Are Luck's Colts Worse Than Manning's '98 Team and Other AFC South Must-Reads

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Are Luck's Colts Worse Than Manning's '98 Team and Other AFC South Must-Reads
Vincent Laforet/Getty Images
Were these guys better than the 2012 Colts? No.

Quarterback aside, were the 1998 Colts Peyton Manning inherited better than the 2012 Colts Andrew Luck has taken over?

This is the question posed by Gil Brandt of NFL.com in today's article of the day.

His answer is incorrect.

He looked at the big names on the '98 Colts and assumed Manning had more to work with. After all, Marshall Faulk and Marvin Harrison are hard to top.

He forgets that, as bad as the 2012 Colts are on defense, they do have some talented players, whereas the 1998 team was devoid of future building blocks. The '98 Colts gave up four more points a game on defense.

The 2012 and 1998 Colts are scoring at the exact same rate (19.4 PPG), and a lot of that is a credit to Reggie Wayne, who has carried the Indy offense.

Harrison was a better player than Wayne, but Harrison in this third year was not equal to the knowledge and skill brought by Wayne at age 34. Young Manning built a bond with Harrison that reaped benefits soon after, but in terms of immediate impact, Wayne is more valuable to Luck in the short run.

In terms of team building, anyone would take a young Harrison, but for one year, the "old" Wayne is the better bet.

The 2012 Colts also feature a much better offensive line than the '98 team had. Colts fans are used to bad line play, but the 3.76 ALY posted by the 2012 Colts is far better than the 3.55 posted by the '98 team.

Obviously, the 2012 Colts don't have anyone like Faulk on the roster, but the sum total is much better than the collection of spare parts that was the 1998.

 

General Interest

Scott Kacsmar of Bleacher Report has the The Thinking Man's Guide to Week 9.

Brian Burke of Advanced NFL Stats examines which teams should run more.

Burke, this time in the Washington Post, demands the eradication of the extra point.

Bill Barnwell of Grantland cautions readers about numbers.

 

Houston Texans

Rivers McCown of Battle Red Blog has thoughts on Kareem Jackson.

Battle Red Blog reviews the Texans' season to date.

Stephanie Stradley of the Houston Chronicle interviews Tim Graham before the Buffalo game.

John McClain of the Houston Chronicle says Arian Foster will see the ball often.

Tania Ganguli of the Houston Chronicle says Justin Forsett knows he needs to play well when he gets the chance.

 

Indianapolis Colts

I write a weekly column called Eyes in the Backfield for Colts Authority.

Phil B. Wilson of the Indianapolis Star has a variety of solid observations on the team.

Paul Kuharsky of ESPN.com has an absolute gem on Reggie Wayne.

Erik Frenz of Bleacher Report has an outstanding preview of the Dolphins and Colts.

Michael Marot of the AP says Donald Brown is capitalizing on a second chance.

Bob Kravitz of the Indianapolis Star says Ryan Grigson won't take credit yet.

 

Tennessee Titans

Tom Gower of Total Titans looks at the Titans' success rate.

David Climer of the Tennessean says Chris Palmer has a lot of weapons to keep happy.

Jim Wyatt of the Tennessean says Michael Griffin's play has been terrible.

Wyatt and John Glennon write that Jared Cook is satisfied with the Titans' love for him.

 

Jacksonville Jaguars

Alen Dumonjic of the Score says Blaine Gabbert is improving as a pocket passer. I agree, but that doesn't mean his play is acceptable.

Vito Stellino of the Florida Times-Union says the Jags may be down two corners come Sunday.

Ryan O'Halloran of the Florida Times-Union posts a notebook.

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