Since 2000, the Indianapolis Colts have been a one and done team in the playoffs 8-of-12 times. Of the four times the Colts advanced, they reached the Super Bowl twice (winning once), and were stopped by the New England Patriots the other two times.
Yes, this team is without Peyton Manning and has a whole new look on the defensive side with Chuck Pagano‘s 3-4 defensive scheme, but this is the same team that was manhandled last postseason in the Wild Card round by the Baltimore Ravens 24-9. While the Colts continue to turn the franchise in a new direction, much has not changed from a year ago.
The Colts are without veteran leader Reggie Wayne, and have been decimated by injuries all year long. Their IR list keeps getting longer as the year goes on with the likes of Pat Angerer, Chris Rainey, Daniel Herron, Mario Harvey, Delano Howell, Ahmad Bradshaw, Donald Thomas and Dwayne Allen, all who were supposed to have significant contributions this year. Their injury list is enough to almost fill an entire roster if you include how many other players have missed games that have not gone onto IR, yet the Colts still found a way to win the division and secure a playoff spot, albeit from playing in one of the league’s weakest divisions.
The Colts’ likely opponent in the first round will be the Ravens or the Miami Dolphins. The Ravens are winners of four in a row and boast the league’s toughest red zone defense and the ninth overall defense. The Dolphins have already beaten the Colts in Indianapolis this season, and have won 3 in a row. Both squads have played exceptionally well over the last few weeks, while the Colts have seem to have lost their identity. The Ravens and Dolphins have the firepower on offense and the tough defense to come into Indianapolis and walk out as Wild Card winners, and that is exactly what both will do if either make it into the playoffs.
Some say that if we do not learn from our history, we are doomed to repeat it. Well, the Colts need a history lesson soon, or they will be a one and done team in the playoff for the ninth time since 2000.