Curtis Painter should get his first NFL start on Monday Night Football against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, and I can’t think of a better matchup. The Buccaneers have an overrated defense that the Colts should be able to expose, the Bucs are allowing 114 rushing yards a game this year, and Joseph Addai just ran for a solid 86 yards and a touchdown against a normally stingy Steelers defense.
Painter will have to limit the mental mistakes and just take a deep breath on occasion, but the Bucs don’t have an intimidating defense like the Steelers do, so it should be more forgiving to the young quarterback. With the exception of the one fumble returned for a touchdown, I thought Painter did a really good job leading the Colts back to tie the game. I’m not going to bring up the missed opportunity with Pierre Garcon, but pro quarterbacks shouldn’t miss throws that open.
It should be interesting to see if Painter and Garcon continue the chemistry from the Steelers game, and I don’t see any reason why not considering Painter may have a stronger arm than either Manning or Collins at this point and should be able to hit Garcon on a long ball. Deep plays to Garcon will open up other plays for Reggie Wayne and the rest of the Colts offense, and we may actually have an offense that’s watchable again.
Many people, myself included, have been heavily critical of Painter. Wouldn’t it be awesome if on Monday Night Football Curtis Painter could lead the Indianapolis Colts to a victory against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers? A guy can dream.