I by no means am trying to pick on Peyton. I incredibly like the guy. And I hated to see him lose in such horrible fashion last night. But I think that game should start opening the eyes of some Colts fans that refuse to believe that releasing Peyton was the right decision when the Colts had the chance to draft Andrew Luck.
First, for those that refuse to believe releasing Peyton Manning was the right decision, ask yourself this, "Did the Colts ever have a better offense with Peyton than the Broncos had this year?" No, they never have. And they never would have been able to afford an offense as good as what the Broncos had this year.
The reality is that the Colts likely might have won a bunch of games with Peyton as the quarterback. But it wouldn't have allowed them to fix the problems the Colts had to be able to win a Super Bowl before Peyton retired. Many sports analysts will argue that passing wins games in the NFL. For them, focusing on the run game and defense seems old and passe'. Yet that's exactly what won the Super Bowl for the Seahawks last night. And if you listened to the Super Bowl stats, that's what normally wins Super Bowls.
While the Colts have a great quarterback in Andrew Luck. The smartest thing the Colts can do is build a balanced team with a great defense, good running game and great special teams unit. That's what it takes to win. High powered offenses get a ton of attention. But how often do they win Super Bowls? In all the years that Peyton was in Indy, he won a Super Bowl only once. And that was their best running season they'd had. The Patriots have a high powered offense and they haven't won a Super Bowl in over a decade. Even their high powered offense in 2007 couldn't beat the balanced Giants team led by Eli. And now the most prolific offense in NFL history got annihilated by the Seahawks last night.
Some might argue, well what about the 3 Super Bowls that Brady won? Keep in mind that the Patriots had a great defense back then. Nearly all of the people they sent to the Pro Bowl were defensive players.
The Colts had some good quality wins this year. They beat the 49ers, Broncos, Seahawks, and Chiefs. Meanwhile the Broncos got beat up by the Seahawks in both the preseason and Super Bowl. Yes, the Colts kind of floundered a little towards the end of the season. But the mainstay of their running game (Ballard and Bradshaw were out for the season), And they were also missing some key guys like Reggie, Dwayne Allen, and Donald Thomas.
The Colts will get a number of those guys back healthy next year. And they will have a descent amount to spend in free agency this upcoming year. The Colts are on the right track to building a team that can win the Super Bowl. And they are building a team that can be good for a long time.
I think we've likely seen Peyton and Brady win the last of their Super Bowl titles. Their sun is setting. A new dawn is rising for the the young guns like Luck, Newton, Wilson, Kaepernick, Foles, etc.