Curtis Painter, isn't the worst player in the league. But he's definitely the worst starting QB.
Two years ago, Painter earned the wrath of Colts fans who blamed him for torpedoing the Colts chances of going undefeated in 09.
After replacing Manning, Painter threw fumbled inside the Colts own 5 yard line leading to a Jet's touchdown and then followed it up with an interception. He finished the day 4/11 for 44 yards and a dreadful 11.2 rating. The next week he followed it up with an even worse performance - where he fumbled and threw another pick - which prompted many Colts fans to derisively call Painter the worst player in the league.
Yet the Colts brass refused to give up on Painter and this year, after Manning's injury, Painter was given another chance.
At first Painter seemed to make the most of the opportunities. At least as fans we forced ourselves to believe that.
Desperate for any positives to grab onto we were more than happy to admit we were wrong and cheer Painter on. When Painter replaced the concussed Kerry Collins fans were almost giddy; a reflection more so of how poorly Collins was playing than the optimism Colts fans had in #7.
But given the difficult circumstances of entering mid game against a ferocious Pittsburgh D, Painter reacted admirably.
Then against Tampa Bay and Kansas City, Painter threw 4 touchdowns (2 in each game) to 0 interceptions. Suddenly fans were saying critics shouldn't have been so hard on him, the Colts could use Painter as trade bait for draft picks and that he's decent quarterback.
Four games later, it's quite clear we were lost in a desperate desire for even the slightest glimmer of potential.
Painter could be as bad as initially feared.
Looking back, this luke-warm start was more due to Garcon's speed and elusiveness that his skill as a quarterback.
Since those initial few games, Painter has thrown 5 interceptions to just 1 touchdown to go along with 2 more fumbles.
The Colts offense has yet to go over 300 yards through the air and ranks 27th (will drop after today) in the league in passing at just under 200 YPG average.
While Painter's inability to read defenses and his often wildly erratic throws are solely his fault, the offensive play calling has been abysmal as well; totally handcuffing Painter and leaving him in untenable situations.
Calling 49 pass plays for a young QB is simply indefensible. To make it worse, offensive coordinator Clyde Christen has saddled Painter with more restrictions than a middle school dance.
Against Tennessee when Painter threw 49 passes, the net average was only 5.1. That means that at least 24 of Painter's passes went from under 5 yards! At that rate, why even throw the ball?
At the end of the day, Painter was never the answer at quarterback and has proven he never will be. While the defense has vastly underperformed it's obvious that the Colts 0-9 record is a result of one of the league's worst offenses.
It's a quarterback's league and when your guy behind center has thrown more yards than only Donovan McNabb, Kyle Orton and Chad Henne, you aren't going to win many - if any - games.
The most telling sign of how far Curtis Painter has fallen was the fact that he was pulled for a journeyman back up in Dan Orlovsky before Ryan was.
That's all you need to know about the Colt's season and Curtis Painter.