Why The Colts Are Heading For Super Bowl XLVIII

11/4/13 in NFL   |   rich_jones95   |   3 respect

Oct 20, 2013; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Indianapolis Colts quarterback Andrew Luck (12) waves to the crowd as he leaves the field after the game against the Denver Broncos at Lucas Oil Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY SportsThe 2013 NFL season has reached the halfway stage and I’m making a bold prediction. The Indianapolis Colts are heading for the Super Bowl.

The more I see this side the more I am convinced they are the real deal and capable of going all the way.

I am not going to be as bold as to guarantee they will lift the Lombardi Trophy – but I firmly believe this side has what it takes to reach the MetLife Stadium on February 2.

A 27-24 comeback win in Houston coming off a bye week leaves the Colts 6-2 heading into week ten, ranked fourth in the AFC and well on course for a play-off spot.

Losses against Miami in week two and San Diego in week six respectively will undoubtedly disappoint Indy, but three of their wins have come against sides hotly tipped to do well.

Victory at Candlestick Park against the 49ers in week three signalled their intentions, before home wins against the otherwise unbeaten Seahawks and Broncos have shown their ability to beat the best.

The stats do look modest for the Colts; they are ranked only 19th in the NFL in total offense and 22nd in total defense.

But sometimes stats do not tell the whole story, and to lie 6-2 following a tough fixture list to date is a good achievement for a young side.

What is it about the Colts that has sold me so much you may ask? They know how to win.

For such a young QB, Andrew Luck defines the term clutch. The 24 year old already has ten game- Nov 3, 2013; Houston, TX, USA; Indianapolis Colts quarterback Andrew Luck (12) warms up against the Houston Texans before the game at Reliant Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Thomas Campbell-USA TODAY Sportswinning drives to his name and continues to deliver under pressure.

Luck currently has only three interceptions to his name in 2013, displaying the sort of ball security and productivity that essentially wins games in the NFL.

The former Stanford man and No.1 draft pick overall displays characteristics rare in such a young man, and I am convinced that he is now in a position to lead a charge deep into the play-offs.

With a rushing game ranked 12th in the NFL and offensive weapons such as Ty Hilton and Darius Heyward-Bey to support him, Luck has the tools at his disposal to take the Colts a long way.

It may not be a side filled with stars, but this Colts team is solid throughout and importantly knows how to win games.

Their ability to deliver under intense scrutiny with their backs against the wall is sure to stand them in good stead. They have already proved they can beat the best, and there is no reason they can’t do the same when they reach the play-offs.

Oct 14, 2013; San Diego, CA, USA; Indianapolis Colts running back Trent Richardson (34) is stopped in the backfield during the second half against the San Diego Chargers at Qualcomm Stadium. The Chargers won 19-9. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY SportsSome wise trading leaves the Colts with two of the top three draft picks from a 2012 class stacked 
with potential

Whilst Luck is already a reliable signal caller, a lot rests on how Trent Richardson can perform carrying the ball.

Since being drafted 3rd overall in 2012, Richardson has somewhat struggled to live up to the hype he built up as a star RB with Alabama in the college game.

Although he does the tough work effectively, Richardson still averages only three yards per carry in the NFL.

But with some time to learn his new playbook in Indianapolis following a recent trade from the Browns, I remain convinced Richardson can still breakout and create a frightening offensive duo to intimidate defences.

With Ahmad Bradshaw done for the year, reliance on Richardson will be high – but if he can step up to perform this will be the sort of offense that defensive co-ordinators have nightmares about.
 
Indianapolis’ remaining fixtures appear fairly kind; trips to Cincinnati and Kansas City are their only ties against teams better than 0.500.

With a chance to build up their confidence further in the closing weeks to the season, things look very good.

The main threats within the AFC appear to come from four teams: Kansas City, New England, Denver and Cincinnatti.

Although unbeaten I am still not sold by the Chiefs, and the clash between the two at Arrowhead Park on December 22 will be a big indicator of how these two teams compare.

The Patriots appear a shadow of the side they once were, and despite grounding out wins at this moment in time, their crippling injury list is bound to take its toll as the year progresses.

Nov 3, 2013; Houston, TX, USA; Indianapolis Colts quarterback Andrew Luck (12) celebrates throwing a touchdown to wide receiver T.Y. Hilton (13) against the Houston Texans during the second half at Reliant Stadium. The Colts won 27-24. Mandatory Credit: Thomas Campbell-USA TODAY SportsThe Bengals are a strong side but certainly beatable, whilst the Colts have already proved they are capable of getting one over on Peyton Manning and the Broncos.

At this moment in time, Indianapolis seem to be somewhat sneaking under the radar. Well here I am putting my neck on the line to draw attention to a side who are real contenders for the Lombardi Trophy in 2014.
 
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