Bob Sanders was the Defensive Player Of The Year just a few seasons ago, but he hasn’t been able to stay healthy since. He is under-sized and is a very physical player, which may lead to some of his past injuries. There is no doubt that the Colts are a better team with Sanders in the lineup, but they have done well without this year, but will this injury lead to the Colts’ defense being exposed?
It’s been a long time since the Colts have had a great player in their secondary. Jeff Burris was a good player and Ray Buchanan had a few good seasons, but went on to the Falcons and had his career years. Bob Sanders was the first elite defensive back that I can remember the Colts having since they moved to Indianapolis. He hasn’t stayed healthy since he signed his contract extension and it’s possible if he can’t stay on the field next year, he could see his way out of Indianapolis. The Colts no longer play the Tampa 2 and they have learned to play without him for most of the last few years. He is clearly a slow healer, unlike Dwight Freeney, who if he gets injured, seems to be back on the field the next week.
The Colts are currently undefeated, it’s not uncommon really, over the last few years this has happened a few times. They go through the first-half of the year undefeated, then they start to play divisional opponents a second time and then usually a tough game against the Patriots or Steelers and lose a few games. Injuries usually start to add up and a team that goes 8-0 in the first half, ends up as a 12-4 team.
The injuries that I am most worried about are the injuries to Marlin Jackson and Kelvin Hayden. Jackson injured his knee in practice for the second-straight season. He will miss the remainder of the season, an injury is that is similar to what occurred in 2008. Hayden will miss a few weeks with an injury, so he will miss the Patriots game. With these two guys out, they will have to start two rookie corners for the next few weeks. Tom Brady could be drooling by that time, since he has been known to go after rookie corners, but if he has two of them to carve up, it could be a long game for Indianapolis. Jacob Lacey and Jerraud Powers will be tested over the next few weeks.
I was worried about the Colts at the beginning of the year. Anthony Gonzalez suffered a knee injury in the first game and has yet to return. He had his knee scoped this week, so the timetable for his return may have been pushed back a few weeks. They have a nice young receiving corps and guys like Pierre Garcon and Austin Collie has stepped up in place of Gonzalez. He can afford to stay away and fully heal up, a luxury that members on the defense do not have.
The next few weeks will be a test for the Colts. They have two games against the red-hot Matt Schaub and the Texans, the Patriots, and the Ravens over the next four weeks. If they get past these four games, they only have the Broncos and Jets as possible teams to knock them out of the ranks of the unbeaten.
I don’t think this team should worry about staying unbeaten, if they know anything, a loss in the regular season doesn’t mean much, it looks like they will win the AFC South. A loss in the post-season will end their season, if they are going to have a bad game, they better have it in the regular season or another productive season will go up in flames.