The 2012 NFL season is nearly upon us as teams begin to report to training camp over the next week. It’s time to meet the participants. First up, the franchise formerly known as the Peyton Mannings.
2011 RECORD – 2-14: A perennial playoff team turned into the NFL’s worst thanks to Peyton Manning’s ill-fated neck injury. After trying to use duct tape and bubble gum to keep their offense together with Kerry Collins, Dan Orlovsky, and Curtis Painter at the helm, Operation Suck for Luck went into effect and Indianapolis landed Stanford’s Andrew Luck with the first overall pick of the 2012 NFL Draft.
LAS VEGAS ODDS TO WIN SUPER BOWL XLVII: 175/1
DON’T TAKE THIS GUY IN YOUR FANTASY DRAFT: The entire Colts offense except for Donald Brown. Indianapolis finished 30th in total yards last season and decided to bring back 33-year-old Reggie Wayne to assist their rookie quarterback instead of starting with a clean slate. Luck’s weapons include former Stanford teammate and tight end Coby Fleener, Austin Collie, Wayne, and Donnie Avery. Meanwhile, new head coach Chuck Pagano says running back Donald Brown could be a “bell cow” back. Brown’s health might have something to say about that though. The UConn runner played in all 16 games during his career once – last season.
NOTABLE GAME: November 18 at New England. In a galaxy far, far away, this game used to mean something. It’ll be the first Andrew Luck versus Tom Brady meeting at least.
COLT YOU SHOULD FOLLOW ON TWITTER: Jim Irsay. I can’t think of five NFL owners who I’d find entertaining on Twitter but Irsay manages to fit the bill. He talks football, classic rock, and stages giveaways.
WHY THEY CAN’T WIN THE SUPER BOWL: Too many things to fix in the first year for Pagano. Indy’s defensive stars are aging (Robert Mathis and Dwight Freeney are 31 and 32 respectively); and Luck has to find his way with an offense that scored a paltry 15 points per game last season.
SONG THAT EMBODIES THE 2012 COLTS: A Change Is Gonna Come – Sam Cooke
For the first time since the 1997 season, Manning will not be on the Indianapolis sideline. No Jeff Saturday or Dallas Clark either.
Yup. These aren’t your Daddy’s Colts anymore.