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Have the Colts Had a "Professional Grade" Regular Season?

This week's GMC Playbook question asks this: did the Colts have a "professional grade" regular season this year?

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<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"><p>Here’s my final <a href="">#GMCPlaybook</a> question for <a href="">@SBNation</a> this year: Did your team have a <a href="">#ProfessionalGrade</a> season? <a href=""></a></p>&mdash; Marshall Faulk (@marshallfaulk) <a href="">December 24, 2014</a></blockquote> <script async src="//" charset="utf-8"></script>

This week's question from Marshall Faulk is a question that gets us to reflect over the season.  Here's the question he asked in the video:

This is it: it's been quite a season here on GMC Playbook. Thanks for being creative and engaging with my questions. We've been talking all year about what it means to be GMC Professional Grade. Here's my last question for you: Did your team have a Professional Grade season? If not, what will it take to get there next year?

First off, this is a hard question to answer at this point because the Colts' season is still going on.  We all know that in Indianapolis, the expectation is set on the Super Bowl and so the real assessment of how the season went will come in January (or, hopefully, in February).  But let's look at it purely from a regular season standpoint for the sake of discussion.  I know that it's hard to separate it, but let's only focus on the regular season.

The Colts are 10-5 and likely to finish 11-5, as long as they take care of business against the lowly Tennessee Titans on Sunday.  They've wrapped up another AFC South title, a playoff spot, and will host a playoff game.  From a big-picture standpoint, that's about as much as you can ask for from a regular season.  Furthermore, with a win on Sunday the Colts would improve to 6-0 against the division, an impressive mark.

But that comes with a caveat: against arguably the five best teams the Colts have faced (and definitely the five best offenses), they're 0-5 and haven't held any of them below 30 points.  We saw that issue come up once again last weekend against the Cowboys, as Dallas dominated the Colts 42-7.  The Colts' don't really have a signature win this season.  The 20-13 win over the Baltimore Ravens and the 27-0 win over an A.J. Green-less Bengals team are the only two wins that come close, and even then neither of them are "great" teams that I'd consider a big, signature win.  There's a real possibility that the Bengals will be the only playoff team that the Colts beat.

The encouraging thing is that the Colts took care of the average to below average teams, especially defensively.  They won some games with their defense this year, which was great.  And they won the games that they were really supposed to win.  But against the top teams?  The Colts fell short.

There's a chance for them to right all the wrongs we've seen with a run in the playoffs.  But I think many Colts fans can't help but feel that, though the team won the AFC South and is on their way to a third straight 11-win season, there's some disappointment and doubt there as well.  What about you?  Would you give this Colts' regular season a "professional grade?"

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