Reasonable Expectations for Indianapolis Colts Quarterback Curtis Painter

Robby HowardContributor IIIOctober 9, 2011

TAMPA, FL - OCTOBER 03: Quarterback Curtis Painter #7 of the Indianapolis Colts throws the ball against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Raymond James Stadium on October 3, 2011 in Tampa, Florida. (Photo by Marc Serota/Getty Images)
Marc Serota/Getty Images

Much to the surprise of many Indianapolis Colts fans last week, Curtis Painter wasn't awful.

His 13/30 passing wasn't the greatest (a 43 percent completion percentage), but he did manage to score two touchdowns, albeit it was more the run after the catch by Pierre Garcon that made those "passing" touchdowns.

He still threw for 281 yards and didn't have any interceptions. He did fumble once, as he has had a problem with throughout the course of his career, but he was sacked three other times where he didn't fumble. It's the small victories you have to look for in this year's Colts team.

Painter showed last week that he may not be the worst quarterback in the league after all. He certainly has lots of development ahead of him, but given the proper tools, like Reggie Wayne, Pierre Garcon, Austin Collie and Dallas Clark, he's not awful.

Colts fans have to learn not to set their expectations for Painter as high as they did for Peyton Manning. It's just not fair. But yet, Painter should have higher expectations than Kerry Collins just because he has been around this offense for three years.

Collins has only been around it for about two months.

Painter will still miss throws. He'll still miss open receivers. He'll still fumble when he gets sacked occasionally.

He's not Peyton Manning. He's human. Colts fans just have to learn to deal with that fact. 

But Painter will be able to lead this team. He has veteran support from one of the team leaders in Reggie Wayne. His teammates believe in him and have faith in him.

That's something important.

Painter should actually get this team to move the sticks. Once in the red zone, that may be another story. But he should at least be able to put some long drives together that will at least give the team a chance to score.

Most importantly, Painter should give the team a chance to win some games.

But not by himself. After all, he's not Peyton Manning.