After the 2-14 2011 Indianapolis Colts season their owner Jim Irsay decided to make drastic changes. In January he fired head coach Jim Caldwell and the entire coaching staff to go along with VP Bill Polian and everyone making calls in the front office. Then in March, he released franchise quarterback Peyton Manning, Joseph Addai, Dallas Clark, Jeff Saturday, Jacob Tamme, Gary Brackett, Melvin Bullitt among others.
Everyone in the Indianapolis area was freaking out and writing the Colts off. The trust of Irsay was gone and many Colts fans were going to cheer for the Indiana Pacers and the Indiana Hoosiers basketball teams.
Then came the magical regular season.
The Colts were picked by many to finish between 30th-32nd in the NFL this year and only win 2-3 games max. No one gave them hope. What they did was nothing short of amazing with so many rookies and only returning 16 total players from last year’s team.
They won 11 games and made a playoff appearance. Andrew Luck broke most of the rookie passing records and this team broke a ton of other records for winning close games. After all that, Irsay still was getting questioned by many in the national media at the start of the postseason for releasing Manning and not drafting Robert Griffin III.
As we sit here entering the final day of the NFL divisional round Irsay looks like the genius after all.
RGIII, suffered another knee injury his second in four weeks on that right knee and his career is now in jeopardy. I don’t think he will ever be the player he was and will be forced to be a pocket quarterback if he wants to stay in this league. Statistics show that he’s among the worst pocket passers this season and is highly inaccurate when throwing into coverage.
Irsay looks more and more like the guru after picking Luck now doesn’t he?
Luck is not just a phenomenal pocket passer which he showed by breaking all but two rookie records, but he’s just a good of a runner. He can extend plays and has the heart of a champion in winning games when they matter in the end. RGIII never had that presence and mentality and now he may miss all of next season and likely won’t be the player he was this season ever again.
Then look at tonight’s Denver Broncos game with Manning. He looked great in the first half, but once again did what Manning does best with the game on the line. That’s throw an interception.
We’ve seen that script before with Manning in the playoffs when the game was on the line. I don’t understand why he does that and makes those dumb mistakes. He’s been in the league since 1998 and should have known better than to scramble right and throw across his body back to the left. Those passes never work. Never.
Once again it showed why with the game on the line the Colts as weird as this is to write may be in a better place with Luck than Manning.
Luck shows calmness and poise in the pocket when the pressure gets bigger and bigger. He was 9-1 in one possession games and single handily led the Colts to game winning scores on the final drive seven times. When Manning is put in those scenarios especially in the playoffs happy feet come back and he does dumb plays like he did tonight on his final pass.
I know most Colts fans don’t want to admit this yet, but maybe the Colts are in a better place after one year than we thought they’d be. Manning as hard as this is for me to say chokes in the big moment and RGIII is a terrible pocket passer that is now injury prone with his career at risk. Luck on the otherhand welcomes the big moments and thrives while not being injury prone and is durable.
Indianapolis now has the most cap room in the NFL, a bunch of good rookies and young players wrapped up for the future and another draft class coming up to better this team.
Good choice Mr. Irsay. Time for fans to get off his back.