My impression of the Colts in following them week-by-week was that of a team that conducts itself with machine-like efficiency. I went back through all the box scores…and that’s exactly what they are. The running game here is adequate, although nothing spectacular. The defense kind of comes and goes, though there’s more coming than going. And the one constant is the guy behind center, who just churns out solid game after solid game. Indianapolis had no real highs or lows in the season—they just stayed consistent and kept winning football games.
Their first five wins, prior to the bye week, included a rout of Arizona and a road win at Tennessee, that decisively solidified the changing of the guard in the AFC South. Indy followed that up with five more wins that included their wild 35-34 win over New England. They scraped out a tough win in Baltimore the following week to get to 10-0. Then they rolled through four more games, including a win over a then-surging Tennessee squad and a collapsing Denver team. At 14-0, they made the controversial decision to forget perfection and pull the starters at the end of the Jets’ game and again in Buffalo the following week.
Indy secured the city its second AFC championship by beating Baltimore and the Jets at home. And it was the same story of the season. Just enough running offense to survive. The defense had its high and low points. And Peyton Manning was ruthlessly efficient. Is this the kind of machine destined to roll through everyone to a Super Bowl victory? Or is it a machine more akin to the 1990s Atlanta Braves, one that will always come up a little bit short. Check in tomorrow, where I’ll weigh in with my thoughts.