On Peyton Manning Being Doubtful

Well, it's official, folks. Peyton Manning is going to stop practicing due to slow recovery from his neck injury. He started experiencing extreme back pain this weekend; I don't know if that's because of the nerves or because of a cascade from altering his throwing motion because of the nerve recovery. He's listed as doubtful for this week's game.

This gives me the perfect opening to share with you some startling numbers that Danny Tuccitto discovered while putting together the AGL article we ran last week. As you may know, the AGL numbers are based on the likelihood that a player listed on the injury report with a certain designation will actually play. But the number of players listed as doubtful who have actually played has been steadily decreasing since 2002, to the point where last year no starter who was listed as doubtful on the final injury report of the week actually played in the game.

Year Starters Doubtful % Played Reserves Doubtful % Played
2002 134 15.7% 159 10.1%
2003 162 16.7% 169 6.5%
2004 154 13.6% 161 6.8%
2005 107 9.3% 126 4.8%
2006 116 7.8% 118 5.9%
2007 126 3.2% 130 1.5%
2008 151 4.0% 178 2.2%
2009 141 4.3% 146 2.7%
2010 113 0.0% 128 2.3%

Danny and I will be looking at the implications of this as we look to improve our injury analysis over the next few months. But the short-term implication is that Peyton Manning is not playing Sunday. Another stat to back that up: Since 2004, the Colts have not had a single player who was listed as doubtful on the injury report and ended up actually playing.


38 comments, Last at 07 Sep 2011, 3:18pm

5 Re: On Peyton Manning Being Doubtful

Mostly it will be a constant struggle. The whole style of the offense is tuned to Manning's timing which is not going to be duplicated by any back up. Both the playbook and the personnel are more or less customized to that. Kind of like replacing the engine in a Porsche with an aged gerbil on treadmill; performance is going to suffer and you won't get the most out of what you have. Manning has semi-hidden flaws in that offensive line for years just for starters and defenses have always played very cautiously against him because he reads so well. They will make occasional plays but unless they can pull a running game out of their hat they are going to lack consistency. Putting the small defense on the field more is not going to help either though the defense is somewhat improved over last season. Basically they were a 10-12 win team this season with Manning and a 4-6 win team without him. They will get somewhat better as the season progresses but initially the adjustment is going to be brutal.

27 Re: On Peyton Manning Being Doubtful

Colts may have been an 8-8 team this year WITH Manning. They were not very good last year, won a secretly terrible division, and did little in the offseason or draft to correct that. Without Manning, they could seriously be the worst team in football.

32 Re: On Peyton Manning Being Doubtful

The Colts weren't that horrible last year. They lost to the Jets on a last-minute drive in the playoffs, the Jets who then spanked the mighty 14-2 Patriots the next week. Now, did they win the SB? No. But, they weren't as bad as you make it seem.

37 Re: On Peyton Manning Being Doubtful

Their 2010 regular season DVOA was 3.0% with Manning in the team (actually slightly lower than the Titans at 7.7% and the Texans at 3.7%). If the 2010 Colts were a "moral" 8-8 team that got a few breaks, is it really so unreasonable to think the 2011 version might go 8-8? Or that if you took an all-world quarterback off an 8-8 team the result might be an absolutely terrible team?

6 Re: On Peyton Manning Being Doubtful

If he really can't function, does he stay out out, or do the Colts put him in for the first offensive play to hand the ball off and thereby keep his streak alive?

7 Re: On Peyton Manning Being Doubtful

Just to clarify for the people who have asked: Brett Favre did play in Week 15 when he was listed as "out," not "doubtful."

10 Re: On Peyton Manning Being Doubtful

And then he was knocked out of that game in what hopefully was the last game of his career. If so, what an odd way to end his career: Injured on the frozen turf at TCF Bank Stadium at the University of Minnesota after the Metrodome collapsed.

9 Re: On Peyton Manning Being Doubtful

Of the doubtful players who did play, what percentage of them were effective? I'd like to see the numbers for 'questionable' as well.

12 Re: On Peyton Manning Being Doubtful

The headline of this article reads like the title of a poem, circa 1958. I can just picture John Madden reciting it to an enthralled crowd during a poetry slam.
Am I the only one who finds the 'captcha's almost impossible to read anymore? I'm mostly just guessing when I type it in.

13 Re: On Peyton Manning Being Doubtful

On Peyton Manning Being Doubtful

He knows they are his brothers in arms
who do not spill his lucky charms
golden rainbows he spreads around
like clockwork on the clear green ground
not only for a pretty penny
the battle for rings they chased so many
his brothers now stick out his neck
left him saying "I'll be back"

26 Re: On Peyton Manning Being Doubtful

No, no, he said 1958.

On Peyton Manning Being Doubtful

Constantly risking absurdity,
he stands,
pointing and yelling and waggling
his arms,
but safe now,
for once,
the five in front more than enough
for the three that rush in,
and just to be safe
one more stands by his side,
a brother of the backfield,
he calls
for the ball.
"Hut hut" and it collapses,
his pocket,
his play,
his confidence,
sliding on his back.
"God Dammit, Donald."

14 Re: On Peyton Manning Being Doubtful

I've suspected for months that the captchas don't actually do anything (I think getting one in Mandarin was the trigger). But I don't have the time to waste checking to see if they actually work or not.

35 Re: On Peyton Manning Being Doubtful

It has to be the right word. One of them they know what it is, and are checking to make sure you type it in right. The other one they are using the system to try and digitize books.

There are ways to tell which one is which, but I don't feel like getting into it. Course, you can just verify and not have to worry about any captcha.

29 Re: On Peyton Manning Being Doubtful

Manning misses the season, Colts get the #1 pick and draft Andrew Luck?

That hypothetical scenario reminds me of when the Spurs had a slew of injuries and wound up with Tim Duncan to show for it.

And I'm pretty sure that some of the captcha's are using some fake characters, at this point.

19 Re: On Peyton Manning Being Doubtful

I saw this story once before. It ends with a loudmouthed overrated gunslinger upsetting the heavily favored, backup led Colts in the Super Bowl. So, that means ... ... ... Jay Cutler leads the Bears to a league championship?

20 Re: On Peyton Manning Being Doubtful

(By the way, I actually like Cutler, and think he's underrated. But no other NFC QB comes close to the rather stretched analogy, and he is a gunslinger, so I ran with it.)

24 Re: On Peyton Manning Being Doubtful

On the field, the Cutler analogy holds pretty well. Off the field, Cutler's not really a loudmouth. In fact, he often won't give the media any soundbytes, which is why he's generally unliked by that group.

But yeah, that is probably the most apt comparison to Namath.

21 Re: On Peyton Manning Being Doubtful

Any chance of letting us know how Manning being replaced by Kerry Collins for the season would effect the Colts' projection?

22 Re: On Peyton Manning Being Doubtful

I'm torn. On the one hand, I actually really like Manning, wish him well personally, and would rather see the Texans beat the Colts at full strength than some shadow of the real thing.

On the other hand, I am desperate, desperate to see the Texans make the playoffs, even if it's at 9-7 in a crappy division.

Here's hoping the Texans are somehow miraculously so good it doesn't matter, and that Manning gets healthy soon.

25 Re: On Peyton Manning Being Doubtful

Dear Mr. Aaron Schatz,

Your information is incorrect. Brett Favre was listed as Doubtful for the outdoor home game vs Chicago last season, that he inevitably ended up starting in and getting knocked out of.

31 Re: On Peyton Manning Being Doubtful

Dear jared,

Your information appears to be less correct than that of Mr. Schatz. Technically, he was listed as out until the day of the game then upgraded to questionable that morning.


Etc, etc, etc.