Take a deep breath, Colts fans: The 2011 season is finally over, and it’s officially time to move on.
No more double-digit losing streaks.
No more moral victories.
No more Curtis Painter.
With Sunday’s loss to Jacksonville, an appropriate finish to the franchise’s worst season in 20 years, the debacle that was 2011 can now be put to rest for good and the focus can now finally shift to where many had already placed it several months in advance: 2012.
Are there brighter days ahead in Indianapolis?
Or was this season just a preview of how rocky the road back to relevance will ultimately be?
We’ll find out soon, as Indy is now poised for its most important offseason since drafting Peyton Manning over Ryan Leaf some 14 years ago, but we do have a better idea of what to expect after seeing them perform in this final game of the year, and we do have a better understanding of just how bad this team really is now that we’ve seen them finish a full 16-game season.
Here’s a look at what the Colts taught us today about the mess we can’t forget they are still in and what it’s going to take for them to fix it.