If the Detroit Lions have been the talk of the town in the NFL, that makes the Indianapolis Colts the buzzkiller in conversation. The Colts fell to 0-4 for the first time since 1998 after losing to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Monday, the worst start since Peyton Manning's rookie season.
Yes, the Colts have gotten off to a rocky start in the past and ended up with a winning record, as they always have for nine straight seasons. But, remember, they've had a future hall of famer at quarterback for every single game.
Now, the hole seems too deep to get out of.
The Colts have been plagued by more injuries this season than memorable. Peyton Manning is of course out with a season-ending neck injury. Veteran linebacker Gary bracket and defensive back Melvin Bullitt, two of the Colts' best defensive players, are on injured reserve. More offensive linemen also went down. Anthony Castonzo and Ben Ijalana injured their ankle and knee respectively.
Point is, the Colts are worse off than the beginning of the season when there was a spec of hope of a .500 season at best. Now, it's much worse.
Still, everyone who saw Curtis Painter start on Monday in his first game, after watching Manning for all these years has to at least feel somewhat optimistic. Painter completed 13 of 30 passes for 281 yards and two touchdowns. With more starts, he will gain the experience needed to keep the Colts alive each game.
Nevertheless, Painter is not the one who has to lift this team...for now. It might be taboo to say that the defensive stars have to lead the team to victory, but that's going to have to be the case. Defensive ends Dwight Freeney and Robert Mathis need to rally all the troops, while instilling motivation in Painter to eventually do the same.
The season doesn't look good for the Colts. Without Manning to start, it was bleak...add on the rest of the injuries, and now it has become an NFL twilight zone for them.
Here's how it looks like they'll fare record-wise according to their remaining schedule:
10/9 vs. Kansas City: W
10/16 @ Cincinnati: L
10/23 @ New Orleans: L
10/30 @ Tennessee: L
11/6 vs. Atlanta: L
11/13 vs. Jacksonville: W
11/27 vs. Carolina: L
12/4 @ New England: L
12/11 @ Baltimore: L
12/18 vs. Tennessee: L
12/22 vs. Houston: L
1/1 @ Jacksonville: L
Final record 2-14 (misses playoffs)
The Colts will finally win against Kansas City next week. But, after that, expect a big tumble. Every team in the AFC South besides the Colts is a better rushing team and the Colts can barely stop the run. A majority of non-division opponents have too many weapons...So, in short?
A decade of winning no more.