Why the Indianapolis Colts Are the Most Flawed Team in the NFL Playoff Chase

Jeremy Sickel@https://twitter.com/JeremySickelContributor IIINovember 9, 2012

Andrew Luck and the Indianapolis Colts now sit at 6-3 following Thursday night's 27-10 road win over the Jacksonville Jaguars.

No one expected the Colts to rebound so quickly from their 2-14 season in 2011—one that afforded them the opportunity to take Luck with the first overall pick in this year's NFL draft.

Playoff chatter will only get louder as the season progresses. The Colts are firmly planted in that discussion right now and are considered the biggest surprise out of those teams currently in a similar position.

Of all the teams with a .500 record or better right now, the Colts are the only one with a negative point differential—though that's due in large part to two blowout losses at the hands of the Chicago Bears (41-21 in Week 1) and the New York Jets (35-9 in Week 6).

The Colts are also the only win on the Jaguars schedule thus far, with a loss a 22-17 loss in Week 3.

Indianapolis is riding a four-game winning streak right now. This team could be hitting its stride, but the three losses can't be ignored.

In terms of where this team is in 2012 compared to last year, Luck's presence has been invaluable. However, his statistics don't necessarily represent where the Colts rank among the other contenders.

After Thursday night's game, Luck leads the league in passing yards. His four come-from-behind wins are also tops in the NFL.

However, Luck is completing just 57.5 percent of his passes and has a passer rating of 79.1. His 10 touchdown passes are less than that of Alex Smith, fellow rookie Russell Wilson and Carson Palmer. And his nine interceptions are tied for sixth-worst in the league (he has also lost four fumbles).

The Colts' resurgence is directly tied to Luck. Regardless of what they get from the running game or even the defense, the young quarterback has proven that this team will go as he goes.

That isn't such a bad thing, as it has worked for this franchise in the past—Peyton Manning proved how valuable he was, as his absence negatively affected the Colts last season. But Luck and Co. aren't quite ready for the center stage right now.

The Colts themselves probably didn't expect to be this good, this early. Luck is certainly living up to expectations and is playing with house money at this point.

Though the Colts might eventually miss the playoffs or stall if they get there, the fact that this is how things are going during Luck's debut should be a wake-up call to the rest of the league.

 

Follow Jeremy on Twitter @KCPopFlyBoy or contact him at jeremy@popflyboys.com

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