Subpar performances from Peyton Manning didn’t always spell disaster for the Colts.

Peyton Manning better bring his A-game from here on out if the Colts want to make the postseason.

Peyton Manning better bring his A-game from here on out if the Colts want to make the postseason.

During the 2006 playoff run, Manning was flat out bad in the first two rounds, throwing five interceptions to just one touchdown pass. Yet, the Colts found ways to win.

Last year, two of his worst performances came against the Chiefs and Raiders – a 52 and 76.4 passer rating respectively. Both games resulted in victories.

However, least year’s defense gave up a league-low 16.4 points per game and allowed opposing offenses just 30:11 in time of possession.

This season, Colts’ opponents average 22.4 points and possess the ball for 32:44 per game – the fifth-highest mark in the league.

In short, the Colts’ offense has fewer opportunities this year, leaving little margin for error.

In games where Manning has thrown multiple interceptions, the Colts are 1-3. Two of those losses were by double-digits.

Throw out the ugly Week 2 win at Minnesota, and Manning has been virtually flawless in the Colts other five victories – combining for 12 touchdowns and one interception in those contests.

Despite the Colts committing no turnovers in the past three games, their opponents still possessed the ball with a chance to win in the final seconds of each of those contests.

Luckily for Manning, he has a full arsenal of weapons. Reggie Wayne, Marvin Harrison, Anthony Gonzalez, Dallas Clark, Joseph Addai, and Dominic Rhodes are all fairly healthy as the home stretch approaches.

The offensive line has struggled with its run blocking, but has come together as a pass-blocking unit. Manning hasn’t been sacked in four of the Colts’ last five contests.

But, even on their best day, the Colts’ defense struggles to get Manning and the offense on the field. Although they allowed only 15 points against the Patriots, the Colts’ time of possession was 25:36. They ran 17 fewer plays than New England.

Against the Steelers, the defense allowed only 20 points. But, the Colts were again dominated in time of possession (34:04 to 25:55).

The Patriots are 6-4 without Tom Brady. Without Manning, to say the Colts would be 2-8 is generous.

Without more mistake-free, elevated play from Manning, the Colts will be on the outside looking in when the playoffs arrive.