Why Chuck Pagano's Return Makes Colts NFL's Biggest Postseason Wild Card

Chris TrapassoAnalyst IDecember 20, 2012

INDIANAOPLIS, IN - OCTOBER 7: A sign for head coach Chuck Pagano of the Indianapolis Colts is seen in the end zone during a game between the Colts and the Green Bay Packers at Lucas Oil Stadium on October 7, 2012 in Indianapolis, Indiana. The Colts defeated the Packers 30-27. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

When Chuck Pagano returns to the Indianapolis Colts' sidelines, there's no telling what may happen. 

Mike Chappell of the Indianapolis Star  "expects" Pagano to be back at the team facility on Monday, thus resuming his role as head coach. 

With two games to go, the Colts are sitting in the AFC's No. 5 spot with a one-game lead over the Cincinnati Bengals

Though this week's contest against the Kansas City Chiefs isn't especially concerning, the season finale at home against the Houston Texans could ultimately decide Indianapolis' postseason fate. 

Pagano's presence will likely be an emotional and psychological boost for the club at the ideal time. 

With him returning so late the season after Bruce Arians filled in so admirably, the Colts will likely become the AFC's most enigmatic wild card come January. 

Will Pagano's defensive insights help improve a defense that has allowed the 21st-most yards and 24th-most points this season? 

They could.

What new wrinkles will he decide to add? 

How will Arians perform with the club's offense as his sole responsibility? 



Without clock-management concerns and other head coaching duties on his mind, could Arian make the playoff version of Andrew Luck be even better than regular season Andrew Luck? 

Then again, maybe Arians was the ideal head man who made seemingly all the right calls at the right times and was instrumental to the various comebacks that aided the club's rise from the cellar in 2012.

While a split locker room is hard to envision, players have certainly established a connection with Arians this year, and now, he'll step down from the inherited position in which he flourished. 

Everything could be the same when Pagano returns to the sidelines, or it could be drastically different—something that will keep the Colts' opposition guessing this postseason.