The Offense Without Peyton Manning

I know we have all dreaded this day.  Especially with scrubs like Painter and Orlovsky on our roster.  The question must be posed though.  

What will the Colts offense look like without Peyton Manning under/behind center?  

Let me go on record as saying that I still am holding out hope that Peyton will play week 1.  We all know he wants to.  Hopefully it comes down to pain management and we know he can play in pain (See 2001 Lorenzo Bromell v. Peyton Manning).

Should the unthinkable happen, will Kerry Collins be able to lead us to a victory against the Texans?  After the jump, my thoughts on what the offense will look like.

I'll get the obvious out of the way off the bat.  

1)  The offense will not be as dynamic or up-tempo as we would see with Manning.  "The Stampede," as we called it here last season, would be on the shelf.   I would expect the standard huddle to return, as long as everyone can figure out where they are really supposed to stand.  

2)  There would not be as many changes at the line.  Obvious I know, but Collins will not know the offense very well and may even get a new scheme inserted for him specifically.  

Away from the obvious;

1)  I would expect to see the offense line up in the two-tight set with the single back most often.  Second would be the three wide with one TE in tight.  I think this allows our youngsters on the O-Line to not have to worry about blitz coverage packages as much.  With Wade Phillips at the helm of the defense the Texans now run a 3-4 base defense.  If we stray from more max protect situations, the line will struggle.   I know this is what we normally run, but I think it will be under center much more than it is with 18 in there.

2)  I expect to see the rejuvenation of the stretch play.  I know Kerry is not the most mobile guy, but I think that play will work with the formations listed above and our re-tooled O-Line.  I think it will help the young guys again by letting them get out and hit someone.  

3)  I think back to the times Collins killed us with Tennessee and the short passes he was so accurate with.  I expect those to be paramount in the game plan if he is there.  He is a accurate QB and knows how to check down.  I think that will be seen quite often.  I would look for Addai, Eldridge and Collie to have the biggest games in the passing attack.  

4) I do expect to see a couple of draw plays early.  I think the Texans will come at Kerry hard to open the game and the draw off the 5  step drop could be effective if they come off the edge.  I don't expect it to work all game, but we should see success there.

Now that I've said all that, I'm sure I'm wrong.  This is all pure conjecture.  He does have a couple weeks to get in place and will have a better grasp of the offense than we expect.  He is a veteran player and knows how to read a play book.  

All this is of course based on the idea that Peyton won't play...which we probably will...I hope.

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