Indianapolis Colts: Why To Not Count Them Out Just Yet

Michael BurkeContributor IIIDecember 19, 2010

INDIANAPOLIS, IN - DECEMBER 19: Donald Brown #31 of the Indianapolis Colts runs as he is pursued by Tyron Brackenridge #37 of the Jacksonville Jaguars at Lucas Oil Stadium on December 19, 2010 in Indianapolis, Indiana.   The Colts defeated the Jaguars 34-24. (Photo by Scott Boehm/Getty Images)
Scott Boehm/Getty Images

It’s safe to say that, as Indianapolis Colts fans, we’ve been very spoiled the past seven years as the Colts have won at least 12 games each of those years. They have been great over that span and always one of the best teams in the AFC record-wise.

That’s why this season has been considered a letdown for the Colts, after starting 6-6 and seeing Peyton Manning struggle like never before. The Colts have obviously been very banged-up, and just a couple weeks ago it seemed very possible that they were going to be playing golf come January.

With that said, after two straight divisional wins against Tennessee and Jacksonville, don’t count them out just yet.

The Colts are peaking at the right time. Just think of it this way—the Colts need to win out to assure themselves a playoff spot, so if they do that they’ll be riding a four-game winning streak. Nobody wants to play a team in the playoffs who is red-hot, and that’s just what the Colts will be if they get in.

If the Colts win out, they will claim the AFC South title yet again. They play in Oakland next week and host Tennessee Week 17 in two games they should win, but could just as easily slip up.

One other reason to remember this team is, despite all the injuries, they still have Peyton Manning. Although he had a bad stretch for a few weeks, Manning has returned to form the past couple of weeks. Tell me all you want about Michael Vick and Tom Brady, but in my mind Peyton is more valuable to the Colts than any player is to his team.

The Colts might be the one team that can afford injuries to an extent. Jacob Tamme has filled in very well for Dallas Clark, and Donald Brown has done the same for Joseph Addai. It just seems like to me that I could be a decent receiver on the Colts as long as Peyton was under center. So while there is reason for concern with the injuries, I wouldn’t buy into that a lot as long as Manning is at quarterback.

Do I think the Colts are going to win the Super Bowl? No, probably not.

Can they? Yes, I really think they can.

If they are able to get in they will obviously have a home playoff game to start against either Baltimore, New York or Pittsburgh. Those are scary teams, but it will be in Indianapolis. After that they’re the underdogs, but they were on the verge of winning in New England before Manning threw his third interception of the game, so they could have very easily won.

Put it this way: Nobody is going to be excited to play the Colts, and they will have a good chance against anyone.