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Is it sad (or typical) that I'm already thinking we should consider tanking the season?
I really don't think we are going to have to. Everything this team has done for the past decade was based around Peyton Manning. He makes this entire team function. The offense is advanced and tailored to Manning's no-huddle, fast paced, highly complex approach. Our running backs aren't playmakers so much as blockers for picking up the blitzes Manning gets. Our special teams doesn't need to give us great field position because Manning and the offense are so effective at driving downfield (in a hurry, if need be). The defense is most effective when playing with a lead. Force the other team into passing situations so Freeney and Mathis can wreak havoc on opposing quarterbacks. It's up to Manning to get us that lead in the first place. The two minute offense at the end of halves and games has been critical for our success in the Manning era; that's now gone. We have done such a poor job of drafting that we don't have many playmakers on offense, our offensive line is still a huge question mark...I mean, yeah. I don't think it's a stretch to say that Manning is the most indispensable player in football, maybe even team sports. I want to give us 3 or 4 wins this year, but I think our winning culture we have sustained will have us in the 6 win range.