This weekend the Colts will be traveling to the home of Super Bowl XLVIII to take on the New York Giants in Week 2 of the Preseason. This is the week the starters will most likely play into the second quarter, but still be somewhat limited in what they do.
Since the Colts and Giants aren't normal opponents, Big Blue View, SB Nation's Giants blog, thought it would be a good idea to exchange a few questions before Sunday night's tilt. You can find my answers to Ed's questions here. I really liked his fifth question.
1) What can Colts fans expect from Ahmad Bradshaw this season? What kind of injury history does he have? Can he still lead a team in rushing in year 8?
Bradshaw is still a terrific player. He has heart, toughness, determination, whatever you want to call it. He will fight for every inch of yardage possible and give you everything he has on every play. There also isn't a better pass-blocking running back in the league. Forget his size, he fears no one and he will take on any pass rusher and win.
The question, simply, is health. His feet are a mess and as you know he is coming back from yet another surgery. Get used to hearing 'Bradshaw is in a walking boot' or 'Bradshaw didn't practice all week but will play on Sunday.' The Giants have dealt with that for years.
The guy can still get it done. But, you better have a Plan B.
He obviously asked me about Bradshaw as well. The emphasis above is mine: I think Bradshaw was specifically brought in because he can pass block.
2) Stevie Brown played on that awful 2011 Colts team, and couldn't find a way into the starting lineup, making appearances in only 8 games. Then he blows up for the Giants last season. What was the biggest difference for him?
Opportunity. He never saw the field for the Colts, or the Raiders before that. He started 11 games last season. The guy can play, and how the Colts organization didn't see it is really amazing to me. He's excellent in center field and the Giants will use his size at times this season by moving him down to the line of scrimmage as a pseudo-linebacker when they play extra DBs.
Colts could have saved a lot of Free Agent money this offseason if they would have used Brown properly in 2011. Oh well...
3) The Giants saw Robert Griffin twice last season, and we as Colts fans got to hear a lot about him w/r/t Andrew Luck. They'll be linked throughout their entire career (probably with Russell Wilson as well). After one season, are you glad that the Giants have Griffin in the division other than one of the other two guys, or would you have rather it been one of the others?
Personally, I'd rather not deal with any of them. RGIII is a nightmare. The Giants have spent most of the offseason trying to figure out how to deal with the read option type running stuff that RGIII and Wilson can provide. The problem with those two guys is they are freaks, they are the best athletes on the field and they can make plays with their legs even when a defense does everything right.
Luck? Shoot, I don't want to play him when it counts either. Give me Tony Romo or Michael Vick. They'll find a way to screw things up when it matters. Maybe somebody can give Jamarcus Russell a job, too!
4) Colts owner Jim Irsay came out a week or so ago and said he wants the Colts to be built in the mold of the 2004 Patriots. Over the past decade, is that the team, if you were an owner, you'd model your team after?
Well, you're asking a guy who covers a team that has beaten the Patriots twice in Super Bowls during that stretch. So, maybe Irsay should be modeling his franchise after the Giants. I get the whole 'consistency' thing with the Patriots. The Giants have been more up and down (maddeningly so) but they have the two rings. So, I'm not trading places with anybody.
Besides, organizationally I don't think anyone is more solid in terms of their approach and the way they do business than the Giants.
This was a somewhat leading question, as I was pretty sure Ed would answer it this way. As long as you win Super Bowls, fans don't mind suffering through awful years. I have my own opinions on who the Colts should be modeled after, but that's for a whole separate post.
5) If you had to win one game in 2013, would you want your team to be Quarterbacked by Peyton or Eli?
Eli. Every time. No questions asked. No hesitation. Eli has always risen to the occasion and played above his regular-season numbers in the playoffs. Peyton has historically not played as well in the postseason.
20 playoff games (9-11)
88.4 passer rating (95.7 regular season)
32 td's 21 INTs
11 playoff games (8-3, 2 Super Bowl MVPs)
Passer ratings above 100 in 3 of the 4 postseasons he has appeared in (regular season career is 82.7)
17 TDs, 8 INTs
Playoff victories over Tom Brady (2 SBs), brett Favre, Aaron Rodgers, Tony Romo, Matt Ryan
While I don't agree with him here, I should clarify that I did ask him about 1 game, and not a full season. He said for a full season it is a "no-brainer" you pick Peyton. Everyone here should know I'm vehemently against using a QB's record to justify how good they are, but even taking that out Eli never has unbelievable playoff games, but he's solid every time. Think of it as consistent vs. risky. I still like 18 though.
On a separate note, I've added a poll at the bottom here, asking whether you like these Five Questions articles with Colts opponents. Is it good all the time, just with teams the Colts don't play often, or not at all? Let me know and we'll try to add them accordingly.