Colts @ Ravens, 1 o'clock Sunday
Houston is probably the most pissed off. They thought the division would be theirs with little competition this season and in the future.
Colts/Texans will definitely be one of the better division rivalries in the NFL for years to come and it'll actually make things interesting. We used to always run away with it more often than not and now we actually have competition.
Tennessee and Jacksonville are and will likely remain the cellar dwellers of the AFC South.
I'm still amazed at this season and continue to be thankful for what the Colts have had. The Dungy/Manning years were special and I think we all knew Luck was going to be special. I think Coach Pagano will also be special for this city. This adversity will build a stronger foundation for Coach Pagano and this team, imo. He should be successful but I think he can have a greater impact beyond the field similar to what Dungy had. That is rare in sports.
Just looking at the playoff matchups and there are some great stories. The media should love this.
- Houston vs Cincinnati. A rematch of last year. Should be a good game
- Green Bay vs Minnesota. Division foes.
- Indianapolis vs Baltimore. Chuck's battle, the Colt's turnaround from last season, and the fact that Chuck coached Baltimore's defense last year. There is lots of stuff here.
It is still crazy to think about where the Colts were last year and where they are now. I mean who would have thought that they would have top candidates for Rookie of the Year (ok we all saw this one), GM of the Year, and Coach of the Year (only be Bruce Arians and not Chuck Pagano)? This is just amazing.
We have a superbowl QB and now we need a superbowl team. I don't care whether Luck is better than RGIII or not.
I want the best team and the best quarterback. I just don't think there's anything wrong with earning an award. Of course I still want Indy to do well on the whole.
I want the same but do not want Luck to try to be Peyton.
Luck is letting Ballard run the ball to score TDs when he could be throwing 2 yarders as he did today and get the TD himself. I think Luck is doing everything just right and not padding his stats. Perhaps he won't get as many MVPs but maybe more SB appearances.
I don't want him to be Peyton, either.
When Pagano said it wasn't in their DNA to rest starters, he was clearly sending a message that a new era of Colts football had arrived. Under this new regime, we are going to give our best every week like a professional football team should. I love the change in attitude and I am so thankful for Grigs and Pagano. I am also so appreciative for the job that Arians did.
I think Irsay deserves a ton of credit. I think people underestimate him. I think he has unfairly been viewed by many as this guy who inherited a franchise at a young age and got lucky when his team drafted Peyton Manning. There's no doubt that we've had some nice luck, but I think Irsay knows what he's doing. After all of the successful years we had, I think Irsay knows how a championship organization conducts itself and he hired people this year who he thought could keep the organization in elite position. Firing Polian and releasing Manning took some major stones, but the organization has come out intact. Irsay has completely rebuilt his football team and they are positioned to be very successful for the next decade plus. He took some major control of his football team this year and his moves paid off. I think he is a fantastic owner.
What else can you say about this season? It was incredible in every way imaginable. I've never been so pleasantly surprised about a sports team I've followed. Lucas was rocking yesterday and it's great to see that our fan base is going to remain strong without Manning. I've said for years that while people may have initially become fans because of Manning, they more importantly became Indianapolis Colts fans in the process. You may have some fans who followed Manning out the door, and I hope they never again come back, but most people did the right thing and kept rooting for the home team during this massive transition period.
I left Indy after the game yesterday and on I-65 you see a lot of cars with Colts stuff on them that have Kentucky license plates. It makes sense though because the Louisville media market has favored the Colts over the Bengals for the last 10 or so years now, with the exclusion of last year. People in Kentucky and the Southern Indiana area that gets Louisville TV have watched a ton of Colts games over the years and have grown fond of the team. There is Colts stuff everywhere in Southern Indiana near Louisville. The Southern Indiana area has been very important to the Colts. I know a ton of people from that area who go up to games.
Last edited by Sollozzo; 12-31-2012 at 12:33 PM.
To add on a bit more to my point above: If we had pulled the starters and rolled over on Sunday, then what kind of message would that have sent the Texans? They would have viewed us as being cowardly pushovers who had no trouble handing their division rival the number one seed in front of their hometown fans. You don't want that kind of reputation in the NFL. Instead, we won and dropped them from the number 1 seed to the number 3 seed. We really screwed up their positioning. The Texans aren't going to forget that the division rival Colts prevented them from getting the number 1 seed that they worked so hard for. Thus, we are going to be in their heads next season and you better believe that they are going to be a bit scared of us. So not only was Sunday's win wasn't just a W for this season, but it also was a mental win for future years.
I just love that our new regime tries to win every game like professionals should. They wanted to win not only for the team, but also for the fans, many of whom probably got tickets as Christmas presents. A full effort isn't too much to ask when you are paying to see professional football.
Last edited by Sollozzo; 01-01-2013 at 11:54 AM.
To followup on Sollozzo's point... The Colts now get to enter the playoffs following arguably their best and most complete game of the season.
Nuntius was right for a while. I was wrong for a while. But ultimately I was right and Frank Vogel has been let go.
"A player who makes a team great is more valuable than a great player. Losing yourself in the group, for the good of the group, thatís teamwork."
It's even 'funnier' that this easy win we all expected didn't come at Kansas with them being bad team and all but against Houston. We'll take it.