But, even though I freely admit I am a genius and a master of all things football-related, I must also confess that my accurate predictions were plain and simple luck. But, what prompted me to write that post was the complete faith I had in the 2006 team. I followed the team. I'd watched them play. I knew, just like many of you, that if they could get their act together on defense, they could beat anyone. And lo and behold they did.
This year, because of popular demand, I will pick the Colts playoff run again. As a fan, there's nothing logical about picking the playoffs. It's why supposed "experts" always look like idiots when they try and pick games. The playoffs are an illogical, Twilight Zone-like environment where anything can, and likely does, happen. Often, the teams that win are the teams that persevere through the weirdness of playoff time. And logic? Logic has no place in the playoffs.
I don't think the NFL quite realizes what it has in store for them. I can tell you outright that the buzz saw that is about to rip through this league is called the Indianapolis Colts. All season long, the defending champs have been overlooked and dismissed despite having a 13-3 record, a tremendous offense, and the #1 scoring defense in football. This kind of slight has eaten at Colts players. It's given them a bad taste that they want to vomit in the face of anyone in their way. Teams that stand in the way of this buzz saw are going to get decimated. The Colts are a force that is going to hit these NFL playoffs so hard Roger Goodell might start docking draft picks from Indy because having such a team improve might destroy NFL parity forever.
All season long, other teams less deserving of attention have gotten praised. As fans, we've come to accept that our team just isn't as interesting as the teams that cheat or have troubled players that do silly TD celebrations. We're just not sexy. Our guys play fair, treat opponents with respect, honor the game, honor its history, and treat every TD as if they'd been there before and plan to get back there soon.
For everyone else, they'd much rather see "Lights Out" dances, offenses running up scores, and coaches who scoff at the end-game, mid-field handshake (a staple of modern professional sportsmanship). At some point, playing like pros got lost. Winning like pros became passe.
The Indianapolis Colts are about to bring it back into style. Here I am going out on a limb again, making silly predictions based on my silly faith in my team: The Colts will beat the Chargers, and beat them badly. They will then beat everyone else they will face in the playoffs and win their second Super Bowl in a row.
The Colts will flat out maul the Chargers in such a way that the league will open its eyes and go "Woah!" ala Keanu Reeves in The Matrix. This win will match-up the Colts in the AFC Championship Game against (drum roll here, please) the New England Patriots in Foxboro.
The Patriots will indeed defeat the Jacksonville Jaguars, and likely the Pats will be riding high after their amazing regular season. However, the Colts will not only defeat the Patriots, but they will embarrass them. Logic does not prompt this prediction; only blind, disgusting homerism. The Colts will utterly crush the Patriots in such a way that every NFL marketing schmuck will jump from their 16th floor 5th Ave. windows. In one AFC run, both regular season loses to these teams will be avenged, and the last of the playoff demons dashed forever.
The Colts will then face the Dallas Cowboys in the Super Bowl, a re-match of Super Bowl 5, which was won by the Colts. And just like Super Bowl 5 (won on a 32-yard FG by Jim O'Brien), Super Bowl 42 will be won by the Colts thanks to an Adam Vinatieri FG.
Again, just like last time, logic and reasoning do not motivate my predictions here. This is not about guessing who is the best. I don't have to guess. I know my team is going to crush everyone they face, opening the eyes of many NFL "experts." If history is any indicator, and often it isn't, then it's important to note that the last time a team started 7-0 for the third straight season (Curly Lambeau's 1931 Packers), they won a championship. Also, the last team to repeat as champions (ironically, the New England Patriots) did so entering the playoffs as the #2 seed, knocking off the #1 seed (Pittsburgh Steelers) after that #1 seed set an NFL record for most regular season wins (Steelers won 15 games in a row in 2004).
What's important to note here is these Colts are not the Colts of old. Hell, this team is not even last year's team. Starters for this team missed a total of 88 games in the regular season. For these playoffs, gone are players like Tarik Glenn, Dominic Rhodes, Anthony McFarland, Dwight Freeney, Nick Harper, Jason David, Rob Morris, Cato June, and Terrence Wilkins; all very key players in last season's march to Super Bowl glory. Logic dictates that losing such key people (either through free agency, retirement, or injury during the 2007 season) makes it virtually impossible for a team like Indy's to defeat the Chargers (who had very little roster turnover in 2007) or the Patriots (who dramatically improved their roster). Once again, this is the playoffs, and these Colts turned a big corner last season. I have never seen a more resilient team play football in the modern cap era. I don't think this team is phased by anything, and they are coming into these playoffs with a big time ax to grind.
So, there are my predictions. The Colts will win it all, again! And they will do so in impressive fashion. These are not your Colts from 2003, 2004, or 2005. We saw it all season long. There is no let up. There are no excuses. There is only tough, hard-nosed, professional football played by the Indy Colts. This is an opportunity to show that a team can dominate and do so in a classy, professional manner. Just like last season, when Tony Dungy proved that coaches who treat players like men can win, this year the Colts will show that a team can dominate if it plays by the rules and is respectful of the opponent. You will notice that the teams in Indy's run are clubs notorious for playing without class. This run is about defining the identity of what a true NFL champion is. Expect Dungy to add wrinkles to playoff game plans. Expect starters to play on special teams. Expect the defense to make an even bigger statement that last year's playoff performance was no fluke. Expect the Colts to do what they always do: Win with class.
I don't think the NFL is ready for the beating the Colts are going to place on its playoff opponents. A lot of media outlets, like the "fine" journalists at ESPN, SI (especially Peter "Man Whore" King), and even our good friends at Deadspin have crowned other teams long before a snap was made in the NFL post-season. When Indy wins its second world championship in a row, you can expect yours truly to remind these media outlets of their premature coronation. We will remind them to never, ever underestimate the heart of a champion. We will remind them the our team is indeed a team for the ages, because somewhere along the way they forgot to pay us any mind. Big, big mistake. Like the NFL teams the Colts are about to destroy, these media schmucks will also face the buzz saw.