Peyton Manning Injury: Are Colts NFL's Worst Team with Kerry Collins at QB?

Andrew GardaFeatured ColumnistSeptember 11, 2011

HOUSTON - SEPTEMBER 11:  Quarterback Kerry Collins #5 of the Indianapolis Colts warms up before playing the Houston Texans at Reliant Stadium  in a season opener on September 11, 2011 in Houston, Texas.  (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images)
Bob Levey/Getty Images

We knew that without Peyton Manning, the Indianapolis Colts would struggle. We knew that it would take time to adjust to life without Manning, and we knew Kerry Collins was long past his prime—which wasn't close to Manning's level on its best day and Peyton's worst.

We didn't expect them to be blown out quite so badly, though.

Are the Colts this bad with Kerry Collins?

Certainly there was going to be some time where the offense didn't click. You can't drop Kerry Collins into the scheme and assume it will just pop.

He has the weapons in Joseph Addai, Reggie Wayne, Dallas Clark, Pierre Garcon and Austin Collie. He has a solid offensive line.

If he can't succeed with that group, does it mean this is a terrible team?

I think the problem wasn't the offense—or rather, it wasn't the biggest problem.

I think the bigger problem against the Houston Texans was on the other side of the ball.

Frankly, even though we knew the Texans could score with the weapons they have, watching a half where they were able to post 34 unanswered points on the Colts' defense is staggering. When you cough up 17 points in the first quarter, the offense is suddenly in a corner.

They know you can't stop the opposition. They start pressing. Meanwhile, the opposing defense can be more aggressive. Blitz more; go for the interception rather than the deflection.

Take advantage of that adjusting you still have to do.

The Colts defense is a much bigger issue than Kerry Collins. Collins was able to move the ball later. He started to get comfortable with Reggie Wayne.

Are the Colts the worst team in the NFL? I won't say that after Week 1. Heck, the Pittsburgh Steelers looked equally inept. The Kansas City Chiefs were awful.

They've plenty of company in the "sucky Week 1" club.

If they don't figure out what is going on with the defense, though, they may find themselves owning that label all by its lonesome.

Collins may be a problem, but wasn't the only anchor weighing this team down today.