Monday, January 14, 2008

Are The Colts Actually Any Good?

I mean, of course they're good, but are they really an elite team? Historically, up until last year, they had been a disappointment with regards to the postseason, frequently being upset by lower-seeded teams, from a 41-0 drubbing against the Jets in wild card weekend in 2002 to the mistake-laden game against the Steelers in the 2005 divisional round. They won the Super Bowl last year, but do you really remember them getting anybody's best shot? The Ravens managed to win 13 games in the regular season but then couldn't do anything against a mediocre Colts defense. The Colts/Patriots game from the playoffs last year was one for the ages, but neither team played particularly well; the game was entertaining because of its back-and-forth nature.

Listen, I slurp the Colts as much as most people. I think Peyton Manning is the best quarterback in football, and it's obvious that Reggie Wayne and Joseph Addai are superstars. While my buddy Lu (and countless others) are more impressed with Bob Sanders than I am, there's no question he's a difference-maker for that defense. And though I didn't give him credit a few years ago, Tony Dungy is a hell of a football coach, leading his teams to the playoffs in 10 of the past 12 years. That's Cowher-esque.

But go talk to a Colts fan, and you'll find that they've endured the football equivalent of a generation of disappointment. After yesterday's loss to a depleted Chargers team, there can be little doubt that, despite "exorcising the demons" last year, this Colts team is not a playoff juggernaut. They are the same team they've been for the past 6+ years: a great regular season team.

Don't get me wrong, they fooled me, too. I thought the Colts were the real deal after last year, and agonized over whether or not to pick them to win the Super Bowl prior to the most recent iteration of Joe & Joe Sports (which you can listen to by clicking the link on the right). But I'm done with them. Last year was an anomaly, and we can expect them to continue to disappoint in the playoffs going forward.

Sorry Sam, but empirical data doesn't lie. And the data says the Colts are no Super Bowl team.

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