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Why the Colts Are the Most Completely Awful Team in NFL History

NASHVILLE, TN - OCTOBER 30: Jim Caldwell the Head Coach of the Indianapolis Colts walks off of the field after the Colts lost to the Tennessee Titans at LP Field on October 30, 2011 in Nashville, Tennessee.  The Colts lost 27-10.  (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
Andy Lyons/Getty Images
Gary DavenportNFL AnalystOctober 30, 2011

The Indianapolis Colts fell to 0-8 today with a 27-10 loss to the Tennessee Titans and while Colts fans have been accustomed to watching quarterback Peyton Manning make history while leading the horseshoes to victory, it's very possible that with Manning sidelined by a neck injury, Indy fans will once again be witnesses to history in defeat.

The 2011 Colts may be the worst team in the modern history of the National Football League.

All the blame for the Colts free-fall can't be laid at the feet of the Manning injury, although it has shined the spotlight on every blemish and weakness that Indianapolis has.

Their running game is non-existent and has been that way more-or-less for some time, and with a stable containing the brittle Joseph Addai, the inept Donald Brown and the so-so Delone Carter, there's no reason whatsoever to believe that will change any time soon.

The Indianapolis receiving corps, while adequate, is nowhere near what it was during the Marvin Harrison/Reggie Wayne glory years, and with Wayne getting older and set to hit free agency after the season, Austin Collie one more concussion away from retirement, and tight end Dallas Clark missing in action, with Curtis Painter under center Pierre Garcon is the closest thing to a bright spot to be found among them.

The offensive line, once one of the team's strengths, has now become a glaring weakness, and while center Jeff Saturday remains a pro's pro, the fact remains that he's a 36-year-old player surrounded by cast-offs, has-beens, and never-will-bes.

The defense, built to protect leads and rush the passer, has been unable to do the latter because they can't get the former, and the Colts historical "softness" against the run is being exposed with ruthless regularity by teams that are getting ahead and then gleefully cramming the rock down Indy's throats.

As the St. Louis Rams showed against the New Orleans Saints today, anything is possible on any given Sunday in the NFL. And while the Colts may well eke out a win or two in the lost season that is 2011, it's also a distinct possibility that they won't, in which case they may well knock the 2008 Detroit Lions from their perch at the top of the bottom, becoming the epitome of futility in NFL history.

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