So it's time for the Colts to blow things up? Really? Are you kidding me?
That's the perception around the league after the Saints beat the Colts 62-7 Sunday night in an embarrassing loss.
Those who think that do know that Peyton Manning isn't playing, right? I've said for years that Manning makes the Colts. Without him, they are awful.
That's why it's foolish to think it's time to blow out coach Jim Caldwell. The guy deserves a pass for this season.
There are those who say Bill Polian and son Chris Polian haven't done a good job either, that the roster is depleted.
The Colts were so Manning-centric that this is the result of that. It's not bad coaching. It's not bad personnel.
It's not having Manning.
I'm not sitting here saying Caldwell is Tony Dungy. I think his game-management leaves something to be desired at times, but he gets a pass for this season.
What did people expect?
---There's a ton of talk coming out of Chicago and Minnesota about how the Bears need to pay running backs Matt Forte big money to keep him, much like the Vikings did with Adrian Peterson and the Titans did with Chris Johnson. One word: Don't. All off-season we heard about how it was time for the Titans to pay Johnson. So far, it's been a major disaster. Johnson hasn't come close to a 100-yard game. He had 18 yards on 10 carries against the Titans Sunday and was booed by the home crowd. In evaluating Johnson's games, the interior of the line hasn't played very well. There is a lot of penetration. But he also doesn't seem to be playing with the same pop. Forte is having a great season, and he's a big part of the Bears offense -- getting 145 yards rushing against the Bucs -- but is he worth a long-term deal like the one the Titans gave to Johnson and the Vikings gave Peterson? I love Peterson, and I think the Vikings had to pay him, but here's a guess the end of that deal won't be good for the Vikings. Backs wear down. You can find replacements. It's not a tough position to play. Anybody want to pay Chris Johnson now?
---Raiders coach Hue Jackson should be mad at Chiefs coach Todd Haley. Why was Matt Cassel throwing late with a 28-0 lead? Why was he in there at all? Jackson waved his finger at Cassel after the game, and he should have. What if Cassel got hurt on that final drive? Coaches need to think a little more in those situations.
---Is Lions defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh a dirty player? That's a bit harsh, but he plays hard and does push the envelope. Suh also isn't having a great year. He's getting doubled a lot, but even when he isn't he's an up-the-field tackle who has been trapped on a lot of big runs. Teams are using his aggressive approach against him. Suh is good, but he can be better.
---I like Dolphins coach Tony Sparano. Nice guy. But his time is coming to an end. It's never good when a coach starts blaming the media, which Sparano did Sunday, basically stating the media is trying to split his team. Dolphins owner Stephen Ross didn't meet with Sparano after the loss to the Broncos, but he usually doesn't after losses. Ross did talk with former Florida coach Urban Meyer before the game. Meyer was in town as part of the celebration to honor the 2008 Florida Gators national championship team. Could Meyer be the next coach of the Dolphins? If so, he better get a new offensive system. The one he had at Florida couldn't work. The last time the Dolphins plucked an SEC coach who had won a national title from the college ranks, it was Nick Saban. How'd that work out?
---Jets fans will take up raving about Plaxico Burress and his three touchdown catches. But all three came from inside 5 yards. That's what he can do. He's big and can make plays like that over smaller corners. But he can't run anymore. That's obvious.
---Big props to Matt Ryan for bouncing back from that ugly bend of his lower leg to lead the Falcons to a important victory at Detroit. Ryan is a tough guy. He made a huge throw on third down after coming back to the field following a trip to the locker room. I still think the Falcons play better when they go up-tempo. That's something that bears watching after their bye week.
---Dallas rookie running back DeMarco Murray: Proof you can always find good backs. Murray was the sixth back taken in the April draft. He ran for a team-record 253 yards against the Rams Sunday. He also had a 91-yard touchdown run. Murray looks like he will be a bigger part of the Cowboys offense moving forward.
---Does any team use the throw-back-across-the-filed pass better than the Texans? Teams might want to work on that when they get ready to play them. The Titans got hit by it twice Sunday.
---Falcons tight end Tony Gonzalez is now second on the all-time receptions list behind Jerry Rice. That's amazing. A tight end isn't supposed to catch that many passes. But Gonzalez now has 1,104 catches. Congrats to one of the game's greats.
---The Vikings have to be happy with what they saw from Christian Ponder in his first start Sunday against Green Bay. Yes, he made some mistakes. But he made some of those big-boy throws you want to see. I just have one question: What took so long?
---Green Bay quarterback Aaron Rodgers had a passer rating of 146.5 against the Vikings. That means he's the first player in NFL history with a rating of 110 or more in each of his first seven starts to open a season. Can anybody stop the guy?