The Indianapolis Colts are just 5-6 this season, but they’re still in the playoff hunt thanks to the weak AFC South. It hasn’t been a great season, but there’s still a very real chance of them making the postseason.
On Wednesday night, owner Jim Irsay took to Twitter to encourage fans to “Believe” in the team, using the example of the 2006 Colts team to make his point:
Come on,ColtsFans!! It's OK to still believe,that The Playoffs can still be found! It starts Monday Night!— Jim Irsay (@JimIrsay) December 1, 2016
The Faithlessness could be felt;after a late season loss to Jacksonville in 2006...yet a Super Bowl Parade occurred weeks later! Believe!!— Jim Irsay (@JimIrsay) December 1, 2016
This isn’t a new theme from Irsay either, as we know that he loves Colts history and the 2006 team in particular, and when the franchise hosted the reunion for the 2006 team a few weeks ago Irsay at that time used the team as an example to fans to not give up hope in the current team. “These guys are here reminding the current team that you gotta believe cause you never know when that miracle’s gonna come,” Irsay said at a halftime ceremony on November 20.
It’s perfectly understandable why the team’s owner would draw comparisons with the 2006 season in an effort to keep fans encouraged about this season, since in 2006 the Colts were basically left for dead late in the year, particularly after their loss to the Jaguars in December when they just got run over. Irsay’s point is that like the 2006 team, this year’s team is also left for dead - but you never know what can happen if/when you reach the playoffs. That’s a true and understandable message, and it’s one that the owner of the team is perfectly justified in sending.
But at the same time, the 2016 Colts aren’t nearly as talented as that 2006 team and they don’t have a Bob Sanders returning from injury either. This year’s Colts team doesn’t really even compare to the 2006 team in terms of overall talent and production, so there will be Colts fans who don’t like Irsay using it as an example. But he’s not comparing teams, he’s just saying that you never know what might happen and a team can theoretically turn it around at any point. The Colts’ title chances might be very, very slim right now (and they are), but the biggest goal right now for the team is to reach the playoffs, where anything can happen. Irsay wants Colts fans to believe in this team, but perhaps first they’ll need to string together wins - something they’ve only done in consecutive games once this year. They’ll need to do much better than that to close this season in order to even make the postseason.