My view of where the Colts are right now is that this season's opportunity for a playoff spot is still very alive, given the
relative weakness of their AFC South opponents. There may be some improvement as more of the injured starters return, and the team will need this to have any chance should they win the division. A 10-6 or even a 9-7 record is possible. Tennessee and Houston are self-destructing, so the key game beyond San Diego is the rematch with the glitter kittys. The Colts are showing grit, but the level of injuries has disrupted this team more than in any year since 2001. On top of that, because they have drafted very late year after year, the system has finally brought significant failures to Polian's drafts since 2007. Three key positions, LOT, DT and CB are still mediocre at best, and I'm still waiting for Jerry Hughes to do something.
My goal for the Colts is not for them to make the playoffs. I'm only interested in Super Bowl rings. Drafting late year after year has only produced one ring. I notice that the Steelers have a couple of mediocre seasons, load up on good draft picks, and win a ring. Then they repeat the process. The Patriots seem to be doing the same thing. Polian is still doing a better job with his picks, but he seems to be unable to complete building this team. If the Colts do finish at 9-7, they may have a shot at that elusive LOT. That could lead to a future Super Bowl. Manning will possibly play for five or six more years, as he wants all of Favre's records. This gives Polian a shot at finishing the job.
HOWEVER, there is a unique situation coming up that could drastically alter the effect of a 9-7 season this year. The likely owner's lockout next year which would wipe out the 2011 season. My question for all of you is-if the season IS wiped out, and football resumes in 2012, will the 2012 draft be based on the 2010 results? Polian could gain a double bonus by drafting in the middle of each round two years in a row. In theory, this could allow the remaining holes in the team to be filled with quality players, and Peyton could finish his career with 2 or 3 rings. What do YOU think is the best strategy for Polian? I am still hopeful.