Apparently, if you read some comments around here, Pierre Garcon is my 'love-child' in the continuously silly 'debate' between some Colts fans as to who is better: Garcon or Anthony Gonzalez. I don't know how I fell into Team Garcon, other than report the obvious this past off-season. But, whatever.
The reality is Pierre Garcon stays on the field better than Anthony Gonzalez, whose career is noted more for the time he's spent on the injury list than in big games he has produced in. Also, Pierre Garcon was a big reason the Colts won two playoffs game last season, including a record-setting day in the AFC Championship Game by hauling in 11 passes for 151 yards and a TD. The 'debate' is dumb. Garcon has produced in big playoffs games. Gonzo hasn't. Gonzo can't even stay on the field. If I hear one more Gonzo v. Garcon discussion, I might barf on my keyboard.
Recently, with the Colts smarting from losing playmakers like Dallas Clark for the season, the pressure for Garcon to step and produce more consistently has increased. Unfortunately, the Colts best downfield playmaker hasn't stepped up. He leads the league in drops, and after nine games has just one TD.
Now, there are people questioning Garcon's effort and whether or not Peyton Manning has any trust in the third year pro from Division III Mount Union. On Dan Dakitch's 1070 The Fan show yesterday afternoon, Indianapolis Star columnist Bob Kravitz discussed what is wrong with Garcon:
I don't know what's going on with [Pierre Garcon]. His head doesn't seem to be in it. He's not making the kind of effort you want to see on balls over the middle. He makes that one or two remarkable catches every couple of games, but I think [Peyton Manning] would rather have a guy that he can count upon in the clutch. Right now, he doesn't have that guy in Pierre Garcon.
Team Gonzo v. Team Garcon is meaningless right now. Gonzo is done for the 2010 season, and is likely done for his career with the Colts. Garcon is the unquestioned starter at WR for this team, and he has produced in big games for the Colts in the past. If Garcon does not begin to improve his play ASAP, the Colts have absolutely no shot to get back to a Super Bowl.
So, if you aren't on Team Garcon right now, then you don't understand just how important he is for this team to have success going forward.
Dakich then asked a good follow-up question as to whether or not Peyton Manning is losing confidence in Garcon. Kravitz does not paint a rosy picture:
I think it is pretty obvious that Peyton is losing trust in Garcon if he hasn't already completely lost trust in him. I mean, I've seen it happen before. When [Qadry Ismail] came through here, Peyton couldn't trust that guy as far as he could throw him.
The Qadry Ismail info was something I did not know. But here is what I do know: Right now, the Colts have no threats down the field to stretch things save Garcon. Reggie Wayne and Austin Collie do not have blazing speed, and while Jacob Tamme is playing very well, he does not have the knack for the big play Clark did. The only guy on this offense who can take the top off the defense is Garcon.
So, if Manning is truly losing confidence in Garcon, we got a problem. A big one. Without the threat of a deep touchdown, this offense simply does not work. Kravitz seems to agree with this, stating that Garcon must step up and play well if Colts are going anywhere.
So, for someone like me, Garcon and Manning must get on the same page. They MUST work to get things straightened out, or this will be, at best, a one-and-done playoff season for the 2010 Colts.