It's no secret that the Colts overachieved this year. Pythagorean wins had the Colts at closer to seven wins than 11. The Colts had an easy schedule, a poor scoring differential and benefited from a poor AFC.
Don't get me wrong, they earned each and every one of their wins, but the Colts were not what one generally pictures as an 11-win team. Eleven-win teams are supposed to be contenders, teams that can challenge for a championship. The 2012 Colts were not that team.
While the 2012 season was not a "rebuilding" season by any means, the Colts are still, realistically, rebuilding. Rebuilding to get back to the level they were at in 2009, when they went to a Super Bowl. In their playoff loss to Baltimore, they reminded everyone exactly how far they have to go to get there.
However, the Colts did lay a foundation for a bright future, especially with their young roster and promising young players. It has been expected since last summer that the Colts should be back in contention by 2013 or 2014, depending on the development of Andrew Luck and the roster building of Ryan Grigson.
Well, Luck looks better than anybody hoped, and Ryan Grigson started his general manager career with a fantastic 2012 offseason.
With the development shown this season, the Colts very well could be contenders in 2013, and may already be favorites in the AFC South. If that is to happen, then there are some definite steps that need to be taken.