The 2016 NFL season just ended this past Sunday with the Patriots hoisting the Lombardi Trophy, but that isn’t stopping people from making way-too-early predictions for the 2017 season.
ESPN’s Kevin Seifert, for example, released his early power rankings for the 2017 season, and he has the Colts at number 19 - a few spots behind the Texans (15) and just ahead of the Titans (20).
Another ESPN writer, however, seems to think the Colts will be much better than that next season. In fact, Dan Graziano released a list of ten predictions for the 2017 season and one of them is that the Colts will face the Vikings in the Super Bowl - and win (with Minnesota becoming the first home team to play in the Super Bowl).
Their opponent is the Indianapolis Colts, who win a 41-38 thriller after Andrew Luck throws a go-ahead touchdown with 1:45 left and Sam Bradford checks it down to a running back with time expiring at the Colts' 15-yard line. Two months later, Bradford signs with the Texans. Circle of life.
Now to be fair, it seems like some of these predictions are meant to be a bit creative and comical in nature, like Antonio Brown live-streaming a game on Facebook Live on a GoPro or the Rams winning ten games. And the part about Sam Bradford checking it down as time expires is definitely just poking fun at him (since he checks it down a ton). So it’s unclear how serious to take this, but still... the Colts in the Super Bowl?
I’m pretty sure that it’s not a prediction many this offseason will share. They’ve missed the playoffs in the past two years and have holes all over their defense. New general manager Chris Ballard is well-respected and should get the Colts on the right track, and he knows what the expectations are, but the Colts aren’t just going to be able to turn it around and become a Super Bowl-winning team in one offseason. With Andrew Luck I guess anything is possible, but it would be shocking if they went on a playoff run.
The Colts winning the Super Bowl? One ESPN writer’s early predictions says so, but I wouldn’t expect many others to share that view - nor should they.