Listen, I'm as big a homer as there is for the Colts. I'm the idiot that says Marvin Harrison is better than Randy Moss, Tony Dungy is a better coach than Bill Belichick, and Peyton Manning craps bigger than Tom Brady. But, I don't think I'd ever say the 2007 Colts are one of the best teams in the modern salary cap era.
But, for some weird reason, ESPN writer Mike Sando thinks the 2007 Colts are one of the best teams of the last 8 years; better even than (gasp!) the Patriots?
No team since 2000, save for the 2001 Rams, has approached their level of dominance. Those Rams lost in the playoffs only when faced with a New England defense that allowed only 17 points per game during the regular season. The Patriots won that Super Bowl, 20-17.
Very few current teams fit into the same class defensively. The Colts, Steelers and Bucs come closest. Each allowed fewer than 17 points per game during the season. Green Bay (18.2) was better than Dallas (20.3) among teams that also fared well in the 10 categories correlated to winning, but the conversation keeps coming back to Indianapolis.
The Colts finished this season ranked third among all teams since 2000 in the 10 categories most strongly correlated to winning. Dallas ranked 12th, Green Bay 20th -- highest among current NFC teams.
But these Colts also led the league in scoring defense. That gives them an edge.
In any case, the stats show the Colts as a very formidable team, but we all know that team stats are very misleading.