Like Sunday's 33-14 walloping of Tampa Bay, for instance.
|Kenton Keith starts one game and he's already a popular guy in Indianapolis. (US Presswire)|
Surprising because look who's taking the bows. It wasn't Manning, even though he threw two more touchdowns. It was a free-agent running back named Kenton Keith making his first NFL start, and if you haven't heard of him step to the back of the line.
Keith is a former CFL star who played the past four years with Saskatchewan, twice rushing for 1,000 yards there. But it wasn't his running that drew him to the attention of the Colts and scout Cal Murphy; it was his pass-receiving skills, with Keith hauling in 52 passes for 513 yards last season.
"He is the one who pulled me aside and told me I was a perfect fit for this offense," Keith said of Murphy.
And so he is. Keith ran through mighty Tampa Bay for 121 yards and two touchdowns to resolve any questions about how vulnerable the Colts are without Dominic Rhodes acting as a safety net for Addai.
Keith reeled off a 22-yarder. He ran with power. He ran with speed. He hit holes to the right. He ran to the left. He averaged 4.3 yards a carry. He caught five passes. And he passed the entrance exam as a pass blocker, always critical in this offense.
"I think I showed that you can rely on me a little if Joseph goes down," said Keith. "Everybody (outside) was nervous, but I wasn't, and I know Joseph wasn't."
Apparently, no one inside the Colts was, which is why these guys are still the team to beat. I know New England continues to lap the field, but I don't remember anyone knocking off Indianapolis since last December. And included in that string of 12 straight home wins is a conference championship defeat of the Patriots.
But the Colts are winning differently now. They had to make it a week ago without Harrison, who was hurt early in the defeat of Denver. No problem. Tight end Dallas Clark stepped into Harrison's spot to pull down a team-high six catches, including two for touchdown.
Now there's Kenton Keith.
"He's a special back," said Clark. "When I first saw him it was like, 'Wow, he's got something. If he can learn this offense he's going to make the team.' He has a bright future."