I've read a lot of nonsense (written some too!), but Greg Doyle of CBS Sports just wrote the most insane column of all time.
Peyton Manning won his fourth MVP in 2009, and he deserved it more than any of his previous three for the simple reason that he has no serious weapons. Receiver Reggie Wayne and tight end Dallas Clark caught 100 passes each, but they averaged just 12.6 and 11.1 yards per reception. If you insist on calling those players "weapons," fine. But specify the weapon. They're pellet guns.
Saturday night was more of the same. Wayne caught eight passes for 63 yards. Clark caught seven for 59 yards. Garcon had five for 34. The Colts' longest play of the game was 20 yards on a pass from Manning to receiver Austin Collie, who had three more catches for 32 more yards.
Weighed down by all those nickels and dimes, the Colts simply couldn't -- and can't -- throw it downfield. Manning tried it twice on the same drive in the third quarter, and Reed intercepted it both times. One pickoff was reversed when Garcon -- a Haitian-American who was playing heartsick and stressed out by the recent earthquake that leveled Haiti -- ran down Reed and forced the fumble. The other pickoff was nullified by a Baltimore penalty. Still, those are bad signs for the Colts. Two long passes, two pickoffs.
Um, Greg, Manning completed the second most 20+ yard passes of his career this year. Did you watch the games at Miami, at Houston, New England, Denver, at Jacksonville...I could go on buy why bother? Did he really just call Clark and Wayne "pellet guns?". I'm not even going to dignify that with a response. Then again, maybe he has a point. It's not like Manning ever threw a moster 60+ yard game winning TD pass to Wayne or hit Clark for an 80 yard TD to open a game. Oh wait? He did those things? To those pellet guns? Well, you know everyone always complains how Manning has no weapons.
He goes on to criticize the Colts' schedule:
OK, fine. But against whom? From here on out, it's big-boy football all the way. Not sure if you knew this, but the Colts beat a whole lot of mediocre-to-bad teams to post that 14-2 record in the regular season. They beat two 9-7 teams (Houston and Baltimore). They beat two 10-6 teams (New England and Arizona). And that's it. Everyone else they beat -- everyone else they played -- was .500 or worse.
So, let's ignore for a moment that the Colts have the most wins over winning teams this year (5), and were 3-1 against playoff teams (with the loss being the Jets game) and allow me to ask who did beat anyone?
The Chargers? They went 2-1 against playoff teams. 3-2 against winning teams. They beat Dallas and Philly though, so that's more important in Doyle's mind than losing to a Ravens team the Colts beat twice.
The Cowboys? They went 3-2 against playoff teams, but that's one more game played than the Colts had so I guess they are better.
The Saints? 3-1 against playoff teams, but I guess they beat the Jets so that makes them awesome.
The Vikings? Please, don't get me started. They beat the Pack twice and the Bengals. Whatever.
No one in the league has a schedule or victories any better than the Colts do. This is utter nonsense.
Up next is either 13-3 San Diego or the 9-7 New York Jets -- San Diego an absolute heavyweight and the Jets a virtual heavyweight by virtue of two things. They defeated the Colts 29-15 on this same field on Dec. 27 and, if they beat the Chargers on Sunday, they'd be entering the AFC title game on a four-game winning streak against teams that went 47-17 this season. That's heavyweight momentum.
WHAT? Momentum? No. He did not seriously go there. (banging head against the wall).
Philip Rivers of the Chargers isn't merely a game manager. Neither is whichever quarterback awaits -- Drew Brees, Brett Favre or Tony Romo -- in the Super Bowl. Mark Sanchez of the Jets isn't terribly dynamic, but the Jets level the field with cornerback Darrelle Revis, who would most likely take Wayne out of the game.
Two of those teams stand between the Colts and a Super Bowl. To win both of those games -- hell, just to win just one of them -- the Colts will have to find a faster gear than the one they showed Saturday.
I'm not sure that gear exists.
First off, Greg (may I call you Greg? Trust me, it's better than what I want to call you), Revis did not come CLOSE to taking Wayne out of the game the first time the two teams played. Secondly, to doubt the Colts have a higher gear on offense...again, that's just insanity.
Congratulations, Greg Doyle. You just wrote the worst column of 2010.
I don't think anyone will be topping you any time soon.