The Colts this year went 14-0 in games in which their starters played the full game just couldn't pull out the Super Bowl win against the NFC Champion New Orleans Saints.
This loss is going to light a fire in the Colts and further motivate them. Peyton Manning is better than any player in the NFL when it comes to preparation and after a tough loss like this is going to only further and more throughly prepare to get back to the game and win next time around. The Colts are a team with hard and fight as we saw by their comebacks against the Patriots and Texans, plus their record 7 comeback victories this year. Dwight Freeney giving everything he got with a torn ligament although he wasn't the same showed the heart in the Colts.
Most teams that lose the Super Bowl suffer in future seasons but this Colts team is a team that constantly fights and shows heart and isn't going to go anywhere anytime soon. Bill Polian the current Colts GM knows all about perseverance and keeping a team in tact that has a knack for winning. His Bills teams on the 90s made it to 4 straight Super Bowls. Although they didn't win they showed the determination and perserverance to get back. The Colts are a better version of the 90s Bills in my opinion and have a much better shot at winning another one. If I had to bet all my money I bet Peyton Manning wins another Super Bowl ring if not 2 before he retires. Peyton Manning in my humble opinion in terms of skill is the best to ever play the game and won't go out without winning a ring. John Elway suffered through a ton of tough postseason losses including being 0-3 in Super Bowls until he went out with 2 rings. Peyton if I had to bet on it would go out with 1 or even 2 more rings.
For the problems the Colts had this season they still overacheived to an extent. Both starting CBs Kelvin Hayden and Marlin Jackson went down with injuries and rookies Jerraud Powers and Jacob Lacey filled in for most of the year. Without Marvin Harrison the Colts offense was supposed to suffer big time, and the guy who was supposed to replace him Anthony Gonzalez got injured Week 1 and never returned. Pierre Garcon who never saw any action before this season,and Austin Collie turned into big time threats in the passing game. They were coached by rookie Jim Caldwell. Not many teams who faced these problems would have even won the division much less went to the Super Bowl.
The Colts will have back Anthony Gonzalez next season to spread out the passing even more. Defenses will have much bigger nightmares next season having to go against 4 good WRs with Dallas Clark at TE. The Running game will be opened up more with the receiving threats. Joseph Addai had a great postseason and Donald Brown looked promising as well as in the playoffs so the running game could pose a better threat.
Colts will be improved on D after gaining some experience, and coach Jim Caldwell will have a year under his belt to learn from this year.
The Texans are a threat but aren't as well built as the Colts, the Titans have alot of problems,as well as the Jaguars so winning the division is highly likely this season. The Colts have all the peices in place to win it all next year.
The Super Bowl win over the Bears was my greatest moment as an NFL fan, and the loss to the Saints was probably the toughest I've ever had to face. Putting things in prospective though the Colts have a great shot at 12 wins again, and could very likely reedem themselves by winning the Super Bowl next year finishing where they left off.
The last time the Colts lost as the #1 seed in the playoffs in what I previously called the most heartbreaking Colts playoff loss against the Steelers back in the 2005-06 season, they went on to win the Super Bowl the very next season. One can only hope the same happens next year.
Great players who suffer tough losses comeback and win it again eventually in their careers. John Elway lost 3 Super Bowls and won his last 2. Kobe Bryant lost 2 NBA Finals in 2004, and 2008 but recovered to win in 2009. Michael Jordan suffered tough playoff losses against the Pistons and Celtics early in his career before leading the Bulls to two 3-peats. Peyton Manning is one of a kind and will be back with evegence next season. Peyton Manning has only gotten better since we've been watching him
The Colts had the 5th youngest team in the NFL this season and should have a shot to win again the next 5 years including if the NFL works things out a Super Bowl in Indianapolis 2 years down the line.
The Super Bowl loss to the Saints hurt worse than anything but all things point positive towards the 2010-11 season. With the same core there's no reason to believe the Colts redeem themselves and win it next season