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NFL Power Rankings Week 10: Colts have a chance to change perceptions after the bye week

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Indianapolis Colts v Oakland Raiders Photo by Robert Reiners/Getty Images

The bye week is over and the Colts open up a 3 home-game stretch through the month of November with a critical divisional game against the Jaguars. If the Colts have any kind of playoff aspirations for 2018, the time is now to begin climbing.

This team has left themselves almost no room for error, which is not great given their youth and inexperience, but they’ve still got a chance. Let’s take a look at what they’re saying about the Colts around the league. I warn you, some of it is pretty stupid.

ESPN has the Colts up one spot to 23rd.

The Colts are off to a better-than-expected start. Andrew Luck has knocked off the rust (after missing all of last season) by throwing for 23 touchdowns. The offensive line, which played a significant factor in Luck missing 26 games from 2015 to 2017, has gone nearly four straight games without giving up a sack, while also playing a key role in the Colts’ rushing for at least 220 yards in each of the past two games. Finally, there’s rookie linebacker Darius Leonard, who leads the NFL in tackles (88) while also forcing two fumbles and recovering two fumbles.

They are wrong about at least one thing here, Leonard has forced 3 fumbles, not 2.

CBS Sports has the Colts ranked 20th.

They come off their bye with a division home game against the Jaguars. It’s crucial for both teams.

Yahoo! Sports has the Colts up from 25th to 22nd.

It was nice to see guard Quenton Nelson win AFC rookie of the month for October. An offensive lineman has never won offensive rookie of the year and because Saquon Barkley has been as good as advertised I don’t see it happening this season either, but Nelson might end up getting a vote or two. That would be progress.

USA Today has the Colts ranked 27th.

Unless they vacationed during bye week, players won’t have to leave state of Indiana during month of November. Now’s time to make a move.

Bleacher Report has the Colts 25th.

The Indianapolis Colts are not an especially good football team.

However, the Colts also might not be as bad as we originally thought. After dropping five of their first six games, the Colts have peeled off two straight decisive wins to add a measure of respectability to their record.

Granted, those wins came against arguably the NFL’s two worst teams in the Buffalo Bills and Oakland Raiders. And Indy’s issues on defense and the offensive line (problems that have seemingly dogged the franchise for years) remain evident.

But the biggest question facing the team has been answered. After a bit of a bumpy start, Andrew Luck has turned it up of late. For the season. Luck has passed for 2,187 yards with a 23-to-8 touchdown-to-interception ratio and a passer rating of just under 100.

This season may not have gone as well as the Colts had hoped entering the year.

But if Luck can return to Pro Bowl form, that offers the Colts more than a little hope for the future.

I feel compelled to address the fact that issues on the offensive do NOT remain evident, and the Colts offensive line has done an incredible job, cutting Luck’s sacks by more than a third. Seriously B/R, watch real actual football. Please.


The rest of the AFC South

Texans

ESPN: 11th

CBS Sports: 9th

USA Today: 13th

Yahoo! Sports: 11th

Bleacher Report: 11th

Titans

ESPN: 20th

CBS Sports: 19th

USA Today: 19th

Yahoo! Sports: 18th

Bleacher Report: 19th

Jaguars

ESPN: 19th

CBS Sports: 25th

USA Today: 21st

Yahoo! Sports: 19th

Bleacher Report: 18th