Desperation grows in a few stages. First there’s the realization that a tragic event has occurred, a sad and troubling reality that Colts fans came to terms with when team owner Jim Irsay vaguely pegged Peyton Manning’s recovery time at two-to-six months.
Then there’s the swift punch to the gut followed quickly by a flurry to the jugular. This was the Colts’ Week 1 loss to Houston, an embarrassing 34-7 debacle. Once the feeling of doom has subsided, there are two directions: grim, yet feeble acceptance, or a denial of the misery that’s yet to come.
Indianapolis Star columnist Bob Kravitz has chosen the latter, and his solution to avoid more desperation and depression is to summon the arm of the Wrangler man in Mississippi.
He wants Brett Favre.
In fairness to Kravitz, his ideas aren’t that outlandish, but they cross the point of acceptable desperation. He reacts to Indy’s 27-19 loss Sunday to the Browns in a manner expected of someone who’s sat in the press box and watched the wizardry of Manning for the past 13 seasons. He makes the obvious observation that the Colts aren’t going to win many games with Kerry Collins at the helm, a 38-year-old quarterback who was acceptable as a temporary replacement if Manning was gone for only a few weeks, but beyond that he’s just a 38-year-old quarterback.
Kravitz acknowledges this, and asks what the team would lose by giving up on one aging, ineffective quarterback, to blindly pursue another aging quarterback who’s perhaps more talented, but he’s still pretty damn ineffective.
Why not try something a little crazy and see if Brett Favre is interested in dismounting his tractor and taking over the Colts offense?
What was once a Twitter joke now looks like a semi-reasonable option, at least if the Colts can figure out some way to make it work with the salary cap. Sure, it would be a Hail Mary, a desperate move in desperate times, but what do the Colts have to lose?
Nothing, but what is there to gain? This is a team and an offense that’s intricately structured around more than just Manning’s unique physical skills. His ability to read defenses and call plays on the fly are also vital, and have been sorely missed through two straight losses at a combined score of 61-26.
Collins completed 50 percent of his passes Sunday for just 191 yards with a touchdown and an interception, and through three quarters he had only a meager 95 passing yards. He isn’t the answer, but after his performance in Minnesota last year there’s little reason to believe that Favre–a quarterback who’s far more bruised and battered and is three years older than Collins–has a better chance for success.
The Colts likely won’t suck quite enough for Luck–Andrew Luck, that is–but the only remedy if Manning’s health remains a serious question mark beyond this season is still one of the other young arms in what will be a QB rich 2012 draft. There are no quick fixes here.
We optimistically gave the Colts eight wins this season when Manning’s prolonged absence was first announced, and that prediction included a win yesterday over Cleveland. Likely losses to the Steelers and Bucs are up next before a win should finally come against either Kansas City or Cincinnati.
The losses will mount, and that sick feeling in the stomachs of Colts fans will grow. This will get a lot worse before it even begins to get better, and getting better likely won’t start until next April.