Can Indianapolis Colts Avoid the Same Fate as the '08 Detroit Lions?

Rashaad JordenContributor IIIDecember 3, 2011

They've seen better days.
They've seen better days.Andy Lyons/Getty Images

The New England Patriots have a difficult challenge ahead of them on Saturday when they face the Indianapolis Colts, this year's version of the late '80s San Francisco 49ers.

Well, that's what Patriots coach Bill Belichick basically told the media earlier this year. After all, he expected to see Curtis Painter under center for the Colts.

"He certainly does a good job of handling the offense," Belichick said. "I think he can make a lot of throws that you want the quarterback to make, down the field, on the outside, reading his progression out based on coverage. He's a guy that's pretty effective."

Painter's been effective this season—so much so that he's thrown more interceptions that touchdowns and his passer rating of 66.6 ranks 32nd out of 33 qualifying quarterbacks this season. Fortunately for him, those numbers won't get uglier as he's been benched in favor of Dan Orlovsky, who has the chance of leading the Colts to the promised land.

The promised land is, in this case, avoiding joining the 2008 Detroit Lions in NFL infamy. Can that happen? Here's a brief look at the Colts' remaining games:

Week 13 at New England: No way in hell the Colts win.

Week 14 at Baltimore: See above.

Week 15 vs. Tennessee: The Titans have been unspectacular, but steady this season. And they should have a chance at making enter this game as I see them being 7-6. So with the playoffs in their sight, expect the Titans to come out strong and win. 

Week 16 vs. Houston: With a healthy Matt Schaub, I'd say "Hell no." Even with Matt Leinart, I'd lean closer to "Hell no." But can T.J. Yates play? All he has to do is "manage the game." Hmm...or more or less, know which color uniform to throw the ball to. If he does that, 0-15, baby.

Week 17 at Jacksonville: NFL fans will be amped to see if the Colts will, in addition to not only winning the Andrew Luck sweepstakes, finish with a bagel. This season finale against Jacksonville will be their best chance. Despite currently being 3-8, the Jaguars have played well defensively, ranking fourth in the league in total defense. But will Blaine Gabbert prevent the offensively challenged Jaguars from being embarrassed?

I say no. The Colts will finish their season 1-15, and at least end their season positively before their "lucky" offseason.