If you would have told me that a little over halfway through the season the Colts would have been 6-3 and primed for a playoff birth, I would have said you were drunk or high or both. But as crazy as that sounds, its true. The Colts went from 2-14 and one of the worst teams in the league to playoff contention in less than one year. Crazy!! Nobody saw that coming. Nobody. If you did, you are lying. Before the season I said the colts would go 6-10 this season and 8-8 next year, competing for a wildcard spot. People thought I was crazy when I said they would win 6 games.The Colts skipped to the next year.
This year is a special year, one that us Colts fans will remember for a long time. They are on a magical run, one no one saw coming. They are the Cinderella Story, the feel good story of the year, the surprise team, etc. These Colts have a lot of grit, a lot of fight, and a no quit attitude. They get that from their head coach.
As you all know, Coach Chuck Pagano is battling Leukemia and recently got the news that its in remission. The best news of the year. Pagano is a fighter and the Colts feed off of that. That bought into Chuck and what he was doing all off season, training camp, and at the start of the season. All the players love him, the coaches love him, everyone loves him. It has shown the last month and a half. The Colts are no longer playing for themselves, they are playing for their coach, who is in a battle himself each and every day. The players are playing inspired football, battling on the field for their coach, united to win for their ailing coach. That is more motivation than any coach can give.
There are only two reasons the Colts are in the position they are in: Pagano and Andrew Luck. If you look at the roster, the stats, where they rank in offensive and defensive catagories. They shouldn't be three games above .500 and competing for a playoff birth. The defensive backfield is extremely thin and not very good. They are allowing 65% completions, and have the 32nd ranked DVOA. The pass rush is not existent with Mathis on the sidelines, making the corners and safeties worse than they really are.
The offense isn't much better. The running game has gotten better that last few week, with the o-line finally opening up some holes, but it is inconsistent. The o-line isn't very good either. Luck is getting hit constantly and running for his life every time he goes back to pass. Luck has an uncanny ability to feel the pressure, step away, use his athleticism , and make a play. More times than not, Luck bails out his o-line. Can you imagine Manning behind this line? He wouldn't last the year.
Despite all of this, the Colts are having a special season and they can thank one man for that: Andrew Luck. He is unbelievable, has great awareness in the pocket, and is amazingly accurate under duress and on the run. He is the difference between last year and this year. Last year, they found ways to lose close games. This year, they win them. Just look at Luck's game vs the Dolphins. He goes 30-48 for 433 yards, which is a rookie record, with little help from the running game.
The thing that makes Luck's game more amazing is that he was 13 of 19 on third down. The dolphins are a top 5 defense and the best d on third down. Even more impressive is that 6 of the 13 conversions were 10 yards or more. The dolphins had no answers for Luck, something that will happen more and more often as Luck continues his great career. Want to see how much more impressive Andrew Luck has been? He already has four 300 yard games, four fourth quarter comebacks, and is doing it all with one legit WR (Wayne) and a bunch of newbies, including fellow rookies Allen, Fleener, and Hilton. He is also on pace to break the rookie passing and TD records. He is basically doing what Cam Newton did last year, but winning. Luck is going to be a star in this league and an elite QB for the next fifteen years. The kid is that special. And he's only getting better.
To make this Cinderella season even better, if the season ended today, the Colts would face the Broncos in the first round of the playoffs. How perfect would that be? One year after releasing the greatest colt of all time and one of the best QBs to ever play the game, the Colts are back in it with another QB phenom. Unreal. Steven Spielburg couldn't right it any better than that. It's a story meant for the movies, not real life. But as impossible as it seems, it's real. This team is clawing and scratching its way back into contention.
And they can give a huge thanks to Andrew Luck.
This has been a fun season to watch. They are getting better each and every week and you can see the giant leaps they make as each week passes. As I watched Luck shred the dolphins D, I said that he had arrived. He got it. I actually thought that a few weeks ago, but the other rookies just needed to catch up. Well, they have and its showing. So sit back and enjoy this unbelievable ride the Colts are on right now. This is turning into a very special season, one that has no rhyme or reason as to how they are 5-3 right now. But they are.
Each week, the Colts do the impossible, exceed expectations, and are down right entertaining. There are moments that make you shake your head, but then they make a remarkable play. They fight, scratch, and claw their way to wins, fighting for each other, and fighting for their coach.
This season has been fun and we still have seven more games to go.