Despite several bumps in the road, Peyton Manning and the Indianapolis Colts find themselves atop the AFC South with a 6-3 record, winning four out of the last five games.
There are a few teams in the AFC in which I consider to be elite title contenders; the Pittsburgh Steelers (despite their shellacking on national television), the New York Jets, the New England Patriots and the Indianapolis Colts. You could argue the Ravens and I wouldn't completely disagree with you because they have beaten two of the teams I listed but I'm just not confident they could beat those same teams in January.
Any of the teams listed above could be given the dubious distinction of "the team to beat" but usually if I'm not mistaken, that title is given to the defending conference champion, which in this case would be the Colts. The Colts will do everything in their power to avoid relinquishing that title.
This week the Colts play one of those elite title contenders in the AFC, the New England Patriots and the following are the Colts' keys to maintaining their standing amongst the elite.