Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Hey, look, it's the Colts, everybody

And now an earth-shattering event, coming in at 8.5 on the What-He-Never-Says-That scale:

I was wrong.

("What? He never says that," you're saying).

 I was wrong about the Indianapolis Colts.

I was wrong to think they probably wouldn't be as good as they were a year ago, even if they might have a better record against  a weaker schedule.

I was wrong to think Andrew Luck couldn't get any better, couldn't carry more of the load.

I was wrong to think the defense would actually take a step back, given its losses in the secondary and the fact Robert Mathis would have to sit out the first four games.

Well. That sure worked out.

I say this having watched the Colts' D strangle a better-than-average Bengals offense Sunday, shutting out the Who Deys 27-0. It was the Horsies' fifth straight win, and never mind that a couple of those were against the Jaguars and Titans. No matter. For the first time, I looked at the Colts and  saw ... OK, not a Super Bowl team, exactly, but a team that could wind up there without making your eyes bug out in astonishment.

I'm starting to look around the NFL, see, and it's become fairly obvious that viral parity has broken out. There aren't any Lombardi Packers or Shula Dolphins running around out there, nor are the Chuck Noll Steelers putting in an appearance. Mostly it's a lot of pretty-good and hey-they're-not-bad -- except for the Cowboys, who, by virtue of being the Cowboys, are of course a Total Awe-Inspiring Juggernaut simply because they've gone 5-1 against a lot of other pretty-goods and not-bads.

 Which brings us back to the Colts.

If you want to rank 'em, they're one of the pretty-goods. They lead the league in total offense by almost 50 yards per game. They're eighth in total defense and third in points given up per game. And Luck leads the NFL in both passing yards (2,331) and touchdowns (19).

Shoot. They're even ninth in rushing. And who saw that coming?

Not the Blob, surely -- even if it remains a tad skeptical about how well the Colts would fare against some of the other pretty-goods in the league.

More and more, I'm thinking they'd fare OK. I mean, right now. outside of  Denver, who's clearly better in the AFC? And just how clearly better are the Broncos, given that no one in the NFL really seems that much better than anyone else at the moment?

So all hail the Colts. Until they run up against the Total Awe-Inspiring Juggernaut Cowboys, they're as good as anybody.

And in this season's NFL, that's as good as a team can get.


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