The Indianapolis Colts came out Sunday night and made one thing clear: They are contenders.
Sure, it was an up and down game they almost let go, and sure they are not the favorites, but this is yet another example of the Colts beating a top team and at a certain point that has to mean something. Now after beating the Denver Broncos there is no ignoring that the Colts may be a top NFL team. The transformation has been much faster than anyone could have foreseen. This team is even better than last year and its trajectory is certainly pointing up.
Last year the Colts were 11-5 but honestly did not seem to deserve it. They had the point differential of a seven-win team and won a lot of fluke games. It showed in the playoffs and many statistical analysts felt vilified because of it. Well, this year they are legit. Andrew Luck’s development has been incredible and this defense has improved significantly too. Their man defense against some of the best receivers in the league was top notch Sunday night. The ability to play man defense and let Robert Mathias and the defensive line get the quarterback will be key for the Colts going forward. If they can continue to do it they should be in good shape, but if the plethora of injuries turn out worse than expected it could be hard. However, with this start it is not hard to imagine the Colts even improving on last year’s record.
It is still hard to call them the favorites though. With a stacked AFC the Colts will not have a cakewalk through the playoffs. Regardless, their development is clearly showing and they are impossible to ignore as we march toward the playoffs.