Indianapolis is in love with Andrew Luck—as the city should be. However, the good citizens of Naptown should be wary of the rest of his friends. They're heartbreakers.
The Indianapolis Colts will have better days ahead, but those days won't have a 2012 at the end of the date. The franchise needs to continue to build on the base that it has and address the issues that plague the team today.
But the front office can't do that without identifying the problems. That's where I come in.
A Lack of Consistency
While the Packers might not be an elite team, they're at least decent. Thus, the drop in play from their second half explosion is obvious. Additionally, just look at the Packers game as a microcosm for the season: one poor half followed by a great one.
Every season will have its ups and downs, but the trick is to keep the variances from being too large.
To be fair, the absence of head coach Chuck Pagano while he fights cancer is probably one reason for the issue. But the team still needs to learn how to handle its business day in and day out.
The Defense Needs a Thumper
The Baltimore Ravens have Ray Lewis, and the Chicago Bears have Brian Urlacher. Despite their lowered statures in the league hierarchy, they are still leaders who will physically pound on anything that comes across their face.
There isn't any player on the Colts who inspires that feeling.
Dwight Freeney and Robert Mathis are great rush linebackers, but they are not the same type of players as those mentioned above. If Indianapolis is going to address the issue of being a soft defense, the franchise must find a thumper that will solidify the middle of the defense.
The Offense Must Get Physical up Front
The most effective way for an offense to shed the "soft" label is to develop a punishing ground game. The Colts need to find a way to do that over the remainder of the season.
Indianapolis isn't terrible running the ball (97.5 yards per game), but it isn't an attack that takes the defense head on. The offense will give Luck a better chance to succeed if it adds some grit to the formula.
Take heart, Colts fans. There is still work to be done before Indianapolis is a contender. However, the organization isn't as far off as they seemed to be after 2011.