Curtis Painter’s entire career was written off the moment he came in to replace Peyton Manning back in 2009 and failed to outplay the top-rated pass defense in the league at the time, the New York Jets, helping to secure the 14-0 Colts their first loss of the year in the process.
To be fair, Painter was awful during that game (44 yards, no touchdowns, one interception and two sacks), he was never very impressive at any point thereafter either and until Kerry Collins rode into town and showed everyone how to really suck at being a quarterback earlier this season, Painter never deserved to be considered anything but a No. 2 option at best.
Things have changed.
Painter won’t be hired as a starter any time soon, but because he’s so familiar with the system and personnel, he’s the closest thing to Peyton Manning this team is going to find (and by now, we all know how much this offense needs a Peyton Manning to operate, after all), and, much to everyone’s surprise, he gives them the best chance to win right now.
Painter can spread the field, he can make smart throws and the chemistry he has with his receivers is already apparent, even after just two starts.
He’s no Peyton Manning, but he does a good impression, and for at least this one season, he’s earned the opportunity to show it off.
Here’s to you, Painter Manning.
(Just make sure not to win your way out of that No. 1 pick now, ok?)
What We Thought He Was: A ditzy nobody whose pocket presence could never translate to NFL success
What We Think He is Now: A solid backup quarterback who can compete in this league if he has the right tools