The Colts had their most impressive win of the season yet (and that's saying something), shutting out the Cincinnati Bengals on Sunday and winning 27-0. The offense racked up over 500 yards of offense and the defense held the Bengals to just 135 total yards. The Colts, who have the league's number one offense, have also been led by a great defensive showing in the past month, and that has led to a current five-game winning streak, which is the second longest in the NFL. The Colts are 5-2 and looking like legitimate Super Bowl contenders. For the first time this season, many of the power rankings have them in the top five. Let's take a look at some of them.
ESPN ranked the Colts fourth, up four spots from a week ago. The only teams above the Colts this week were the Broncos, Cowboys, and Eagles:
Just punt the ball on third down against the Colts. Opponents have converted just 8 of 51 third-down tries during the Colts' five-game winning streak and opposing quarterbacks have a Total QBR of 3 on third down.
NFL.com's Elliott Harrison also has the Colts in the top five, ranked fifth this week. The teams in front of the Colts: Broncos, Cowboys, Eagles, and Packers:
If the Colts' defense plays like it did on Sunday for the rest of the year, this will be a Super Bowlteam. That was just the third time in 17 years that Indy shut out an opponent, following a 23-0 win over the Titans in 2008 and a 41-0 blanking of the Dolphins in 1997.
For that Week 16 triumph over Dan Marino and Co., Jim Harbaugh was the Colts' quarterback, while Peyton Manning was still looking like a 13-year-old for the Tennessee Vols. And we were all still a few years away from having to listen to Britney Spears -- OK, maybe just one.
CBS's Pat Kirwan has the Colts ranked third in the league, up from sixth a week ago (only the Broncos and Cowboys are ahead of them):
Andrew Luck is awesome and his receiving weapons are hard to match up with. Throw in a defense that is aggressive and looks like it never missed Robert Mathis and the Colts may be a team that could go toe to toe with the Broncos.
CBS's Pete Prisco ranked the Colts sixth, writing:
The surprising thing about the Colts is the defense. It is a unit ranked second in the league points allowed.
FOX Sports ranked the Colts fourth, up two spots from a week ago. Only the Broncos, Eagles, and Cowboys, were above Indy:
The Bengals aren't the same team that started 3-0, but that doesn't take anything away from the Colts, who outgained them in yards 506 to 135 in the blowout victory.
Pro Football Talk's Mike Florio ranks the Colts seventh, and he thinks a win over the Steelers will prove the Colts as legit (despite the fact that Indy has already beaten the Ravens and the Bengals in impressive fashion):
7. Indianapolis Colts (No. 8; 5-2): Nineteen years after they nearly secured a Super Bowl berth in Pittsburgh, the Colts return with a chance to prove that they're legitimate Super bowl contenders.
SB Nation's Danny Kelly also ranks the Colts seventh, up from tenth a week ago.
As you can tell, many of the power rankings have the Colts in the top five, but not all of them. I guess a five game winning streak in incredibly impressive fashion isn't enough for some, but ultimately, power rankings don't matter. All that matters is that the Colts continue to win, and if they do that eventually people will notice. Regardless, many people are already beginning to see this team as one that has a shot to knock off Denver in the AFC. And considering they've improved a lot since coming within seven points on the road against the Broncos in week one, that assessment looks to be correct. The Colts are 5-2, riding a five-game winning streak, and many have taken notice.