1. I know it's fresh news today that Peyton Manning had surgery. It doesn't feel fresh to me, because while the final decision was only just made, this is exactly (and I mean exactly) what I've been expecting since late Sunday night. Irsay told us all it was coming on Saturday. JMV had it first, and by the time I wrote about it, it was common knowledge.
2. Let me do a quick summary of what I believe about Manning's situation. Bear in mind, that I have no information to this effect.
- I expect Manning to miss the season. I believe that Indy will try and see how long they can eek by without him. However, I expect them to lose a lot of games, and I expect Collins to get hurt. I believe they will need the roster spot eventually, and as the record goes south, so will the chances of us seeing Manning in 2011.
- I expect Peyton to play in 2012. I'll try and do a study on old guys coming back soon. No promises.
4. I don't have time to address all the stat sites that say losing Peyton will be no big deal, just a loss or two. There have been at least three such reports. They are all very wrong. I believe Manning to be singular force, and his greatness is about to be discovered anew now that he is gone.
Here are those reports:
What none of these are considering is the fact that Manning has been tilting the field for years. Barnwell is on the right track when he says,
Even advanced metrics struggle to accurately gauge just how valuable an elite quarterback is to a particular team. Over the past nine seasons, the Colts have won 13 more games than their points scored and points allowed totals would have predicted, outperforming their Pythagorean expectation in every year during that stretch.2 The only team that's come close to that over the past decade, as you might expect, is the Patriots. They have exceeded their Pythagorean expectation in eight of the past 10 seasons, accruing 8.1 extra wins. (Although you might expect that one of the years they came up short was the Matt Cassel season in 2008, that wasn't the case.) Footnote: A quick sidebar for math nerds about this being statistically significant. The null hypothesis is that chances of the Colts' exceeding their Pythagorean expectation in wins in a given year are a coin flip: 50 percent. The Colts' ability to pull this off in consecutive seasons becomes statistically significant at the 95 percent level after 4.3 seasons, and it becomes significant at the 99 percent level after 6.6 seasons. We're now at nine and counting.
Manning is worth far more than the standard systems are capable of calculating. I can't wait for the "well, Indy must just have been a lot worse than we thought" meme when they only win about four games this year. I honestly think Manning is worth at least 6 wins to the Colts.
I guess now we get to find out.