In many ways, the 2010 season has been a disaster for the Colts.
Fifteen players have been put on the injured reserve list and countless others have missed substantial time.
Peyton Manning went on a three-game bender that included 11 interceptions and four pick-sixes.
Their offensive line is giving Manning an average of three-tenths of a second to throw.
Their running game is the worst in the NFL.
Houston’s Arian Foster trampled them for 231 rushing yards in Week 1.
Jacksonville’s Josh Scobee drilled a 59-yard field goal as time expired to beat them in Week 4.
The visiting Chargers handed them their worst home loss during the Manning era in Week 12.
A leverage penalty on a late field goal attempt cost them a victory over the Cowboys in Week 13 – either that or Peyton’s brutal interception in overtime. The penalty was probably karmic payback from the leaping call that enabled the Colts to pull off one of the greatest comebacks in NFL history over the Buccaneers in 2003.
It’s strange to think the Colts are still in contention as they certainly don’t look like a contender.
Luckily for them, the entire division – except for the Jaguars – has imploded.
Once upon a time the Texans were 4-2, but thanks to a barrage of bad luck – including a David Garrard Hail Mary touchdown pass as time expired – they now sit at 5-8.
The Titans were 5-2 and had just crushed the Eagles before the wheels fell off. Eight weeks and a Randy Moss acquisition later and they are 5-8.
Meanwhile, the Jaguars are surging. After dropping to 3-4 and losing consecutive games to the Titans and Chiefs by a combined score of 72-23, they looked hopeless. Now they’ve won five of their last six and can clinch the division with a win over the Colts on Sunday.
For the Colts a victory does nothing but keep hope alive, as they and the Jaguars will both be 8-6. Though a win allows the Colts to control their own destiny, they still have a trip to Oakland – the league’s third-best rushing team – and a rematch with the Titans looming.
A Colts loss, however, virtually guarantees them a seat on the couch for the playoffs in January, an occurrence that hasn’t happened since 2001.
Strange days in Indianapolis, indeed.