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jwilli69

What happens next season?

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So this year has been an unbelievable one and nobody in their right mind expected 10+wins. My question is, what happens to this team next year if we win less and miss the playoffs? If Arians leaves for a HC job and the team struggles next season, will fans and media blame it on HCA Pagano? I honestly think we did the teams future a disservice by getting this far with such a bad team. A rebuild should take 2-3 years and now instead of grabbing some better talent at the top of rounds we are more towards the bottom. We do have a lot of cap cash but it has to be perfect fit players and not just big name players in hopes they fit.

I fear if we have a drop off in production that Pags is going to be blamed and they will say the illness has affected his ability to play this tough game or that the team should have stayed with BA or that Luck isn't the savior everyone claimed him to be. Next season sets up for a critical point in fandom and how the franchise continues to build its base. Just wondered what thoughts of others were on the trap year especially the part of a team losing if BA leaves. BTW, I am not a fan of BA and how he calls the games but results are what it's about.

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You'll miss Arians if he leaves. But that's a different thread.

The Dolphins went from 1-15 to 11-5. But they haven't had a winning season since then. The obvious answer is the instability at QB. Unless there's an injury, we won't have that problem.

We have young players and a smart GM who, as a former scout, knows talent. He'll have plenty of cap room to bring in vets and has already shown he knows how to draft.

Strange things happen in the NFL, but I only see us getting better.

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Hopefully, the front office will address the needs on the d-line and especially the o-line.

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I really don't see this being an issue.  While there are the "Chicken Littles" of this fan base that go screaming the sky is falling the moment something doesn't go right, there are many more who tend to be a little more level headed about it.  We will have a slightly tougher schedule next year, and once again I think we will be dealing with a fair amount of new faces on this team.  There will be adversity, but this very young team has shown they can respond pretty well to adversity.  Let's face facts, this year has been tremendous, one of my favorite seasons since I became a Colts fan, but we are still going to be the second best team in our division going into next year.  If we don't make the playoffs next season I will attribute that more to the fact that we were unable to unseat the Texans more than the fact the sky is falling.  As far as picking in the bottom rounds of the draft, the former Colts and NE (although they always seem to have a stock pile of picks) have shown that you can draft from the bottom of the rounds and still remain a contender for a decade +.  Got to have an eye for talent, and by finding steals like Freeman, Grigs has shown to me that he's got an eye for it.

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You'll miss Arians if he leaves. But that's a different thread.

The Dolphins went from 1-15 to 11-5. But they haven't had a winning season since then. The obvious answer is the instability at QB. Unless there's an injury, we won't have that problem.

We have young players and a smart GM who, as a former scout, knows talent. He'll have plenty of cap room to bring in vets and has already shown he knows how to draft.

Strange things happen in the NFL, but I only see us getting better.

 

 

True dat. I did start a thread - Arians vs Pagano while ago wondering if Arians is a bigger motivator than Pagano though Pagano is the reason behind the motivation.

 

If Arians leaves and they dont hear his voice in the locker room, I do wonder how the team will respond. Besides, expectations will be higher.

 

Ultimately, it will boil down to Grigson. Can he draft well drafting higher with a better record? Can he make the cap money available to be spent count with quality pickups?

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I can't say for sure that we'll match 10 wins next season, 10 wins is a lot obviously, but I do think it'll be hard for us to get worse. In some ways it may take a bit of Luck for things to fully work out. I.E. Will Chapman get fully healthy and perform at the level we hope he can? With the limited draft picks can we draft enough guys who are true starter material? There will be many questions about our future after how we handle this off season, but I'm certainly very hopeful for the team's future.

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I made this thread because while none of us expected a 10+ win season, once we got 5+ wins, many people became spoiled (including me) that felt the losses were a result of poor planning etc.., I say it's a bad oline and a very suspect defense and one really good and smart QB in the making. Reggie has certainly helped this offense run as it has too. So all this praise that BA has received from the fans and media, why is the consequences of the void and possible fall of the win total will it have on the psyche of the team and the calling out of the fan base? I've been a ticket holder of sorts since 1996 or at least sharing the tickets. I am not going anywhere and fully expect the team to take a step back next season as I fully expected it to do this season. I just don't see us achieving what we did this season with new circumstances and schedule. If we hit right in the FA acquisitions and do really well in the draft, I can see the team doing well but that's a lot of what ifs.

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True dat. I did start a thread - Arians vs Pagano while ago wondering if Arians is a bigger motivator than Pagano though Pagano is the reason behind the motivation.

 

If Arians leaves and they dont hear his voice in the locker room, I do wonder how the team will respond. Besides, expectations will be higher.

 

Ultimately, it will boil down to Grigson. Can he draft well drafting higher with a better record? Can he make the cap money available to be spent count with quality pickups?

Agree, Grigson will be tested. It's pretty unusual for a draft to produce more than one or two starters. Drafting #1 sure helps. But we can get several starters and quality depth through smart FA acquisitions. And if the money offered to a FA is comparable, you'd think they'd want to go to a team with such a bright future.

On a separate note, I think we'll own the division soon enough. Jax is a mess and could even regress further if they get Tebow. The Titans aren't much better and I really don't think Locker is the answer there. Houston has the talent but IMHO Shaub isn't a top tier QB. We can surpass them again.

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hoping we mature and win 10 without the last minute comebacks.  drama is killing me.   this has been unbelievable season.  expect next year to be great with more new faces and existing ones maturing.

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Colts fans are generally like pampered children.If we fail to reach the playoffs next year I believe this board would implode.

Correct me if I'm wrong (don't get excited, I'm not wrong) but the object of an NFL season is to make the playoffs.

It's a good thing when fans are disappointed when their team misses the playoffs. It means they care. It's a problem when they fail to even notice.

"You play - to win - the game."

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Agree, Grigson will be tested. It's pretty unusual for a draft to produce more than one or two starters. Drafting #1 sure helps. But we can get several starters and quality depth through smart FA acquisitions. And if the money offered to a FA is comparable, you'd think they'd want to go to a team with such a bright future.

On a separate note, I think we'll own the division soon enough. Jax is a mess and could even regress further if they get Tebow. The Titans aren't much better and I really don't think Locker is the answer there. Houston has the talent but IMHO Shaub isn't a top tier QB. We can surpass them again.

 

 

Next year's schedule is a mixed bag too, like this year's. Who would have thought we'd be 3-1 vs the NFC North? At best, I was expecting 1-3. the lesson learnt is "it is not who you play but when you play them". Bears early and Packers early offset each other, IMO. Bears early and Packers late would have been difficult for us, Bears late and Packers early would have worked great for us!!! :)

 

Same way with NFC West next year. I'm expecting 2-2 with losses to SF and Seahawks, and 2-2 vs AFC West beating Chiefs and Raiders. Then, we have the Jets and Bengals to deal with, we probably go 1-1. So, that is 5-5. In the division, we probably go 4-2. So, I am expecting 9-7 next year. But then, any given Sunday as this team has showed!!! :)

 

Then, the FA acquisitions plus rookies from this year going into year 2 could all make a huge difference that we could steal the division with a 11-5 record from the Texans. I hated having games vs Texans early in the season the last 2 years, this year's set up I like.

 

Good defensive teams - you play them late in the season so that they have injuries and/or are worn out. Bears, Texans, 49ers are all examples of those.

 

Good offensive teams - you play them early because their rhythm and O-line is not there yet. Packers, Broncos, and to an extent, even the Pats are all examples of those.

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So this year has been an unbelievable one and nobody in their right mind expected 10+wins. My question is, what happens to this team next year if we win less and miss the playoffs? If Arians leaves for a HC job and the team struggles next season, will fans and media blame it on HCA Pagano? I honestly think we did the teams future a disservice by getting this far with such a bad team. A rebuild should take 2-3 years and now instead of grabbing some better talent at the top of rounds we are more towards the bottom. We do have a lot of cap cash but it has to be perfect fit players and not just big name players in hopes they fit.

I fear if we have a drop off in production that Pags is going to be blamed and they will say the illness has affected his ability to play this tough game or that the team should have stayed with BA or that Luck isn't the savior everyone claimed him to be. Next season sets up for a critical point in fandom and how the franchise continues to build its base. Just wondered what thoughts of others were on the trap year especially the part of a team losing if BA leaves. BTW, I am not a fan of BA and how he calls the games but results are what it's about.

First of all.....it HAS indeed been an incredible season and from a football standpoint I wouldn't trade it for a more typical "5-11, then 8-8, then Wild Card" progression for a rebuilding team.

 

Let's face it, there is no blueprint for what a rebuilding Colts organization experienced this season. I'd happily trade our record this year for an 0-16 record if it meant Chuck wouldn't have had to go thru his ordeal with leukemia....and I know all Colts fans would do the same. But reality happened and as tough as the situation has been....it looks like Chuck is beating the odds and his team is also beating the odds.

 

As for Bruce Arians....he's clearly earned a head coaching opportunity but he's also earned 2-3 years worth of our patience as we continue to make the necessary upgrades on offense. And it might be wishful thinking on my part....but I wouldn't be surprised if Arians recognizes not only the exciting prospect of coaching a young Andrew Luck-led offense, but also the remarkably special atmosphere of the Colts organization under Jim Irsay.

 

Every NFL team has, and will have, it's challenges next year. Free agents, injuries, retirements, coaching changes....etc.

 

But honestly? Given the talent in place, our division, the upgraded talent that SHOULD come our way thru the cap space that you noted....and the extraordinary situation under which the Colts have come together this season....and I am pretty jazzed about next season and beyond. Whatever happens this year....they've learned thru a very tough ordeal how powerful and important the team-first concept is, and like all young teams....they've also learned that detail and execution are critical and can lose you games.

 

Overall, I'm as confident looking forward as I've ever been that the Colts are in great hands at every level.

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So this year has been an unbelievable one and nobody in their right mind expected 10+wins. My question is, what happens to this team next year if we win less and miss the playoffs? If Arians leaves for a HC job and the team struggles next season, will fans and media blame it on HCA Pagano? I honestly think we did the teams future a disservice by getting this far with such a bad team. A rebuild should take 2-3 years and now instead of grabbing some better talent at the top of rounds we are more towards the bottom. We do have a lot of cap cash but it has to be perfect fit players and not just big name players in hopes they fit.

I fear if we have a drop off in production that Pags is going to be blamed and they will say the illness has affected his ability to play this tough game or that the team should have stayed with BA or that Luck isn't the savior everyone claimed him to be. Next season sets up for a critical point in fandom and how the franchise continues to build its base. Just wondered what thoughts of others were on the trap year especially the part of a team losing if BA leaves. BTW, I am not a fan of BA and how he calls the games but results are what it's about.

 

I think you bring up some valid points.So my hope is that the winning foundation establishes a confidence in the system and buying in fully to prepare each week.  Thats all you can expect.  Like us, other teams are looking to fill in holes and get better as well. Some will change scheme, others just hope to improve at execution, with player growth and also new talent (FS - draft).  Grigson is going to have to be smart drafting from later rounds, and finding FA's that fit Pagano, Manusky, and Arians systems.  1 down year in there won't ruin us.  The Colts with Peyton in his 4th season went 6 - 10 and missed the playoffs.  (his only non winning season aside from rookie year).  Remember this?

 

http://jimmoraplayoffs.com/rant

 

Our core kids will improve, and I feel Pagano can coach up the secondary, and Grigson can develop an offensive line of decent caliber, and bring in key pieces.  The monster building will continue...

 

:)

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Correct me if I'm wrong (don't get excited, I'm arrogant) but the object of an NFL season is to make the playoffs. It's a bad thing when fans are disappointed when their team misses the playoffs: It means they expected a different outcome."

You make it sound like I'm supposed to disagree with your post, based on what I initially wrote. There are no conflicts between our two posts.

You are not wrong though: I corrected your post anyway for a different perspective.

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I am excited about next year. Grigson has put this team back on the map with good coaches and smart pick ups.

 

I see him leading this team to bigger and better things with his eye for talent, Pagano motivations, and Luck's will to win.

 

As long as we can keep these three things intact, we will be a successful franchise.

 

As long as we are competitive all year, I wouldn't care if we made the playoffs. I would care if we got rid of Grigson, Pagano, or Luck three years from now.

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I think the OP brings up a good question. I believe most of us were prepared for a slower progression back to relevance in the NFL. I expected about 4 wins this year, then maybe 8-8 next year. Now that we're looking at 10, maybe 11 wins, 8-8 next year wouldn't seem so good. But I think it's certainly possible. The point is the a solid foundation is being laid, and I'm very optimistic about the next 10 years or so, but we shouldn't panic if there's a slight drop-off next year.

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That's a good question.

 

There are a lot of things that will be addressed in the off-season before one can being to vision how next season plays out. It could be more of this season. It could be better, it could be worse. 

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The scary part is going to be what does this defense look like next year. I doubt freeney is back and over the years both Mathis and freeney have been the rush. I feel like the offense is pretty set up with luck, the wr's (Avery is a ? Return but not a breaker if he leaves) a good enough running stable of Ballard and even brown. We have a solid enough LT with constanza and we can work with AQ at center. Have to replace both guard spots and upgrade the RT spot also but feel like FA can resile 2 of the spots and draft get the 3rd or one of the other guys who went IR to step up and contribute. That's a great part of a rebuilding foundation on offense for me.

Defense is going to require a hopeful return of Chapman and be the player we hoped for before his injury. Going to have to upgrade the SS spot and get better at the end spot in the 3-4 as well as better 3-4 lb spots for both outside spots. Mathis is just too one dimensional to hope he will develop into a drop back guy. It's painfully to see him in coverage.

I don't think you can pick up all these guys in one offseason regardless of how much cap space we have. I just fear with the success this team has had during PM , the excitement of this year and tr really bad quality wins we should have lost, the young team may have some troubles adapting to a 7-9 season next year if it occurs. Not to mention our media will jump on the bandwagon of luck isn't who we thought he was and look at PM winning in Denver etc... We are gonna see but I'm bored so looking at discussion.

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What happens next season? I have no idea since there are answers to this season I dont have handy such as

 

1.How long is Bruce Arians under contract

2.How long is Manusky under contract

3.Where EXACTLY will we be drafting this year

4.Who exactly will become available in FA(Undoubtedly some guys we would like to have on our team will likely get resigned causing plans to change at the drop of a hat even if just slightly change)

 

Now I can tell you what I would do in preparation for next year but not what will happen

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Kinda what a discussion board is for Gavin. Nobody on here knows what will happen for the next game let alone next year, we are fans silly.

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more worried about next week and then i will focus on the following week. you can spend to much time worrying about things that might never come to pass. what if the colts win the superbowl next year? what if, what if, what if. how about we must beat the texans in our house, first?

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So this year has been an unbelievable one and nobody in their right mind expected 10+wins. My question is, what happens to this team next year if we win less and miss the playoffs? If Arians leaves for a HC job and the team struggles next season, will fans and media blame it on HCA Pagano? I honestly think we did the teams future a disservice by getting this far with such a bad team. A rebuild should take 2-3 years and now instead of grabbing some better talent at the top of rounds we are more towards the bottom. We do have a lot of cap cash but it has to be perfect fit players and not just big name players in hopes they fit.

I fear if we have a drop off in production that Pags is going to be blamed and they will say the illness has affected his ability to play this tough game or that the team should have stayed with BA or that Luck isn't the savior everyone claimed him to be. Next season sets up for a critical point in fandom and how the franchise continues to build its base. Just wondered what thoughts of others were on the trap year especially the part of a team losing if BA leaves. BTW, I am not a fan of BA and how he calls the games but results are what it's about.

 

I only see them getting better from here.  But you're right, they could very well go 8-8 next season with a better team. 

 

The 1999 Colts went 13-3, then dropped off the next two years(2001, due to injuries).  But the 1999 season taught them how to win, what it felt like to win, as 2012 has for this group. 

 

I do think they will be in playoff contention next year.  Stay at .500, or a little over, and you always have a shot in the end. 

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I can tell ya what I would do

 

Resign

Donnie Avery

Darius Butler(Nickel competition....possible #2 Corner?)

Winston Justice(Depth at RT)

Antonio Johnson(Depth)

Josh Gordy(Compete for Nickel)

Jeff Linkenbach(Depth at Guard)

Pat Mcafee

A.Q. Shipley(Center depth possible starter)

Matt Overton

Moise Fokou (ILB Depth)

 

Draft

 

1.Chance Warmack/Barrett Jones (Guard) if were sticking with the Man blocking scheme

3.Brandon Jenkins (Pre injury he was one of the best in the nation)

4.Joe Vellano (3-4 DE)

5.Comp pick Brandan Bishop or Kwame Geathers

6.Brandan Bishop or Dan Buckner

7.Keenan Davis or Kenny Okoro

 

Not sure what coaches are on the market next year

 

Have Luck do more roll outs and Playactions

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ap space will open a big window of possibilities. we are not used to going out and getting FA this offseason will be different and we will have the money to do so. so we can just sit back and watch it unfold. I would hope Avery comes back, Butler, D Free if he takes less. there will be some CBs that will be Available. Some Linemen. should be fun. but Barring injury we will be better.

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So this year has been an unbelievable one and nobody in their right mind expected 10+wins. My question is, what happens to this team next year if we win less and miss the playoffs? If Arians leaves for a HC job and the team struggles next season, will fans and media blame it on HCA Pagano? I honestly think we did the teams future a disservice by getting this far with such a bad team. A rebuild should take 2-3 years and now instead of grabbing some better talent at the top of rounds we are more towards the bottom. We do have a lot of cap cash but it has to be perfect fit players and not just big name players in hopes they fit.

I fear if we have a drop off in production that Pags is going to be blamed and they will say the illness has affected his ability to play this tough game or that the team should have stayed with BA or that Luck isn't the savior everyone claimed him to be. Next season sets up for a critical point in fandom and how the franchise continues to build its base. Just wondered what thoughts of others were on the trap year especially the part of a team losing if BA leaves. BTW, I am not a fan of BA and how he calls the games but results are what it's about.

Haters gonna hate... we have overachieved this season, but we should see what happens this postseason, then offseason before we start to get nervous about our expectations and whose to blame for falling short of them... I don't care what Skip Bayless and the rest of the sports media establishment has to say about it... These are OUR COLTS and I will support Pags in 2013 regardless of Ws and Ls.... IMO, a rebuilding team gets 2-3 years of rope before anyone is to blame, regardless of their record in year 1 and let the bandwagon jumpers jump and the haters hate until then... (not calling anyone on here a jumper or hater BTW)

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We're so far ahead of schedule, mostly due to inspired play, that it's hard for me to project where we'll be next season. My expectations would have been for us to challenge in the AFC South next year, have a chance at 10 wins, and be in the hunt for the playoffs. But that's what we've done this year.

 

What our priorities should be are a) improve the offensive line play, and b) improve the pass coverage. If we don't do both of those things, I think we have a six win team. If we do both of those, we're a 9-10 win team, and with some big games, maybe we can win more than that. And that's assuming we get continued development from our youngsters, and that we don't suffer catastrophic injuries.

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Colts fans are generally like pampered children.

If we fail to reach the playoffs next year I believe this board would implode.

The board won't implode. In fact the only thing that will happen is there will be different topics to be read as there always is... And there always will be... Forever... Never understood what people are talking about when saying these boards over react. It's just descussions to me. I've been on these boards for the past 6 seasons. My posts don't say it but we had a switch over and it took them all away lol

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The board won't implode. In fact the only thing that will happen is there will be different topics to be read as there always is... And there always will be... Forever... Never understood what people are talking about when saying these boards over react. It's just descussions to me. I've been on these boards for the past 6 seasons. My posts don't say it but we had a switch over and it took them all away lol

So you're saying this board won't be destroyed by collapsing on itself? You got me there..

As for what looks like discussions to you, then yes, some of it is logical analysis. Some of it is emotional overkill that resembles naive childlike fantasies and delusions. To some here, that last part is also known as "true fandom".

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So you're saying this board won't be destroyed by collapsing on itself? You got me there..

As for what looks like discussions to you, then yes, some of it is logical analysis. Some of it is emotional overkill that resembles naive childlike fantasies and delusions. To some here, that last part is also known as "true fandom".

You will always have overly optimistic everywhere you go. You will have people who are not optimistic enough. Who is to say one is right over the other? This board is not for "logical analysis's" It is for discussion of NFL/Colts football. In what ever way, as long as it is abiding by the rules of the forum, the thread starter decides. The Forum will not collapse on itself. People will come and go. It always has.

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You will always have overly optimistic everywhere you go. You will have people who are not optimistic enough. Who is to say one is right over the other? This board is not for "logical analysis's" It is for discussion of NFL/Colts football. In what ever way, as long as it is abiding by the rules of the forum, the thread starter decides. The Forum will not collapse on itself. People will come and go. It always has.

"Who is to say one is right over the other?" - That's a difference of opinions - a matter of perspective. Neither is right or wrong objectively.

"This board is not for "logical analysis's" It is for discussion of NFL/Colts football." - Logical analysis is part of any reasonable discussion.

"The Forum will not collapse on itself." - You missed the sarcasm. ;)

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I won't worry about next year till next year gets here.
Agree and with the money Grigs has to spend dont need alot of draft picks.FA can feel immediate needs and i have alot of faith in Grigs after this years draft and moves he made.Worry about next year?Not even a little bit
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I could easily see a slide for the Colts next year.  Not unlike what happened with the Colts after Manning got them to 13-3 his second year.  The next year they were 10-6 and then 6-10 before Dungy came in and was the missing peace. 

 

The Colts won a lot of close games this year, 9-1 in one score games.  That means they are a play away from losing a lot of those games.  It's hard to see all those games going the Colts way again next year.  With that said when you look at the fact they don't have a lot of key free agents and a lot of cash fans have every right to be optimistic and think that the Colts shouldn't be in 10 one score games next year either. 

 

Honestly if you look at the schedule next year it's not too bad.

 

Home:  Texans, Jags, Titans, Broncos, Raiders, Rams, Cards, Bengals (I think I always screw up the same divisional team match ups in terms of which division we host and which one we go too)

 

Road:  Texans, Jags, Titans, Chiefs, Chargers, 49ers, Seahawks, and Miami or the Jets.

 

Of those match ups we are have three extremely hard road games in the 49ers, Seahawks, and Texans.  Yet everyone else we play on the road will be in some form of rebuilding. 

 

At home again a hard game with the Texans but beyond that other than the Broncos and maybe the Bengals no one on the home schedule is that scary. 

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This team will only get better with time and the more we put around Luck the better he will be I expect Luck to have a breakout season next year if we can get the o-line fixed and a WR thats at the least 6 foot 2. There is a chance we loose more games next year but if that happens it will be because of a harder schedule

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Good Question

 

Either the Colts will be fine

 

or

 

Everyone will suffer from a Sophomore slump

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There are a lot of potential doomsday scenarios and perfect world scenarios being thrown around, but they are all speculation. The reality is that we don't yet know how this team will grow and progress. I personally am feeling very optimistic. Regardless, we're in the playoffs. Lets worry about next year, well, next year. In case no one remembers, it was a 9-7 wildcard team that won the superbowl last year. All that matters in the playoffs is who comes to play. Personally, I feel as though Luck has a tendency to be at his best when it matters most. I concede nothing for this season. I say we build a chip on our shoulder, ride the momentum of Pag's return, hope Arians can get crafty with the playcalling as a result of not having HC duties anymore, and go smack some teams in the face on the road. GO COLTS!

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Next year is only a few weeks away...the combine then the draft. So, that being said i think we still have upgrades to make along the offensive and defensive line as well as in both backfields.

 

I feel pretty confident that Freeney will not be back. Mathis seems to have fit in pretty well at his new spot. Freeney not so much. So, I think DE/OLB is a big need. Some of the FA corners that Grigson brought in stepped up big time this year. Can they continue to produce?

 

I also think that RB is an area that can be addressed. We need some speed back there to go with the bruisers that we already have. I think Donald Brown has seen his last game as a Colt. On the other side of the coin I think we are very well set at WR and TE.

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    • I have to agree with this sentiment.    I was worried they/he rushed back from injury too soon. I hope it's not career ending. Even though he was a division rival, I've always liked how he carried himself on and off the field. I wish him the best.
    • But he didn't, despite the narrative.    Grigson drafted 4 receivers in 4 years: Hilton (3rd), Brazill (6th), Moncrief (3rd), Dorsett (1st).    In the same time period, he drafted 6 OL: Anderson (7th), Thornton (3rd), Holmes (4th), Mewhort (2nd), John (7th), Good (7th).   Then this year, he drafted 4 more OL, including Kelly in the 1st. In five years, that's 4 receivers, 10 OL. Even "early" picks -- which to me is first and second rounders -- is 2 OL, 1 WR. Add in the third round, and it's still 3 OL and 3 WRs.   Grigson largely failed to fix the OL for four years, no question. But it's not because he didn't try, and it's definitely not because he spent too many picks on receivers. 
    • I worry about many things, but Dorsett isn't one of them.
    • Wouldn't a PS player have to remain on the team for 3 weeks? So when Jones came back next week someone else would have to be cut
    • In theory, yes, the Colts at their best could probably beat any team in the league. The offense would have to avoid mistakes, the defense would have to tackle well, and they'd probably still need some help from the other team in the form of missed opportunities (Rivers missed 3-4 TD throws on Sunday). They could get hot, stay healthy, and knock some teams off. It would be awesome if they were humming in December and January and made it to the Super Bowl, but don't hold your breath.    In practice, this year's Colts are a second tier team, at best. The OL is a work in progress (positive things are on the way, I believe, but the protection is still leaky and the run blocking is even further off), the QB and receivers aren't consistently on the same page. The defense can't cover the middle and can't consistently rush the passer. The coaching staff hasn't proven that they have the ability scheme and strategically minimize these weaknesses AND maximize the obvious strengths. In fact, in the biggest test of this ability -- late in the Denver game -- the coaching staff blew it.   If the Colts were able to play to their full potential every single week, and stay healthy, and if the coaching staff pushed the right buttons every game and in every situation, you might have a 13-3 team with a first round bye. But even then, you're probably looking at the 2010/2012 Falcons; that team even won a playoff game, but wasn't a great team, and quickly regressed (4-12 in 2013, a year after going to the NFCCG). This team appears more likely to play below expectations than to exceed expectations, sadly. Just not enough playmakers, especially on defense.   The hope is that the last two draft classes keep going in the right direction, and you get another two draft classes that pan out. Doesn't mean the Colts aren't trying to contend in the meantime, but it's going to be a couple years before the Colts will be considered one of the top teams in the league. And that's assuming things go well and the staff does the right things over the next two offseasons, which isn't a given.
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