Surprised by the headline?
Don't be. One of the weirder elements of Monday night's game is the sudden perception that Collie and Garcon played well. Each player had a catch of critical importance. Collie got a big third down. Garcon scored the game winning touchdown.
Obviously, they played great.
Except they didn't. And they haven't.
Collie and Garcon were each the target of three passes on Monday. Each caught one ball. The two passes traveled a total of about 5 yards in the air.
Look, both young men are talented. Garcon made an excellent play after the catch. His speed is a real asset. Collie showed good hands and a knack for the sticks. The problem is that they aren't getting open downfield. Collie is averaging less than 7 yards a reception.
Take out Garcon's great RAC on Monday. The two WRs have seen extensive action in the first two games and have combined for 6 catches for 43 yards. That's just seven yards a catch. That's two guys, over two games. Even with Garcon's play, they have 7 catches for 91 yards and a score. If that was Anthony Gonzalez by himself over two games, everyone would be a little worried about him and complaining about his lack of production. Instead, it's the total for two players and people are somehow pleased.
Winning is a great deodorant and it gives us selective amnesia.
Collie and Garcon made a couple of good plays when it counted. Both have bright futures. I like both players. Don't read this as a criticism of them. They are doing the best they can, and we have to have realistic expectations about what they can do. It's not necessarily their fault they aren't getting open. It's part of the process.
But, they are a huge problem right now, and the Colts' offense won't be reliable until Gonzo comes back. This is the Manning, Wayne and Clark show right now and a good defense will find a way to take those two players away, leaving Manning no options. It will take much more than one screen pass on a big blitz to convince me that Pierre Garcon and Austin Collie are ready to produce in the Colts' offense.