Just because I'm not an instant draft-grade guy doesn't mean I can't opine about what we've just seen, and what we're about to see in the next few months. Take the quarterback position. Let's rank the 11 quarterbacks who got picked in the draft in two categories: who will have the biggest rookie-year impact, and who landed in the best spot.
News item: Indianapolis owner Jimmy Irsay says the Colts wanted to work out quarterback Robert Griffin III and were denied by the quarterback's agent.
Peyton Manning parted company with the Indianapolis Colts Wednesday after a glittering 14-year career at the NFL franchise.
The Indianapolis Colts release four-time NFL MVP Peyton Manning rather than pay him a $28 million bonus he is due.
Four-time NFL MVP Peyton Manning is expected to announce today that he will be leaving the Indianapolis Colts, the only team he has played for in his 14-year career.
INDIANAPOLIS -- Musings, observations and the occasional insight from day one of the NFL's underwear Olympics at Lucas Oil Stadium....
While the decision-making process regarding Peyton Manning's future in Indianapolis continues to unfold, new details about his problematic neck issues and his attempts to deal with them have surfaced.
With Peyton Manning's future in Indianapolis just days away from being decided, Colts owner Jim Irsay said Tuesday the team's franchise quarterback still controls whether he will remain with the only NFL franchise he has ever played for, but that the club cannot exercise the $28 million option bonus that is due Manning on March 8.
Once upon a time, we thought we knew how the Peyton Manning story would end in Indianapolis. After a long and record-breaking run as the Colts iconic quarterback, face of the franchise and civic treasure, Manning would finally leave the game behind, slide into a comfortable and over-celebrated retirement and toss the keys to the next young passer unlucky enough to follow his act in the helmet with the horseshoe on it.
Let's just come out and say what a lot of people are thinking this Super Bowl weekend: Indianapolis? Really?
Can the emotional stress among viewers of the Super Bowl lead to fatal cardiovascular events? John Lisk reports.
INDIANAPOLIS -- As if the strange coincidence of having the Super Bowl come to Indianapolis just as Peyton Manning's future hangs in the balance and the Colts continue remaking their organization wasn't enough, presumptive No. 1 overall draft pick and potential Manning replacement Andrew Luck arrived here Thursday to add one more layer of intrigue to the mix.
INDIANAPOLIS -- The irony is too rich to miss here this week. The juxtaposition as stark as it could possibly be. Peyton Manning isn't in this Super Bowl, but somehow he still looms over it, with the drama surrounding his future providing a backdrop for a game that's chock full of intriguing storylines.
INDIANAPOLIS (AP) -- The next chapter in the Peyton Manning saga could take a decidedly defensive turn.
The surprise isn't that the Indianapolis Colts finally followed through and dismissed head coach Jim Caldwell on Tuesday. It's that they even considered retaining him for 2012 in the first place.
Can you imagine Peyton and Eli Manning both quarterbacking teams in the glitzy New York market? That's one possible outcome in the high stakes chess match to be waged by the Indianapolis Colts and their iconic quarterback over the next three months.
And so the NFL's costliest injury ever claims two more victims. Is there any end to the resulting fallout of Peyton Manning's pain in the neck?
The Indianapolis Colts have fired both vice chairman Bill Polian and his son, general manager Chris Polian, on Monday, SI.com's Don Banks confirmed through a source close to the situation.
1. The Saints will beat the Ravens in the Super Bowl. May as well start off with a prediction bound to lead to angry responses, right? This one's not so much an indictment of the Packers, who might be on the verge of becoming a dynasty again, as it is an admission that the Saints are really, really good. Almost all of that confidence comes from Drew Brees' continued spectacular performance. The Saints took Green Bay to the wire in Week 1. On the other side of things, even with the AFC road likely going through New England, the Steelers and Ravens have the best mixes of offense and defense. Baltimore has had Pittsburgh's number this season and looks poised to take the AFC North crown. That means the Steelers might have to win in Batimore to get to the Super Bowl, which the Ravens won't allow.
DENVER -- Musings, observations and the occasional insight in a Week 15 that fairly well turned things upside down in an NFL that officially just stopped making sense, at least for a day....
As it slowly became clear that quarterback Peyton Manning would not be healthy enough to play for the Indianapolis Colts this season, his teammates embraced the following rallying cry:
Don't weep for Jack Del Rio. The just-fired Jaguars head coach was playing with house money. Or at least Wayne Weaver's.
In a league where the quarterback news cycle never really ends, we've got plenty to chew on again this week: Matt Schaub out for the time being and maybe longer in Houston, with Matt Leinart getting an unexpected chance to restart his career for the first-place Texans; Tyler Palko taking over for the injured Matt Cassel in Kansas City; John Skelton's continued emergence in Arizona, and his outperforming of injured starter Kevin Kolb thus far.
As NFL regular seasons go, the one we thought we might not have in 2011 (see lockout, protracted) hasn't been half-bad. But it is almost half gone. So as November arrives, it's time for our annual midseason review...
Like it or not, and many find it an awkward situation at best, the race in reverse that is the Andrew Luck sweepstakes will be one of the dominant and most frequently updated storylines in the second half of the NFL's 2011 season.
Seven weeks into the NFL's regular season doesn't begin to tell the whole story, but it's plenty long enough to spot the trends of underachievement surfacing in 2011. This week's Indianapolis at Tennessee game throws a spotlight of sorts on the not-getting-it-done set, what with this year's poster child of underachievement -- Titans running back Chris Johnson -- being on one sideline, and Team Underachievement, aka the winless Colts, occupying the other.
Just two short years ago, the top story as the NFL's regular season unfolded was the Indianapolis Colts and their pursuit of a perfect record. The Colts opened that year 14-0, and then inspired a national debate by taking their foot off the gas after Christmas, choosing to rest their players for the playoffs rather than chase perfection.
We can stay past closing time, debating the leading sports region in American right now. It's a good time to be a Wisconsinite. The Brewers won a franchise-best 96 games this past season, the Packers, the defending Super Bowl champions, are currently undefeated; so are the Wisconsin Badgers, currently No. 4 in the nation. Boston might be fixated on the supernatural collapse of the Red Sox, uncovering the mystery of which pitchers consumed which caloric treats where and when. But over the past decade, Beantown teams have won titles in bulk, as if shopping at Costco. If the Rangers win the World Series, Dallas will hold another championship parade, barely four months after feting the Mavs.
This is one of those where-to-begin Mondays. I could begin with Al, or with so many of his cockamamie first-round decisions combining in some bit of cosmic grid karma to make grown men cry in Houston. Or with the Raiders' NorCal neighbors beating a 3-1 team by 45 points. Or with Tim Tebow ... he may not be great, but he sure is fun to watch, and he lifted the black cloud from over the Broncos in one zany half of football. Or with the Eagles, who have gone from Dream Team to Keystone Kops in one sorry month. Or with the Packers, who cannot be stopped. Or with a tight end whose story is better than his talent, which is saying something.
INDIANAPOLIS (AP) -- Peyton Manning is still on Indianapolis' active roster and could return this season.
Week 1 is like Forrest Gump's box of chocolates: You never know what you're going to get.
As always, the NFL's first Sunday provided a lot of entertainment, and some notable storylines. Andrew Perloff offers his thoughts on Week 1's early contests. Check back for his reaction to the late games when they're done.
No matter that it's Labor Day and that no real games took place over the weekend. Things are happening. The NFL doesn't take a holiday when others do.
SI.com is previewing all eight divisions throughout the week in anticipation of the 2011 season kicking off. (Send comments to firstname.lastname@example.org)
Musings, observations and the occasional insight as we creep within 15 days of the NFL's regular-season opener in Green Bay....
OWINGS MILLS, Md. -- Surveying the NFL landscape from a Maryland hotel room early on a Tuesday morning:
So I wondered aloud last week, in a few forums, whether the Indianapolis Colts might have some second thoughts about a long-term deal with free-agent quarterback Peyton Manning, given the fact that he's 35 and has had two neck procedures in the past 16 months. I called Colts president Bill Polian last week, and didn't hear back, and I just figured the Colts were laying low on a sensitive subject.
On March 18, New England offensive coordinator Bill O'Brien flew to Fort Worth to work out TCU quarterback Andy Dalton.
INDIANAPOLIS -- Dispatches from the Jets' 17-16 last-second conquest of the Colts in an AFC first-round playoff game at Lucas Oil Stadium, a game that started ever so slowly but reached thriller status by night's end ...
Grading out the performances from the Jets' thrilling 17-16 road win over the Colts ....
Musings, observations and the occasional insight as we take in a 16-game NFL Sunday in which 16 teams entered game No. 16 with their Super Bowl chances still alive ...
With the NFL's postseason tournament beginning in just one week and a full 10 games figuring in on playoff berths or positioning, consider Week 17 the mad scramble before the madness.
PITTSBURGH -- Musings, observations and the occasional insight as we review a captivating Week 15 of playoff-implication football ...
Five things we learned from the Colts' 30-28 win over the Titans on Thursday night.
It's far too early to play taps for the Indianapolis Colts and Peyton Manning.
FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- This time, he could not beat Bill Belichick and the Patriots. This time, he could not finish the furious comeback. This time, he threw a killer interception in the closing seconds when his team was already in position to tie the game with a field goal.
FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- It's more compliment than complaint, but here's the problem I've got with these annual Colts-Patriots showdowns, the ones the NFL use as the centerpiece of its entire 256-game regular-season schedule every November: They only serve to make us realize what we're missing the rest of the year.
With every NFL team having played at least half their games at this point, it's a logical time to take stock of the standings and the eight division races. And here's what jumps out: We've got races galore. I'm talking races everywhere you look. In fact, for the first time since the league's 2002 realignment, we've got razor-thin margins in every single division at midseason. Eight for eight.
Quick-hitting insights from the slate of 1 p.m. games.
ColdHardFootballFacts.com breaks down Sunday's Kansas City at Indianapolis game (1 p.m. ET, CBS).
INDIANAPOLIS -- Five things we learned while watching the Colts dismantle the Giants 38-14 Sunday night in a rather anticlimactic Manning Bowl II at Lucas Oil Stadium ...
ColdHardFootballFacts.com breaks down Sunday's Indianapolis at Houston game (1 p.m., CBS).
This week, SI.com is rolling out previews for all eight NFL divisions. Today, we tackle the NFC South and AFC South, following up Tuesday's breakdowns of the AFC East and NFC East. The AFC North and NFC North follow Thursday and the AFC West and NFC West conclude things Friday.
MINNEAPOLIS -- Odd, sort of, to be reviewing the most important week of the preseason and writing mainly about the impact of an officiating decision. But the most intriguing event of the third round of games has to do with officiating, and the effect of moving the umpire from the defensive to the offensive side of the ball so he won't be such a defenseless target in the middle of pass patterns.
I spent a good chunk of Thursday mock- and real-drafting for fantasy football, utilizing three distinctive methods: 1) Standard-scoring leagues, 2) Points Per Reception leagues and 3) Auction leagues. And as luck would have it, I'll devote a sizable piece of Friday's Clicks to the draft results. But first ...
It's the NFL first-rounders who grab draft-day headlines. But often times late-round picks and undrafted free agents make the biggest impact down the road.
SI.com has dispatched writers to report on the 32 NFL training camps across the country. Here's what Peter King had to say about Colts camp, which he visited on Aug. 9. For an archive of all camp postcards, click here.
ANDERSON, Ind. -- It's no doubt a distinction he would gladly decline on their behalf if he could, but the label that Jim Caldwell's defending AFC champion Colts must content themselves with as the 2010 season looms is this: They're as uniquely equipped as any Super Bowl loser in recent memory to avoid the dreaded hangover effect that plagues so many teams winding up on the wrong end of the big confetti shower.
Yes, I am on record saying that every Super Bowl should be in New Orleans. Well ... I love New Orleans Super Bowls. There's something about the city, the people, the history that makes a Super Bowl there feel even bigger than normal. Of course, I'm all for keeping things the same. I think every U.S. Open should be at Pebble Beach, every British Open at St. Andrews, every football "National Championship" game at the Rose Bowl and every Final Four in Indianapolis.
PONTE VEDRA BEACH, Fla -- I'm playing the Stadium Course here at Sawgrass today, as part of the annual Tom Coughlin/Jay Fund tournament benefiting cancer-stricken kids and their families. Over/under on the number of balls I put in the drink at 17: 17.
INDIANAPOLIS -- Just about everybody disagrees with me on this (and I don't blame them), but I'm all for putting events in one place and keeping them there forever. For instance, I'm all for having the Super Bowl in New Orleans every year. Sure, I know, the Super Bowl brings all sorts of revenue to various cities across the country. But I think the Super Bowl is just a better event in New Orleans.
With the demise of the NFL's salary cap dramatically changing the landscape, free agency is such an unknown this year that one club executive told me this week the only thing he knows for sure is Washington will throw money around like it's playing Monopoly.
No sooner had the last flake of confetti fallen in Miami that next year's Super Bowl odds were posted. Not surprisingly, the Colts are the favorite to do what they couldn't achieve this season. Everybody of consequence returns for the Colts next season. Linebacker Gary Brackett is scheduled to be a unrestricted free agent and Antoine Bethea is a restricted free agent, but both are expected to return to Indianapolis. With that in mind, here's a look at the biggest questions that need answered this offseason among the AFC teams.
"You get a chance to add the explosiveness of Reggie Bush to your team, and that's something that comes along maybe every five, 10 years. I don't care what the Jets offered us. We were keeping the pick. If that's a gamble, I'll gamble like that every time." -- Sean Payton, the day of the 2006 NFL draft, after the Saints eschewed offers to trade down and instead stayed with their first-round slot and picked USC tailback Reggie Bush.
MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. -- There is little doubt that when Peyton Manning's career ends, he will have made his case as the greatest quarterback in the history of the NFL. Shoot, at age 33, he has his case. He is already in the Top 5 in just about every passing category -- completions, yards, touchdowns, and so on. He has won four MVP awards, more than anybody including Jim Brown, John Unitas and Brett Favre. He has led the Colts to seven consecutive 12-win seasons; that's a record too.
New Orleans fans celebrate the Saints' first ever Super Bowl victory.
MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. -- It's right, it's fair, it's just, it's good, it's shocking. You were not dreaming (or nightmaring, if you live in Indiana). The Saints have won the Super Bowl.
Grading the Colts in their 31-17 loss to the Saints on Sunday in Miami in Super Bowl XLIV ...
MIAMI -- SI's Joe Posnanski will provide ongoing commentary and analysis throughout tonight's Super Bowl showdown between the Colts and Saints. For updated stats and play-by-play, follow SI's Gameflash here.
My iPhone buzzes every 28 seconds. This is not popularity. Obviously. This is the NFL emailing me another Super Bowl quote sheet. And another. And another. Remi Ayodele! Raheem Brock! Jeff Saturday! Queen Latifah!
FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. -- Hay's in the barn. Time to get off the fence. And what other prediction cliché can I dredge up now?
FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. -- Dispatches from the Colts' Thursday morning Super Bowl media session at their beachside hotel, hard by the Atlantic Ocean....
CLICK HERE FOR JIM TROTTER'S FIVE REASONS THE COLTS WILL WIN.
Football fans are throwing some Hail Mary passes to try to get to Super Bowl XLIV in Miami, Florida, on February 7.
Ryan Diem and the rest of the Indianapolis Colts barely batted an eye Monday when their plane touched down in Miami between rainstorms. Three years ago this week, in the same city and stadium where they'll face the Saints in Super Bowl XLIV, the Colts won their first championship of the Peyton Manning era in a game as noteworthy for the weather as for the players' performances.
MIAMI LAKES, Fla. -- We've got ourselves a story. When the Indianapolis Colts take the practice field Wednesday, everyone who follows the NFL will be interested in learning if Dwight Freeney will be in any kind of shape to play in Super Bowl 44 Sunday against New Orleans.
FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. -- The state of Dwight Freeney's ankle injury is sure to dominate our attention this week at Super Bowl XLIV, and the question of whether the Colts' top pass rusher will be ready to roll on his bad wheel is a topic that could have game-changing significance come Sunday night.
Colts middle linebacker Gary Brackett is among the league's more respected players. The seventh-year veteran made the climb from undrafted rookie to team captain using hard work and dedication as his ladder. He has a foundation that assists children who've been affected by cancer, and each year he conducts a football camp for youngsters in his hometown of Glassboro, N.J. The next time he says a bad word about a coach, teammate or opponent will be the first.
The retired football player is conflicted.
Musings, observations and the occasional insight as we catch our breath and begin the countdown to the big game with maybe the most confusing set of Roman numerals ever...
Four topics this morning: Overtime, how impressive the Indianapolis skill-position machine is, what really happened on the 12-men-in-the-huddle play, and your Tweet-rage over my choice of material for Monday Morning Quarterback this week.
Grading out the performances from the Colts' 30-17 victory over the Jets in the AFC title game at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis.
INDIANAPOLIS -- The quarterback was standing with his father and his brothers, the owner was standing with the Lamar Hunt Trophy, and the rookie coach, at last, was standing with a smile.
NEW ORLEANS -- Greetings from P.J.'s Coffee Shop in Uptown New Orleans, where I have come to try to figure out if the Jets have another miracle-of-the-road left in them, whether Brett Favre will live to fight another Golden Age day and whether the Saints can stop the most relentless playoff pass-rush we've seen since the Ravens laid waste to the Giants a decade ago.
INDIANAPOLIS -- Peyton Manning has masked many deficiencies since he arrived in Indianapolis 11 years ago -- first a secondary that couldn't cover, then a front-seven that couldn't tackle, then a receiving corps made up mostly of rookies and now a couple of tailbacks who look like they're on treadmills, forever running in place.
Breaking down the AFC Championship Game matchup, Jets at Colts, Sunday, 3 p.m. ET, CBS
Musings, observations and the occasional insight as we contemplate the final three games of the NFL's postseason and dissect news from around the league.....
Here's what we learned from the Colts' 20-3 victory over the Ravens on Saturday in Indianapolis:
Grading out the performances from the Colts' decisive 20-3 victory over the Ravens in the AFC Divsional Playoffs ...
SAN DIEGO -- Best weekend of the year in the NFL, always. And especially this year, because of the weirdness of the end of the season, when the two top NFC seeds had some very shaky moments and the Colts took their annual late-season siesta.
Breaking down the AFC divisional matchup, Ravens at Colts, Saturday, 8 p.m. CBS
Wintry elements are one of the highlights of the NFL playoffs: snowflakes flittering across the field or giant puffs of condensed breath billowing from heaving behemoths lend a cinematic drama to January football.
Time for the best weekend of the NFL season, when the elite eight pair off in four must-see divisional-round playoff games. Here are eight of the best storylines still looming:
Even more stuff you need to know before the NFL playoffs kick off this weekend with four first-round games...
Yes, the Indianapolis Colts thing has already been wrestled to the ground and kicked a few times by now, but I want to point out some interesting work by brilliant blog reader Jonathan Joyce on the subject that might startle you. Well, "startle" might be an overstatement. I don't suppose I have been startled by football stats in a while.* The point is, it's good stuff.
A few quick hits this morning -- on what ails the Vikings, on the fans' anger in Indianapolis, on the Sunday night Bengals-Jets choice by the NFL, and on the prescience of Trent Green. You'll be amazed when we set the way-back machine back six months and you see a prediction of Green's that's come true.
SI.com's John P. Lopez works with Jerome Bettis to get the six-time Pro Bowl running back's observations about the previous week's games. Bettis retired from the NFL in 2006 after a 13-year career.
NEW YORK -- Five things I want to hit right at the top:
My weekly look at key matchups and storylines to watch in one game at each time slot. (All times Eastern).