Peyton Manning is a great, great quarterback, but his absence cannot explain just how bad the Colts have become. At 0-10, they are laughingly, embarrassingly awful. They can't even compete with truly poor teams like Jacksonville. From week to week, the coaching staff seems to have no clue as to how to fix the situation.
At some point, Jim Caldwell has to take responsibility for not preparing the players to even compete against opponents that are, on paper, no better. But changes in the coaching staff is only a necessary beginning to the renewal required in Indianapolis. Every one of the Colts' best players, including Manning, Freeney, Mathis, Vinotieri, Clark, Wayne, Brackett, and Saturday, have played at least 9 seasons, and cannot be expected to play for more than a few more. The younger players surrounding them, with the possible exception of punter Pat McAfee, are mediocre at best, and scrubs at worst. If GM Bill Polian has any magic left in him, it is time to clean house and start the rebuilding from the top. Obviously, drafting Andrew Luck would be a great start. But he'll quickly be killed if the Colts don't surround him with some higher caliber players.