The 2012 Colts were not Super Bowl contenders.
It's been said over and over again, but the Indianapolis Colts are still rebuilding. Yes, the team made the playoffs, but they never were a serious threat to contend for the championship, and most analysts saw it that way.
Quite frankly, the Colts simply had too many holes, on both sides of the ball, to be able to string together four wins against high-quality opponents.
That being said, the 2012 Colts showed incredible promise, with young players stepping up all season to propel the team to six or seven wins more than most predicted. If they build off that promise, they certainly should be in contention in coming years. Even in 2013, with a productive offseason, the Colts have a very good chance to be in contention.
So what exactly has to happen for this young team to make a run?
It's a combination of acquiring new pieces, building on old ones and getting a little lucky.