Location: RCA Dome Indianapolis, IN
Kick-off time: 1:00 pm ET
Well, here we are. Hard to believe it was five months ago that we were blogging about the opening game of the season. Now, we're blogging about the beginning of Indy's second season and the next phase in Indy's quest to win two Super Bowls in a row. Way back in March, we blogged about what it would take for the Colts to win another Super Bowl. If you go back through that list, you can see that most of those items are solidly in Indy's court.
History is against Indy in this game. In 2004, Pittsburgh had the #1 overall seed in the AFC, and lost in the playoffs to New England. In 2005, they entered the playoffs as a Wildcard team and won it all. In 2005, Indy had the #1 overall seed in the AFC, and lost in the playoff to Pittsburgh. In 2006, they entered the playoffs as a Wildcard team and won it all. This year, San Diego is trying to replicate Pittsburgh's and Indy's success since they stumbled last season despite having the #1 overall seed. Everyone expects an upset today, seeing as both host teams won convincingly yesterday.
The Colts also have many questions to answer: Can they win a game after a first round bye (something they've never done in the Manning era)? Is their roster healthy? Will the rest make them fresh and sharp, or will San Diego execute better since they have been in "playoff mode" for a while now? How will Marvin impact the game? Yesterday, we saw Green Bay's Ryan Grant have some early game jitters against the Seahawks. How will the Colts' players like Ed Johnson, Anthony Gonzalez, and Tony Ugoh react to their first NFL playoff game?
All these questions, and yet, like last season, you get the sense that these playoffs are different; this Colts team is different. Despite the odds, the history, the team's youth, the whatever, this team has shown the power and resiliency needed to win championships against all odds. There is no complacency with this club. They are hungry. They are angry. They want to beat the crap out of someone.
All week, I have had no SB Nation blogger to collaborate with, and it's left me kind of lonely. Fortunately, many of you have chipped in with some excellent diaries and comments.
The playoffs are finally here for us, and as fans we should take the time to enjoy them. Many teams, and many fans, do not get to enjoy playoff football. We get treated on a regular basis. Here's to a good, clean game with no injuries. Here's to Colts playoff football.