Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Peyton Manning

I've been hearing and reading a lot about Peyton Manning, and how it's a shame the defense is so bad and is letting him and the offense down. And yeah, the defense is bad. But to not draw the connection between the defense being bad and the offense being good is just silly. With the NFL salary cap, teams can't splurge on every position. The Colts have decided to spend obscene amounts of money to keep Peyton Manning and his favorite targets. And that is such a large amount of money that it makes it very hard to build a quality defense. So yeah, Peyton is carrying the team. But he has to since all the resources are going to him. And it's hard to feel sorry for him given he doesn't need that money. I haven't seen figures recently, but I can't imagine he's making more for playing football than for doing endorsements given how many endorsements he does. He's set for life even if he has a career ending injury next week. So if he really cares that much about winning, he could easily have signed for less than the richest contract in NFL history. That money would go to players that would help the team, and he wouldn't have to do so much heavy lifting. I wouldn't normally suggest a player take less money in the NFL, because without guaranteed contracts players are at the mercy of owners and are justified in trying to get everything they can get before they get kicked to the curb. But Peyton with his endorsements and extremely high contract is a unique case and it's hard to find much sympathy for his plight.


Anonymous Dave S. said...

I totally agree with you on this. It's not just Manning they pay a lot for; they gave huge contracts to Harrison and Wayne, along with the offensive line, all to keep Manning happy. As a result, their defense is made up of draft picks and castoffs from other teams. Some of the picks have worked out (Freeney), but most have not. Their run defense is historically bad this year, and I can't imagine them winning more than 1 game in the playoffs, if that. There are too many good AFC teams who can run the ball down their throat.

10:11 AM  
Anonymous mean dean said...

Both sides of the argument here have merit.

The "it's a shame" side does, because it really is a shame that that offense is wasted because of how bad the defense is. I'm not saying anyone should feel sorry for Peyton or anyone else, it's more saying that think of what the team could do if there was any semblance of a run defense.

The arguments of spending loads on O and patching the D together with draft picks/castoffs only goes so far. Baltimore right now is currently spending quite a bit on it's offense (McNair, Mason, Heap, Ogden, Lewis, former first rounder Clayton, Boller's not coming cheap), and the bulk of it's defense is in house (Lewis, Thomas, Ngata, McCallister, Reed, Scott, Landry, Suggs) or castoffs (Pryce, Gregg). And it's not like the Colts don't have high priced defenders themselves (Freeney, Simon, Booger, Rob Morris and Marlin Jackson making first round money, and I think Sanders got a pretty good extension).

The key difference, and where the argument sways back to "it's not a shame" is that team's like Baltimore know where to spend their money and who to shed when they're no longer effective. Baltimore has effectively brought in guys like Trevor Pryce, Samari Rolle and Kelly Gregg, and got rid of guys like Boulware, Sam Adams, Mike McCrary and Jamie Sharper and didn't miss a beat. Indy hasn't been able to do that yet.

Which really, is the real issue. It's a shame that offense is stuck with a front office that doesn't know how to identify useful defenders.

1:04 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well, since my Texans helped to fuel this impending blowup I have to respond. The Colts have built their D line on rushing the QB and in turn they are incapable of stopping the run with the same people. For Ron Dayne to do what he did is inexcusable, however to be fair he had a couple of real good weeks before this game. There is the old saying you win championships with defense but the Colts think they can outscore everyone.

7:03 PM  
Anonymous Joe said...

As a devout Colts fan, I think I also have to chime in on this...

In all fairness to the Colts, they did let The Edge go from Indy and brought in Addai and promoted Rhodes. I think that the defense massively overachieved last year (remember at the beginning of that season where the defense was crazy good?) and tricked the corporate office into thinking the team was set. No one really expected the Colts' defense to be any worse at the beginning of the season. Everyone thought the offense would struggle without James around to produce a balanced attack.

Maybe Peyton could take a voluntary pay cut next year, but it'd be wrong to fault him for not doing so this year, since no one viewed the defense as being insufficient in the pre-season or even at the beginning of the season.

In truth, the Colts' front line on defense is way undersized, completely undisciplined, and gets pushed around the field. The holes they're leaving teams are rediculous. But when you run a "bend don't break" defense, sometimes it looks great, and sometimes it looks dismal.

I want to say the Colts could win it all, but everyone knows how Peyton does under pressure, and with the increased pressure of not being able to trust his defense, I'm guessing he throws three interceptions in the first game of the playoffs and it goes in the books as another typical Colts season.

It's frustrating to say, but I think my Colts are going to be the Atlanta Braves of the NFL. Always good enough to be in the playoffs, but hardly ever good enough to win it all.

10:47 PM  
Anonymous mean dean said...

But when you run a "bend don't break" defense, sometimes it looks great, and sometimes it looks dismal.

See, I absolutely loathe that term. teams shouldn't be running "bend but don't break" defenses, they should be running "stop" defenses. It's a term the media and front offices bring up to try and spin it so that defenses don't look as bad as they are, because they have one or two stats that looks good, like red zone scoring %. I've been hearing since they came back into the league about the Browns' bend but don't break defense, and typically they have a "good" defensive RZ scoring %, but it's misleading because the defense bends and bends and bends that opponents are routinely in the red zone, and they simply can't put it in every time, that just doesn't happen. If the defense was any good, there would be far fewer RZ scoring opportunities.

10:36 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Don't mind bend but don't break. 2 "bend" drives that result in FG's are nullified by one good drive by your offense. Percentages would then ly with your team. Sports are games of percentages based on history, especially in the NFL. Is there any other reason for the "2 point conversion sheet"?

4:11 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home