Panic has hit the Colts early in 2011, this after future Hall of Fame QB Peyton Manning had a couple of neck surgeries and could miss the season, and then it got worse after the team was pounded in the season opener in Houston 34-7.
Sunday the team will look to settle down all the talk of the team being ready for the trash heap as they play host to the Browns at Lucas Oil Stadium in the teams home opener.
Kerry Collins will again be under center for the Colts, trying to have a better showing than last week against the Texans. In that game he was 16-for-31 for 197 yards with a touchdown. He was under pressure by the Texans a lot of the day, and was sacked three times for minus 25 yards.
Against the Browns, he will have to be careful of CB Joe Haden, who played a good game against Bengals rookie A.J. Green on Sunday. Haden was had though for the game-winning score with less than five minutes left when the Bengals pulled a perfect quick snap for a score to make it 20-17.
The Colts will need more from their run game against the Browns, as they put up just 64 yards on 16 carries against Houston. Bruiser Ced Benson had a big day for Cincy against the Browns, and it would help out Collins a lot if the combo of Joseph Addai and Delone Carter could pound the ball for at least 100 yards against a Browns team that has been known to give up yards on the ground.
Indy was picked apart by the Texans both on the ground and through the air Sunday, and allowed 26 first downs and 364 yards. Cleveland doesn’t have the high powered type of offense like Houston, but at the same time, the Colts only managed just one sack on Matt Schaub, and the team allowed 5.8 yards per play to the Texans.
If the Colts are going to win, it would be best to pressure Browns QB Colt McCoy, who was just 19-for-40 against the Bengals for 213 yards with two TD’s and a pick. McCoy if given time can make plays, and the Colts front four with Dwight Freeney and Robert Mathis have to get to him to force some mistakes.
Cleveland isn’t anywhere near as talented as the Texans, and if the Colts can have a short memory and put last weeks loss in Houston behind them, they should be able to do enough on both sides of the ball to get a hard fought win. Indianapolis 23 Cleveland 13