I'm going to draw up a profile of a football team, and you guess their record.
This team, let's call them the Indianapolis Garcons, lost the Super Bowl. This season, they opened the year with four road games in their first six games. They played three winning teams, a .500 team, and a good passing team with a couple of wins on the road.
The Garcons also have battled injuries to three of their top four wideouts. They lost both of their starting running backs. Their left tackle has missed games. They lost their kick returner for the year. Their middle linebacker and team captain missed a big game. They lost two of their top three safeties. Their nickle back was inactive last night. Their Pro Bowl caliber linebacker has missed time and struggled to find rhythm.
If you didn't know that the Garcon's were really the Colts (ho ho! See what I did there! Of course you did. If you couldn't figure that metaphor out, you probably aren't smart enough to be reading this blog...or any blog. You are probably illiterate.), you would probably guess that the team in question was off to a rough start. Maybe 2-4. Maybe even 1-5.
I'm a homer, it's true, but I am not overly optimistic by nature. I declared the 2008 season over the minute Brackett went down. I had readers saying I wasn't a true fan because I kept harping on how I didn't think Indy could beat the Saints without Dwight Freeney. Shake once threatened to leave and not come back because I was so 'toxic' during losses (and we cut live to Irony in 3...2...1). If I really thought the Colts were trouble, I would say so. Instead, I'm thrilled. This team just slugged its way through a rough stretch, and is only a 59 yard field goal away from being tied for the top mark in the conference.
Use whatever word you want to describe the 2010 Colts: inconsistent, maddening, a touch unlucky, positively Garconian, the end result of last night's game was that Colts have made it to the bye week with the season still intact. All things being equal, that's a major accomplishment and reason to be proud of this team. A week off to get healthy, refocus and work on some fundamentals (tackling and ball security) will do wonders for this club. Last night, the Colts were two touchdowns better than the Redskins. The scoreboard didn't work out that way, but everyone could see. Washington was lucky to be in it. Indy was unlucky to have it be close. This is a good team, a championship caliber team. They'll get it figured out. 6 of 10 games are at home to finish up. They'll win 11 or 12, and in this AFC, that's probably good enough for a bye a least.
I wouldn't want to be Houston two weeks from tonight.