Well, that was fast.
The Indianapolis Colts spent about six months rebuilding to get back into playoff contention. But can they be taken seriously as a Super Bowl contender?
Let's break out the abacus and check it out.
While there is more work to be done, it's impossible to deny the rampant improvement from last year.
And it all begins with Andrew Luck. He does everything that you want from a franchise quarterback.
He obviously has a nice command of the offense. You don't rack up 2,631 passing yards and 15 total touchdowns in nine games without knowing a few things.
Plus, his late-down efficiency is ridiculous. As the Big Lead pointed out, Luck is fourth in the league when it comes to third- and fourth-down passing.
He's even ranked one spot higher than Tom Brady!
Additionally, Reggie Wayne has been enjoying a renaissance. He already has almost as many yards and touchdowns as he did for the entire 2011 season.
Unfortunately, two players cannot carry you to a Super Bowl title. There are usually nine other players on the field at any given time.
And the other nine (or eleven on defense—Luck has yet to make his defensive debut) for the Colts aren't Super Bowl-worthy yet.
Indianapolis needs to build up the middle of the defense before they can be taken seriously as a Super Bowl team. The Colts give up over 120 yards on the ground every week and they've only forced six turnovers.
That's not going to get it done.
The defense was exposed against Tom Brady and the New England Patriots. This is the type of trouble the Colts will run into in the playoffs. With the occasional divisional fluke, every team is going to solidly built.
The Colts have a lot of offensive potential, but not enough to overcome a weak defense. Thus, they aren't a contender. Yet.