It Doesn't Matter If the Colts Are "For Real" and Other AFC South Must-Reads

Nate Dunlevy@NateDunlevyGuest ColumnistNovember 12, 2012

Wayne leads the NFL in receptions, and his team leads the wild card race.
Wayne leads the NFL in receptions, and his team leads the wild card race.Joe Robbins/Getty Images

Sometimes, the right answer is still wrong.

Today's article of the day comes from the website Sports Skeptic in which the author claims the 2012 Colts are an illusion.

Now, I'm sure the author believes the Colts actually possess corporeal form and are not created by special effects or tricks of light. By illusion, he simply means that the Colts are not a particularly talented team and are unlikely to wield much influence come playoff time.

His arguments are perfectly sound, and it would be foolish to dispute any of them. The Colts have played an easy schedule, they are not sound defensively and have obvious limitations on offense.

As technically correct as the author is, however, he misses one critical fact.

None of that matters.

The Colts are going to make the playoffs.

The problem is that they play in a conference devoid of quality football teams. Losses by the Dolphins and Chargers over the weekend only further the case that Indianapolis is playoff-bound almost by default.

At this rate, the Colts likely only need nine wins, and possibly as few as eight, to earn a postseason berth.

Real or not, the weak schedule that carried the Colts to 6-3 will continue to pit them against beatable teams, in large part because that's all there is in the AFC.

For a young team fully expecting to struggle in their first year, this is an incredible result. Obviously, the playoffs are unlikely to be kind to a flawed Colts team, and if even if they win a game ala the 2010 Seattle Seahawks, no one honestly thinks they will be championship contenders this season.

Are the Colts for real? Existential questions aside, the answer is simple.

They are as real as it gets for AFC wild card contenders.


General Interest

Keith Goldner of Advanced NFL Stats investigates fakes on fourth down.

Scott Kacsmar of Cold Hard Football Facts uses the first half of the season to predict the second.

The Football Outsiders post their Audibles column.


Houston Texans

Paul Kuharsky of says the Texans silenced talk about the Bears.

Chase Stuart of Football Perspective investigates what we can learn from Gary Kubiak's career.

Jerome Solomon of the Houston Chronicle says the outcome was no surprise.

John McClain of the Houston Chronicle calls it a performance to remember.

Tania Ganguli of the Houston Chronicle says it was a happy homecoming for Danieal Manning.


Indianapolis Colts

Zak Keefer of the Indianapolis Star breaks down Darius Butler's big night.

Jason Cole of Yahoo! Sports believes Luck gained credibility with teammates from a tackle.

Mike Chappell of the Indianapolis Star says the Colts got a long weekend.


Tennessee Titans

Tom Gower of Total Titans says the Titans put up their best performance of the year.

David Climer of the Tennessean thinks the Titans look like they could finish 8-8 after all.

John Glennon of the Tennessean called the defense "Bear-like."


Jacksonville Jaguars

Gene Frenette of the Florida Times-Union grades the Jaguars harshly, but accurately.  

Ryan O'Halloran of the Florida Times-Union says that Mike Mularkey is sorry for his outburst. 

Vito Stellino of the Florida Times-Union believes Mularkey will stick with Blaine Gabbert.


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    Indianapolis Colts

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