This week featured the only guaranteed chance for Colts fans to avoid watching an epic collapse. The Colts’ bye week allowed them to let a week pass without a loss, although I heard a rumor that Chuck Pagano lost in a hotly contested game of checkers with himself during which he was heard mumbling “gotta stick to the process” and “can’t eat me” repeatedly under his breath.
On the whole, this bye week gave those of us who enjoy watching football a chance to see some games in which we had very little at stake. The results were mixed and frustrating, because the AFC is absolutely awful this season, and if this Colts team had been able to get Luck back to start it, they would definitely be right in the mix for a playoff spot. But they didn’t. So here we are. Let’s take a look at how the Colts’ rankings changed while they were resting.
Jacoby Brissett has shown an ability to make some big plays, as only Alex Smith has thrown more 40-yard touchdowns this season. But Brissett isn't the future of the Colts. Andrew Luck is. And with Luck out all year and the Colts sitting at 3-7, this season is a loss for Indy.
The Colts were off this past weekend, with the quarterback who is not playing still in the headlines. Andrew Luck ventured off to Europe to try to get his ailing shoulder working at full-bore again, apparently with the team's blessing. This saga has dragged on for what feels like forever, with the organization -- not the quarterback -- taking the brunt of the public hits. Now Indianapolis hopes Luck will be ready for the 2018 opener, after all the handwringing about him being available for this year's opener. In the meantime, the Colts have been in nearly every game, with no one outside of Indy seeming to notice this isn't that bad a football team. Sigh.
They come off their bye with a game at home against the Titans. They have to be happy with what they are getting from Jacoby Brissett in place of Andrew Luck, but he is in the concussion protocol.
They’ve come a long way from the annual talk of whether to rest starters.
It will be interesting to see what happens with Frank Gore next offseason. He will be a free agent. He’ll also turn 35 next May and has a career-low 3.5 yards per carry. Although Gore hasn’t said if he has any plans to retire, it’s at least possible we’re watching the last few games of a great career.