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Suck for Luck: The race for last place and first draft pick in the NFL

The Manning-less Colts 0-8 record indicates just how vital he is to the success of the franchise. Manning, who underwent back surgery in the off season, is out indefinitely and the Colts just can’t seem to find any other way to win ball games.



By Balraj Dhillon (Contributor) – Email

Print Edition: November 2, 2011

Guaranteed to be inducted into the NFL Hall of Fame. Two time NFL MVP. Super Bowl winner and MVP. Over 40,000 career passing yards. That’s just a starting point to describe the skills and abilities of Indianapolis Colts quarterback (QB) Peyton Manning.

The Colts have been a Super Bowl favourite each year for the last 12 years because of Manning. The Manning-less Colts 0-8 record indicates just how vital he is to the success of the franchise. Peyton Manning who underwent back surgery in the off season is out indefinitely and the Colts just can’t seem to find any other way to win ball games.

The Colts, who were 0-7 heading into Sunday, were feeling optimistic they might pull out their first win of the season against a Tennessee Titans team who started the season off hot but has gradually cooled down.

Peyton Manning travelled with the team to Tennessee but his presence wasn’t enough to inspire QB Curtis Painter to play well enough for a win. The Colts outgained the Titans in yards 399-to-311, but penalties and turnovers lead to their demise.  Curtis Painter was sacked twice and threw two interceptions, which lead to 14 points for the Titans; in a game which concluded with a 27-10 loss for the Colts, those 14 points off of turnovers took the Colts out of the game. The Titans also blocked an Indianapolis punt in the end zone, which resulted in seven points. Titans QB Matt Hasselbeck did a great job at managing the game, throwing for 224 yards on 23 passes, and one touchdown to ensure the win. Colts QB Curtis Painter, being watched by Manning, threw for 250 yards on 26 passes but threw two costly interceptions.

At 0-8, the Colts and the Miami Dolphins are the front-runners to be rewarded the first overall pick in the NFL Draft and get their hands on Stanford University QB Andrew Luck, who is currently ranked number one.

Both teams are desperate to find a quarterback who will help win games. Although the Colts will have Peyton Manning back next season, he only has a couple good years left in him, and the Colts have no young QB’s that look ready to step in to a starting position. Andrew Luck was a runner up for the Heisman Trophy, awarded to the top College player in the USA. Luck was projected to go first overall in the 2011 NFL Draft, but he elected to finish his studies at Stanford University and return for his junior year as QB. The extra year in College will undoubtedly polish up Luck’s mechanisms in his throwing and awareness and he should go first overall in the upcoming draft. The only question is to whom.

In other news: It looks like the Vikings have found the answer to their quarterback woes. With Donovan McNabb not working out as planned, the Vikings turned to rookie QB Christian Ponder. Ponder was 18/28 in throwing for 236 yards and one touchdown as Minnesota defeated fellow rookie QB sensation Cam Newton and the Carolina Panthers 24-21. Newton drove down the field in the last two minutes of the fourth quarter and put the Panthers in prime field goal position to tie the game at 24-all. With 36 seconds, all that was needed to tie the game was a chip shot 31-yard field goal. However, Panthers kicker Olindo Mare missed left on the field goal attempt which began with a high snap. The Panthers fell to 2-6 on the season as the Vikings moved up to 2-6.

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  1. Mike

    November 7, 2011 at 4:42 pm

    As much as I admire Andrew Luck as both a person and a player, and respect his decision to remain at Stanford for another year amongst the turmoil that was the NFL last year around declaration time, I’m not sure he’ll be the consensus #1 pick in this years’ draft class.

    The loss of his pass-first coach (Harbaugh) to the SF 49ers in the offseason has led to his Cardinal moving to a run-first game (which they are excelling at, so it was likely a good decision) and is hurting Luck’s production this year, while other QB’s are helping their status this year putting up huge numbers and turning heads in their direction. (see Case Keenum in Houston, Brandon Weeden in OK st, and even Landry Jones at Oklahoma)

    I’m not saying that he won’t go high in the draft, just that it’s no guarantee anymore that he’ll go first overall. This year’s QB draft class might be even better than last year’s….and that’s really saying something.

  2. John

    November 11, 2011 at 5:40 pm

    You are absolutely delusional if you don’t think Andrew Luck will be the number one draft pick. He is the best quarterback prospect in a long time.

    Not to mention, you bring up Case Keenum – who is clearly a product of the purest spread-offense in college football, as a top QB. He will be nothing other than a late round draft pick.

    You’ve also left out Matt Barkley, who is better than Landry Jones, Robert Griffin, and Ryan Tannehill.

    Nice try.

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