For over a decade the Colts have had the luxury of having one of the best QB of all-time at the helm of their offense. With him the Colts have produced the best regular season record over a 7 year span than any other team to date. It has also produced 2 SB appearances, one of which a victory. The offense has been a Porsche to watch for the majority of that time. If there has ever been an Achilles heel it's been the lack of a strong running game (post Edgerin James). While the Colts have been stellar in the regular season, the post season has not been so kind to them. The NFL has shifted to a pass oriented league to satisfy the appetites of NFL fans who want to see more high-scoring games. It's evident with all of the rule changes that have taken place to protect offensive players while offering nothing in return to protect the defensive ones. But is this the formula for winning championships? With such an emphasis on the play of the QB position, conventional wisdom would suggest the way you build a team is by starting with the QB. You can see this played out every year on draft day. From 2000-2010 8 of the 11 first round overall picks were QBs. 8 out of 11. Yet when we look at the past Ten SB winners, they all have one thing in common: defense and a running game in the post season. The only exception to this group is the St Louis Rams under Martz's pass happy system. If you go back even further than that this trend can not be denied. It's the reason why teams like the Ravens could win a SB with the likes of Trent Dilfer at the helm, and the reason why the Bears could win with Jim McMahon (who was no Broadway Joe Montana by any means). It;'s no secret what the 85 Bears were known for: their suffocating Buddy Ryan 46 defense. The only real star on the offense was RB Walter Payton.
Defense has always been the maker of champions along with a solid running game and history more than proves that. No matter how much the regular season is won by passing, the post season will be won by smash mouth football. I can only imagine the possibilities of what Manning could do with a solid running game and a defense ranked 10 spots ahead of the one he currently has now at his disposal. A running game would add 5 years and at LEAST three more rings to his career at this stage. Just ask John Elway how he feels about Terrell Davis. Or Big Ben about Bettis and Mendenhall. Every QB needs a running back to help keep defenses honest. If Marino had had a running game earlier in his career who knows how many rings he would have had? Yet in spite of all the yards he threw for, he only has one SB appearance on his resume. By the time they added Ricky Williams Marino was way past his prime and still didn't have a defense that could deliver the knockout punches. I hope Manning gets the type of players he needs to surpass Brady in SB rings so we can once and for all trash this debate of GOAT between the two. Until then, Colts have one down, 3 to go for their playoff push. Good luck boys. Heaven knows you could use some for a change this season.