Peyton Manning Explodes, the Defense Implodes, and the Colts Lose 34-24
Losing any time during September is "unusual" for the Colts, but perhaps it was the way in which they lost that might prove to be most disappointing.
Peyton Manning remained prolific to say the least: 40-of-57 (70.2 percent) for 433 yards, three touchdowns, and zero interceptions with a 109.8 quarterback rating.
If he continued to play at this pace for the remainder of the season, his production would look like this: 640-of-912 (70.2 percent) for 6,928 yards, 48 touchdowns, and zero interceptions.
While it is not logical to expect any player to continue to produce at that rate, it's also not often logical to lose by double-digits when your quarterback is on pace to throw for almost 7,000 yards in a single season.
But Manning wasn't the only statistical-stud of the game. The other was Arian Foster.
Doesn't really matter, as the Colts' run defense took a page out of the 2006 team's playbook.
Foster had 33 carries for 231 yards and three touchdowns.
At that pace, he'd rush for 3,696 yards and 48 touchdowns this season.
Again, while it wouldn't be logical to expect any player to continue to produce at that rate, it's also not often logical to see a player who, prior to this game, had only rushed for 257 yards in his entire career, cut through the Colts defense like Swiss cheese as though he were Jim Brown reincarnated.
The bottom line?
Passing offense, check.
Rushing offense, "aggghhh."
Passing defense, check.
Rushing defense: Remember Jacksonville in 2006?
For the Colts, it would be almost impossible for the passing game to get much better, and it would be virtually impossible for the run defense to get much worse.
The Colts are a very talented team, but when you factor in that an injury-plague is unavoidable (and in Indianapolis, it is) and you know that your quarterback is going to do his job, it's essential that they be able to correct other issues the team is facing if they hope to make a serious run at Super Bowl XLV.
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