The Colts were in unfamiliar territory at Tennessee Thursday.

The Colts got it together Thursday but have plenty of work to do if they want to keep their playoff streak alive.

After throwing 11 interceptions in three games, Peyton Manning had been getting hammered by everyone, even the Colts’ radio announcer allegedly. Speculation was swirling – maybe he’s over the hill … maybe he’s hiding an injury.

People couldn’t bury the Colts quickly enough. A flustered Manning, a roster decimated by injury, an offensive line as sturdy as a house of cards – their playoff streak was as good as gone.

Not so fast.

As they usually do when they’re on the ropes, the Colts survived, edging the Titans 30-28.

It was an indecisive win against a bad team. It was hard to tell if it was a Colts resurgence or a Titans meltdown. Either way the Colts are alive … for now at least.

With nine days to prepare, the Colts will be more rested and more prepared than the Jaguars when they come to Indianapolis next Sunday with everything on the line.

Clearly, the Colts are still a flawed football team. They can’t run with any consistency, their return game is atrocious, their defense gave up 28 points to a team that hadn’t scored an offensive touchdown in an eternity, and their secondary is in shambles.

Many view the Colts’ quest for a playoff spot as futile – a one and done waiting to happen. That may be so, but momentum is a funny thing. If the Colts do reach the postseason they’ll certainly have some as they’ll likely have to win their last four to make it.

While many key pieces won’t return for the Colts this season – Dallas Clark, Bob Sanders, Jerraud Powers, Melvin Bullitt, and Anthony Gonzalez among them – some other ones might, including Joseph Addai, Austin Collie, Clint Session, and Kelvin Hayden, who could help provide a much needed boost.

Many things have gone wrong for the Colts this season, but amazingly they still control their own destiny. And at this point in the season, a team can’t ask for much more than that.

 

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