Monday, December 15, 2014

Champions for now

And so, once again, the Indianapolis Colts have clinched the AFC South, a perennial event on the level of putting up your Christmas tree, winterizing your car or fertilizing your lawn in the spring.

Which is to say, the AFC South is the Colts and three teams from the SAC. And not three of the good teams from the SAC.

Sunday they ho-hummed their way past the Texans, winning 17-10 against a team missing wide receiver Andre Johnson, tight end Garrett Graham and, after the second quarter, quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick. It was the 12th straight time the Colts have beaten Houston and the 13th time they've beaten the Texans in Indy, against no losses.

Same-old, same-old, in other words.

What's not same-old, same-old is that this Colts team doesn't look, smell or feel anything like the 10-4 team their record says they are.

Yes, they've won four in a row now, but it doesn't feel like it. In their last two games, they've turned the football over six times. They needed a desperation 11th-hour drive to beat sagging Cleveland last week. And they struggled to beat a Texans team that, as mentioned, was missing some important pieces.

Conclusion: This is a team not likely to go much of anywhere in the playoffs, despite the double-digit wins.

Is there anyone out there right now whose face isn't painted royal blue who honestly believes the Colts can go into either Denver or New England, the other division champs, and win? Because this doesn't look like a team that can do that, four-game winning streak or not. And the prospects didn't get any better when T.Y. Hilton, Andrew Luck's primary deep threat, limped off with a dinged hamstring yesterday.

You hate be all Mr. Negative about this. But right now, the Colts look like a team that needs to savor its latest AFC South title. Because no other hardware seems likely to be coming their way.     

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