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A team to be reckoned with

Greatness, defined.
Photo by Donald Miralle/Getty Images

I agree with BSanders37:

I'm definitely bummed by this news, but in a way it takes all the pressure off the Colts. Now everyone will write us off and no one will expect anything from us. If most of our other injured guys get healthy this team can play free and loose, much like in last year's playoffs when we were expected to fall to Baltimore.

All the pressure's on the Patriots now. I'm not saying we will beat them or Pittsburgh in the playoffs, but I am saying that this team relishes the role of the underdog. And I'd say right now we're definitely the underdog.

Couldn't put it any better. While others will likely write Indy off and start stroking Pittsburgh's or Dallas' collective johnsons, the Colts will fly under the radar and hopefully heal up in time for the playoffs if they are fortunate enough to get there (which they should). And while we are all struggling to make sense of the Freeney injury, it's important to note that many of the observations we've made since the Patriots game were also made by more "established" media. Everyone wants to pick New England, Dallas, Pittsburgh, etc. And while literally anything can happen between now and the playoffs, I've learned more about the Colts in these two loses than I did in the wins so far. And I'm not the only one.

Take Dr. Z from SI, a normally brain dead, goat of a columnist made a very interesting and insightful observation, which he dedicated an entire column to: Peyton Manning's performance Sunday night was one of the guttiest performances he's ever seen in 5 billion years of watching football:

I don't think that someday Peyton Manning, if he's sitting around with some old sportswriter, will classify that six interception night as one of his best. I wouldn't, either. It belongs in a different category, a different type of greatness, the ability to organize any group he ever finds himself on the field with into a striking force that at least can bring a tough game a heartbeat away from victory.
I'm sure it was one he'd like to forget. But for people such as me, with long memories, it was very special.
Funny, but I remember someone else also saying Manning's performance was also one of the greatest of his career. Who was that guy? Oh yeah... IT WAS ME! And Dr. Z and I aren't alone in our Manning man love, 6 INTs and all. Quinn Hillyer of the American Spectator also thinks like we do when it comes to Manning's performance. Yeah, yeah, yeah, it's a political site, but toss aside the dumb ass political talk and focus in on this bit:
Remind me, again, what that was about how the NFL is all about parity. Not. Two teams seem so far and away the cream of the crop that it's if they were in a different universe, while another team is still winless after nine weeks and two others have just one win. As for the top two, everybody knows how amazingly strong the New England Patriots are. But (and this adds a note of the bizarre to the whole season), just how amazing are the Indianapolis Colts? Have you EVER heard of a team, playing against another squad that is likely playoff bound (i.e., not at all a pushover opponent) that gives up not one but two kick-(or punt-) return touchdowns, whose quarterback throws SIX interceptions (at least three of which were not really his fault, but that's another story), who has a 100-yard interception return by its linebacker called all the way back because of an "inadvertent whistle," and whose kicker (generally considered one of the two or three best kickers in NFL history) misses not one but two short-to-mid-distance field goals, and whose usually unflappable coach utterly wastes a time-out in what even he later admitted was a really dumb decision -- and yet, after all those disasters, still loses a nationally televised game by only two points??!?!???

Now THAT is a team to be reckoned with.

Naturally, I agree Quinn. There is no team in this league that scares me; not New England, Pittsburgh, Dallas, or anyone else. This Colts team can walk into any buildings and lay a whopping on anybody. They are tougher than the team in 2005. They are deeper than the 2004 team. They have displayed a resilience and determination I have never seen in a Colts team. They just seem to have no fear, and why should they? They physically dominated New England. They played the worst game of their season so far in SD, and still should have won. Despite the loss of Freeney, this defense and this team can flat out kick your butt, and people are scared to play them.

If you write them off, if you now claim you have the "inside track" on them, you are inviting them to kick your ass, which they are more than capable and willing to do.