chance that Manning was not going to be ready week one, they would be putting a hell of a lot more effort into running a viable NFL offense.