The Indianapolis Colts, whether the team likes it or not, can already call this season a success and everyone should be looking at it that way as well.
In 13 games last season, a big fat zero appeared in the team's win column. For the entire year, the team managed to get two on the board, which in itself was a big accomplishment.
The team used the offseason to hit the reset button and went to work in retooling the organization. And it has seen success only the most diehard of fans would think was coming.
Now finding itself with a remarkable 7-4 record with a rookie quarterback entering the final month's playoff push, it can be easy to get caught up in the moment. Yes, the team would be in the playoffs as of today and has a more than decent chance to stay there, but should the team falter and miss out, it should not be a disappointment.
When looking at the final five games of the season, I think it would be reasonable to say wins against Tennessee and Kansas City are upcoming, two losses to Houston will join them, and a game against Detroit this week being a toss up. That could mean the team ends up with nine or 10 wins.
How many teams in a single season make a seven or eight win improvement? Not many. According to an article back in June from the Daily Norseman at SB Nation, over the last five seasons, the average single season turnaround is just under a four-win improvement for teams that won five or fewer games the prior year. And I would guess the majority of those teams didn't have a rookie quarterback leading the way or a sudden medical emergency to its head coach throwing a loop into its team member's hearts.
No one is thinking Super Bowl this season (except for those diehards among the diehards), but making the playoffs is now a reasonable thought. If the team doesn't reach it in the end, it is not the end of the world and the experiment won't be a failure. Should the team hold onto its place in the standings, enjoy the unexpected bonus football (and, hint hint, the numerous storylines the current projected seeds would provide in the wild-card round.)
In the meantime, ignore the talk some national pundits are providing about whether this team is as good as its record says it should be. If you were to venture over to the Insiders section on ESPN.com, you can read over an article published on Monday about how the playoffs are the only place you judge the success of a season.
Forget about it and the rest of the talk. This season is a success already and has set up a bright future.
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