Monday, November 8, 2010

Faulk + Manning < James + Manning

You look at the one-year teamup of the dynamic talents Marshall Faulk and Peyton Manning and wonder: So how much better would the Colts have been if they had hung on to No. 6 all-time in all-purpose yards instead of dealing him to the Rams for the Draft Picks Known As Mike Peterson and Brad Scioli and parlaying their 3-13 record into Edgerrin James, a/k/a No. 19 all-time in all-purpose yards? Uh, how about not any better?

When Faulk was dealt, he was done with the Colts and vice versa. The team was evolving from Marshall Faulk's Team With Jim Harbaugh, a play-the-plan, improvise-in-open-space, run-first kind of team, to Peyton Manning's Team, a change-it-at-the-line, throw-it-around kind of team, and that just wasn't Faulk's deal. It wasn't that he went all Oprah; his just weren't the right set of talents, so there was nothing to be gained on either side by Faulk sticking it out in Indy.

James came in and caught swing passes and ran one-cut stuff, and that was what Manning needed to complement the slants and quick outs that are the meat of his game. Look at the backs who have filled the halfback chair since Faulk left: James, Dominic Rhodes, Joseph Addai, Donald Brown. It's not like they're Faulk-esque at all. The best you can say about their speed and elusiveness is they have a little wiggle. Otherwise they run like a diesel locomotive: plenty of torque, but if the tracks don't go there they ain't going there. No. 19 was simply a better fit than No. 6 for P-Man's Colts -- and it turned out okay for Faulk, too.

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