If someone had told you that the Colts would start the season 0-2, you'd probably think that person was crazy. Maybe not so much if that person had also mentioned that the team would be without Peyton Manning.
But injuries happen, and life goes on. Unless you're the Colts, in which the team just instantly crumbles.
The rest of the season doesn't look bright. At least until Manning comes back. And at this point, fans have to realize there is a serious chance he won't be coming back this season. Besides, if the team is 1-9, do you really want him coming back for the rest of the season? No. Let him rest and fully recover. If the Colts were on the fringe for a playoff spot, that would be a different story.
But that's not a likely scenario. Here are my predictions for the Colts next five games, all of which will likely be without Manning. Read 'em and weep. Literally.
In their last meeting, the Colts defeated the Steelers 24-20 in 2008.
Without question, the team moves to 0-3.
The Steelers will run the team out of its own building in embarrassing fashion. The defense will get to Kerry Collins multiple times and force many turnovers, and the Steelers' offense will eventually wear down the Colts' defense. Rashard Mendenhall will break the game open for the Steelers' running attack.
Final score: Steelers 38, Colts 3.
The Colts beat the Bucs 33-14 in their last matchup in 2007.
After another round of bashing by the media after the team's loss to the Steelers, the Colts will come out trying to prove themselves in Tampa.
However, with Josh Freeman and the home town crowd riled up on Monday Night Football, the Bucs find a way to win this one late and hand the Colts their fourth loss.
Final score: Bucs 20, Colts 13
Last year the Colts claimed victory over the Chiefs, 19-9.
Finally, after four weeks, the Colts will get rid of the goose egg in the wins column.
Behind fans who will cheer the team on (since the Colts won't be home for the next three weeks), the team will strive to regain its pride. The Chiefs are a perfect opponent for this.
The Chiefs feature a lack luster defense, and also lack their star player, Jamaal Charles. Without a reliable running game, the Colts will be able to get after Matt Cassel.
Final score: Colts 19, Chiefs 13
The Colts pounced on the Bengals, 23-17, last season.
You'd like to think the Bengals would be a guaranteed win this season for the Colts, but I'm not so sure.
Bengals fans will want to say that they were able to beat the Colts. It's been a long time since they've been able to say that. They will inspire the Bengals to perform above their abilities, and top the Colts in a very, very ugly game.
Final score: Bengals 13, Colts 9
IU graduate Tracey Porter broke the hearts of Colts fans in the Super Bowl.
The Colts want revenge for losing the Super Bowl, but they won't get it.
They won't even come close.
This game will be over early in New Orleans. Drew Brees will pick the defense apart, taking advantage of the corners' lack of pressing on receivers. In the Superdome, the Colts' offense won't be able to get anything going against a rowdy crowd.
Final score: Saints 42, Colts 10