The playoffs are here. Since the very beginning of the season, we have all maintained that no one will care what the Colts do during the regular season. They won 9 in a row to start the season, the first time a team has started 9-0 in consecutive seasons since Curly Lambeau (that's the guy they named that field after in Green Bay- you've heard of it I'm sure).
The Colts won 9 in a row, and no one cared.
Peyton Manning had a tremendous regular season. More so than any other season, he carried this team. Despite a weak defense that can't get the other team's offense off the field, Manning was the model of efficiency. His offense got the fewest snaps in football, yet still dominated (27 ppg, amazing red zone and third down rating).
Still, no one cared.
The Colts replaced Edgerrin James with Joseph Addai and Dominic Rhodes, and the running game didn't miss a beat. Addai especially came into his own, leading all rookies with over 1,000 yards rushing.
No one could care.
It is all about what the Colts do right now, and make no mistake, despite the Vegas odds and all the prognostications, NO ONE expects the Colts to beat the Chiefs.
The Chiefs sport RB Larry Johnson, a dominant offensive line, and the will to cram the football right down your throat until it hits you square in the balls! The Colts sport one of the worst run defenses in NFL history. They surrender 173 yards rushing a game on average, and a heart-attack-inducing 5.3 yards a rush. For media pundits and wannabe funny guys that like to think people give a shit about what they write, this game is a no-brainer.
Chiefs will maul them. No surprises. No intrigue. Chiefs will kill the Colts, sending them into another off-season of questions.
I will go out on a limb here folks. A limp so far and so long that it is very possible it will break and I'll fall flat on my face and look like a big, fat schmuck doing so: The Colts will indeed beat the Chiefs, and beat them badly. The Colts will then beat every other team they face in the playoffs and win the Super Bowl.
I have no logic for this line of thinking. Logically, the Colts should have won it all last year, and a team like Pittsburgh (6th seed limping into the playoffs), should have lost to Cincy, Indy, Denver, or Seattle. But logic and the playoffs have nothing in common. What you think will happen doesn't, and what does happen often makes a lot of people look stupid. Hey, I might as well join the party.
The Colts will beat the Chiefs, and then they will play their next playoff game in Baltimore for the first time since the Baltimore fans abandoned the Colts, thus prompting them for Indy. The Colts will then beat the Ravens, and then square off in the AFC Championship game against... the Patriots. Yes folks. The Patriots will beat the heavily favored San Diego Chargers, and they will face the Colts in the AFC Championship Game in Indianapolis. The Colts will beat New England (again), and thus make the Super Bowl. A road through the AFC like this is storybook: Beleaguered run defense against Larry Johnson; Colts in Baltimore for the playoffs; Colts against Patriots in AFC Championship Game. In one swoop, all playoff demons get exorcized.
The Colts will then face the New Orleans Saints in the Super Bowl, a team Peyton Manning's father once played for. Drew Brees is an Indiana legend, having played his college ball at Purdue.
That's the road to the Super Bowl. My predictions are not logical.
I could say history is on the Colts side, but that might not mean a thing. The Colts went 8-0 at home this season. The last time they did that they won the NFL Championship in 1958. Peyton Manning led the league in QB rating for the fourth straight year. The last QB to do that was Steve Young, and the year he did it his team won the Super Bowl. But, my predictions aren't based on history. They are based solely on blind homerism, and a sense that this year is different. For whatever reason, these playoffs don't feel like the playoffs of old. Often, the Colts are expected to win, and when they don't the media machine comes down hard on them. Now, no one expects them to win. Like the Steelers last year and the St. Louis Cardinals in the MLB playoffs this past season, no one expects the Colts to go very far. They have limped into these playoffs with a porous run defense, a damaged psyche, and lots of question marks. No one expects them to venture past the Chiefs. Will the team use this as motivation? Is this why Dungy has closed practice all week? Who knows.
That's my stance on it. The Colts will win it all. If I'm wrong, I'm wrong and I look like an idiot. I could care. It's not the first time. But, if I'm right, then the folks at Deadspin, ESPN, and pretty much any other media outlet better be prepared to feel my wrath, because none of them really gives Indy a chance. When Indy wins it all, these turds better watch out, because BigBlueShoe will open up a salvo so shocking that the writers for those respective media outlets will duck under their desks, suck their thumbs, and cry for mommy.