were thought to be a rebuilding team until around 2014/2015. Strangely enough, however, the Colts are now in a win-now mentality. With the Colts entering their second year with a Peyton-Manningless squad, a fresh General Manager in Ryan Grigson, a rookie NFL head coach (their third Head Coach since Tony Dungy if you include interim Bruce Arians) and a total roster overhaul from their AFC Championship
2009/10 team, the new era has kick off in a surprising, but successful fashion.
Colts, at present, are not even close to the best team in the NFL. They have players that still have to gel together first and players that are still developing. But, history shows us it does not matter if you are the best team or not to win the Superbowl
. You just have to be a threat.
Let me use Vegas odds as an example (whilst it is definitely is not the most accurate picture of who the best team is, it shows who the consensus elite teams are). For 2014, Vegas has New England at 5/1, 49ers
at 6/1, Broncos
at 6/1, Seattle at 7/1, Packers at 12/1 and Houston at 12/1 and Falcons
at 16/1. Vegas is not the only source that seems to favor these teams to win the Superbowl
...Colts are tied at 11th at 30/1.
However, even though Colts may not be the most complete team and are not seen as the biggest threat to win the Superbowl, it is certainly within their range. The odds for the past 6 Superbowl winners was 20.5/1 per Vincent Frank's article
. If this trend continues, that means that the Pittsburgh Steelers
(who have odds of 20/1 this year) should expect to win, who are hardly perceived to be elite with more complete teams around them, and the Colts and 5 other teams (who are tied at 30/1) follow them. Continuing the underdog trend is the fact that in the big game, the 'Vegas underdog' have won 4 of the past 6 Superbowls
(the only 'Vegas favorites' in the Superbowl who won were the Green Bay Packers
over Pittsburgh in 2010/11 and Pittsburgh Steelers who beat Arizona in 2008/09. In the 2007/2008 Superbowl, Giants
were a massive 12 point underdogs and surprised the then under-defeated Patriots
These odds suggest one thing: that solid/ teams perceived to be a non elite team can most certainly win the Superbowl. The 2008/09 Steelers, who were 25/1, won. There is no reason why the 30/1 Colts can't in 2013/2014.
Three reasons (quite straight forward) for these teams causing surprises include:
THE PRESENCE OF A FRANCHISE QB
, Ben Roethlisberger
, Drew Brees
, Aaron Rodgers
and Joe Flacco
have been the Quarterbacks to hold the Lombardi trophy the past 6 years. Besides Drew Brees (the first pick of the second round), all these QBs were selected in the first round and all of these guys were seen as Franchise potential. And they have fulfilled that role. The Colts have Andrew Luck
, who can definitely (and is almost certain to) develop into a franchise QB as the surrounding hype, his first overall pick status and his rookie season points to this. Thus, that is one criteria fulfilled: having a QB who can carry a team, which most teams don't have.
FREAK AND LUCK PLAYS (not luck as in the player Andrew, but rather the act of having good fortune)
There have been so many examples of plays from the eventual SB winning teams in the past 6 years where I can't explain how some plays eventuate. Whilst some of these happen in the actual big game, such as: the Tyree catch
, the Holmes tip- toe catch
, the famous onside kick
(you make me cry Hank), a great pick 6
, freakish (which have some sort of luck too) happen before the SB, to give these champs a shot to win. 2 Fumbles from Kyle Williams was largely the blame for San Francisco being surprised (at home, in the NFC Championship
) to the eventual champs in the Giants. Ravens
made some of the lowest percentage plays in their journey to the SB last year. An amazing Ray Rice
reception (and extremely poor defense) on fourth and 29
allowed the Ravens to escape with a win. If they had lost that game, their Wildcard game wouldn't of been a home field match vs a rookie QB, it would of been an away game, against Houston (a rematch of a wk7 43-13 thumping- i know regular season and playoff season are total different entities, but having a victory like that is hard to ignore) Things could have been very very different and Ravens may not of even got past wild card if that reception hadn't occurred, as they would have had to verse a tougher opponent on the road. The plays for Ravens didn't stop there for Ravens. I don't think I have to explain the Rocky Mountain Rainbow- the commentators in the game
did a good job of it. Good news for Colts is that they too have dynamic receivers and a talented QB to pull of freak plays and you only have to look at the 2012 comebacks and game-winning drives as evidence. The luck component, however, is arbitrary for all teams and is very much needed.
THE TEAMS HAVE HAD A DETERMINATION TO WIN
It's self explanatory. The SB winners have had a mentality that they want it more than anything and they have kept focus. There has been incidents of silly guarantees or locker room/media circuses (which deteriorated the Jets
, who in fact made the 2009 and 2010 AFC Championship games). The teams who have won the past few years have had attitudes to win. Whether it's because of a tough, intimidating attitude (Steelers and Ravens- them front sevens they had were scary) or an aggressive offense (Packers) or pure heart to perform in the clutch (Eli's drives and the pass rush vs Brady) or even an unethical bounty (Saints
), the teams have had a winning culture. With the Colts instilling 'COLTSTRONG' and 'BUILDING THE MONSTER' in 2012/13, it was a positive step to gaining the culture to win now and the determination to win. Besides Brazill, the Colts haven't had too much silly, off-field issues in the past few years (the 2012 Lions
), showing that they are disciplined. Even being active in free agency shows the Colts want it now. It wasn't a rebuilding, passive attitude this offseason (Jaguars
). Colts, by these actions, have been showing the NFL nation that they want to win now.
To sum up, it does not matter that the Colts may not seem like a legitimate SB winning/elite team as the past winners have not necessary been the most complete or best team in the NFL. Crazy things happen in the NFL and Colts have enough talent to win next year and it is positive that they are acting to win now. Therefore, Superbowl or Bust should be/is the attitude.
This is a FanPost and does not necessarily reflect the views of Stampede Blue's writers or editors. It does reflect the views of this particular fan though, which is as important as the views of Stampede Blue's writers or editors.