Five reasons why the Colts will bounce back in Week 2

MIKE RUTSEY, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 9:16 PM ET

1. They are over the shock of not having Peyton Manning

After weeks of playing the will-he-or-won’t-he game, the Colts finally admitted they would not be opening the 2011 season with Peyton Manning as their quarterback. Unfortunately for the Colts they were ill-prepared for what would follow. They hastily signed veteran pivot Kerry Collins and he had little in the way of preparation for their 34-7 loss last Sunday against Houston. Mentally, the Colts were shattered, in a state of shock and denial and were in no way prepared to face the Texans and it showed. Those factors are now in the past.

2. They can’t be as bad as they played last week

The loss of Manning was going to make it a difficult day for the Colts. But they didn’t help themselves last Sunday either, didn’t do themselves any favours. Their first three series produced four yards, two sacks and two lost fumbles. It would be impossible to repeat a start like that this Sunday against Cleveland. Quicker than Joey Chestnut can suck back a hot dog, the Colts were down 17-0 and sinking. That’s not happening on Sunday.

3. They are playing at home

The Colts have been a great team over the past 10 seasons and are especially tough at home. Not only do they have an additional week to prepare for the post-Manning era, they have the added motivation of playing their home opener and showing their fans that last week’s loss was an more of an aberration and not the first of 16 embarrassments to come. Still, the Browns have been made a 21/2-point favourite, marking just the fourth time in the past 105 games the Colts have been home underdogs. That’s a cause for added motivation.

4. They are playing the Cleveland Browns

Last week they were playing a Houston team on its home turf, one that set up its season gunning to overtake the Colts. This week, they are at home to the Browns. Last week, Cleveland looked confused and disorganized in a 27-17 loss at home to the Cincinnati Bengals. The two big keys to this game is for the Colts O-line — and they are good at protecting the quarterback — to give Collins sufficient time. Defensively, they have to put the brakes to the Browns running game and force Colt McCoy to beat them through the air.

5. It’s been another week for Kerry Collins to learn the offence

In the opener, Collins looked as if he had been signed to play in the parking lot just prior to the game. And that wasn’t far from what happened. Collins doesn’t have the arm to throw deep any more, but he doesn’t need to as he has some terrific receivers who excel at short, time-possession routes. With the added week of practice, both Collins and the receivers will have had the needed time to mesh and be comfortable with each other.

THIS JUST IN

’BOYS BITTEN

It appears as if the injury bug is more powerful than the wish list of Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones.

On Thursday, Jones went on record as saying that Dallas’ top receiver, Dez Bryant, was sufficiently healed from his deep thigh bruise suffered in their opening loss to the New York Jets to play in Sunday’s game at San Francisco. It appears that Jones may have jumped on the gun.

Bryant hasn’t been able to practise all week and in the latest injury reports is listed as questionable.

“We’re going to have to monitor that,” Jones said Friday regarding Bryant. “He didn’t practise the last couple of days ... but of course we’ve got at least 48 hours before kickoff time. Hopefully he’ll feel better as we get closer to Sunday.”

Bryant was injured in the first half of Sunday’s game and in the second half was running at half speed and didn’t catch a pass.

BUSH LEAGUE

In five seasons with the New Orleans Saints, Reggie Bush was a full time decoy, part time running back and part time receiver coming out of the backfield.

Now, it’s up to the Miami coaches to figure out how to make the most of his abilities. In his first game with the Dolphins, Bush gained 38 yards on 11 carries and caught nine passes for 56 yards and a TD in a loss to the Patriots.

“I guess we’ll see,” Bush said. “If you continue to run a guy between the tackles, he’s going to get hurt. You look at Walter Payton, he was only 200 pounds.

“I’m not saying I’m Walter Payton, but I’m just saying that I don’t have a crystal ball.”


Videos

Photos