The Indianapolis Colts and the NFL postseason have now split due to “creative differences.” The NFL playoffs decided they “wanted some space” from the Colts. The January one-and-done tournament is “going in a different direction” from the Indianapolis Colts. The Colts clinched the NFL’s most awful division. That’s how they got to host a first round game. And the result was an “instant classic” for the ages. One of the greatest playoff games in NFL history in the win over the K.C. Chiefs.
Then tonight happened.
Sure, the Indianapolis Colts made the second season, but their end was quite unceremonious. How do they return to the postseason next fall?
Remember this is an Indianapolis Colts fan talking, I’m drinking water out of my Indianapolis Colts tumbler and wearing an Indianapolis Colts winter hat which I got at the Indianapolis Colts Pro Shop last month. The AFC NASCAR division –no I’m not being derogatory when I call the AFC South the AFC NASCAR division, you see how much I write about Danica Patrick and NASCAR on this site– should be one of the weakest in football again next year. Houston is picking first in the draft; Jacksonville third. Tennessee is mediocre on their best day. So the road back in 2014 is not difficult. It’s there for the taking.
But the Indianapolis Colts still beat the best as well this year. They didn’t just back in by topping a weak field. They had two huge wins this year, both at home versus Denver and Seattle. They didn’t done anything truly impressive on the road this past season. And they have yet to prove they can play outdoors very well. Without Reggie Wayne, they weren’t the same team. He’s not just their best offensive weapon, he’s their leader. Andrew Luck can’t do it all by himself. Other players have said Trent Richardson felt like he was forced into that offense. I believe it. That trade is really looking like the Cleveland Browns have won it.
Of course, T.Y. Hilton is AWESOME! He’s T.Y. Ritz-Carlton, T.Y. Waldorf-Astoria or T.Y. Intercontinental. He stepped up big time in Wayne’s absence. However, the Colts need both.
The Indianapolis Colts have had some bad offensive line play, substandard running game and horrific run defense down the stretch. Not as atrocious as the Chicago Bears run defense, but it’s atrocious nonetheless. The Patriots ran for multiple postseason franchise records on them. The main reason the Pats dominated the divisional playoff game was their rushing attack. So this team has plenty of holes. And I think you need to go defense first in the draft in May. The injury bug bit hard, and that bug was carrying something not good for you. But the Indianapolis Colts need to fix some things on O as well. It’s on Offensive Coordinator Pep Hamilton, the same coordinator Luck had at Stanford, to figure this whole thing out.
I’m very much pulling for the Indianapolis Colts next season, and I’m hopeful about their chances. Let’s talk again about this in August.
Paul M. Banks is the owner of The Sports Bank.net, an affiliate of Fox Sports. He’s also an analyst for multiple news talk radio stations across the country; with regular weekly segments on NBC and Fox Sports Radio. Follow him on Twitter (@paulmbanks) and RSS Catch him Tuesdays talking Illini and Northwestern for KOZN 1620 The Zone, Fridays talking Chicago Bears for WAOR 95.7 The Fan