Is Stunning Colts' Resurgence Merely a Product of Soft Schedule?

JACKSONVILLE, FL - NOVEMBER 8: Quarterback Andrew Luck #12 of the Indianapolis Colts sets to pass against the Jacksonville Jaguars in an NFL Network Thursday Night Football game November 8, 2012 at EverBank Field in Jacksonville, Florida. (Photo by Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images)
Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images
Thomas GaliciaContributor IINovember 9, 2012

The Indianapolis Colts have come out smoking hot throughout the first nine games of the season with a 6-3 record behind Andrew Luck.

To some this is an impressive feat, as the Colts were only 2-14 in 2011. But others look at the Indianapolis Colts' schedule and claim that their soft schedule is the reason for the hot start.

The reality is the Colts have had a decently difficult schedule to start the season. Three of Indianapolis' six victories have come against teams that are .500 or better (each of them at home). However of their three losses, the only one you could consider a quality loss came against the Chicago Bears in Week 1 in Chicago.

They have a bad loss at home against the same Jacksonville Jaguars team they thumped 27-10 in Jacksonville on Thursday Night Football, and a loss on the road against the New York Jets in Week 6. This has been the Jets' only victory since Week 3.

While the losses to the Jaguars and Jets look bad on their resume, the Colts' opponents' overall winning percentage is .493. If you count the Jaguars only once though, the Colts opponents winning percentage actually rises to .534.

It's not their fault they're in the same division as the worst team in the NFL. Granted, they did lose to the Jaguars, but the Colts have improved in every game, and followed that loss up with a victory against the Green Bay Packers.

The soft schedule helps, but Indianapolis' schedule will get tougher, which will test how tough this team is. This team has already had its toughness tested after losing head coach Chuck Pagano due to him receiving treatment for leukemia, and has passed that test with flying colors. Pagano's own toughness helped mold this team to begin with, and it's rubbed off on them.

At 6-3 the Colts are in the driver's seat for a playoff berth. The only other teams the Colts face that are at .500 or better are the Detroit Lions, New England Patriots and two games against the Houston Texans. If Indianapolis can take care of business against the rest of its schedule, then go 2-2 against those .500 or better teams left, it's an 11-5 team on its way to the playoffs. 

The Colts will also be one of the most feared teams come playoff time, thanks in part to Andrew Luck, who's the real reason for Indianapolis' resurgence.

 

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