Will Peyton Manning and The Colts Offense Bounce Back?

The offense looked terrible in Sunday’s win against the Bengals. My question is can they bounce back this week to beat the Patriots? This post was inspired by Nate Dunlevy taking a look at similar games in Colts history over at 18 to 88. I’m going to look at each of the six games he mentioned and also look at the game immediately after that one to see how well the Colts responded in their next contest.

The six games I’m talking about are as follows – listed with Peyton’s stat line for the game:

  • 2009: Colts 18, 49ers 14 – 31 of 48 for 347 yards, 0 TDs, 0 INTs, 86.0 rating.
  • 2008: Colts 10, Browns 6 – 15 of 21 for 125 yards, 0 TDs, 2 INTs, 46.8 rating.
  • 2007: Colts 13, Chiefs 10 – 16 of 32 for 163 yards, 0TDs, 1 INT, 52.0 rating.
  • 2006: Colts 17, Bills 16 – 27 of 39 for 236 yards, 1 TD, 0 INTs, 93.5 rating.
  • 2005:  Colts 13, Browns 6 – 19 of 23 for 254 yards, 2 TDs, 0 INTs, 98.6 rating.
  • 2003  Colts 9, Browns 6 – 27 of 43 for 211 yards, 0TDs, 2 INTS, 55.5 rating.

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As I mentioned before, I wanted to look at how the team has managed to bounce back from these types of games in the past. The six games following each of those games – again listed with Peyton’s stat line:

  • 2009: Colts 20 vs Texans 17 – 27 of 35 for 244 yards, 3 TDs, 2 INTs, 100.2 rating.
  • 2008: Colts 35 vs Bengals 3 – 26 of 32 for 277 yards, 3 TDs, 0 INTs, 134.0 rating.
  • 2007: Colts 31 @ Falcons 13 – 22 of 32 for 272 yards, 3 TDs, 1 INT, 113.0 rating.
  • 2006: Colts 14 @ Cowboys 21 – 20 of 39 for 254 yards, 2 TDs, 2 INTs, 67.7 rating.
  • 2005: Colts 31 @ Titans 10 – 20 of 27 for 264 yards, 4 TDs, 0 INTs, 144.1 rating.
  • 2003: Colts 33 vs Titans 7 – 14 of 21 for 173 yards, 1 TD and 0 INTs, 107.8 rating.

As you can see we are 5-1 in those games and in those five wins the team averaged 30 points per game and Peyton posted a passer rating above 100. That one loss was against the Cowboys in a year that we ended up going on to win the Super Bowl. If the 30+ points, 100+ passer rating trends continue we should beat the Patriots on Sunday.

The Patriots have only had one game of 30+ points since trading Randy Moss, which was in last week’s win over the Steelers. Wes Welker hasn’t score a single touchdown since Moss’s departing and is averaging under 50 yards per game during that span. And aside from the win over the Steelers, Tom Brady hasn’t been having eye-opening games since Moss left either.

If this game were in Indy I wouldn’t even consider being too terribly worried about this game but it’s in Foxboro and the temperature for Sunday in Foxboro is projected to be about 40 degrees. That makes me a little nervous. We really aren’t the same team in cold weather, but I firmly believe that if we can at least get a couple of our injured players back -Austin Collie, Joseph Addai, Gary Brackett, Clint Session- and if Jacob Tamme is able to play we will still win.

Even if we aren’t much closer to being fully healthy we definitely still have a good shot to win. Brady has had to hold onto the ball longer, waiting for receivers to get open, and has taken quite a few hits because of it. Their o-line also seems to struggle against a pass rush up the middle so look for a linebacker or two (paging Pat Angerer) to get some pressure on the quarterback, and as always Dwight Freeney and Robert Mathis will cause problems for their offensive rhythm, especially if Brady is holding onto the ball longer than he should.

If we win this game, we should also beat the Chargers and Cowboys at home in the next two games and the same can be said for the Jags and Titans when they come to Lucas Oil Stadium in Week 15 and Week 17. The only other two games on our schedule are at Tennessee on December 9 and at Oakland on December 26. That away game against the Titans worries me a little bit, it’s a Thursday game, making it an extremely short week and if they can get Moss settled into their system that will be a very tough game. In the end I still think we have a very good shot at another 12-win season.


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