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Anthony 12-19-2008 07:37 AM

The Colts and their 8-game win streak: Impressed or not?
Thursday night's 31-24 win at Jacksonville was the eighth consecutive victory for the Colts, and catapulted them into the playoffs for the seventh straight season - and gave their head coach, Tony Dungy, ten playoff appearances in as many years.

But will their winning ways extend into January - or even February?

What say you?

Marc 12-19-2008 07:55 PM

No. Their win streak has been impressive, but they struggled running the ball and on defense against the Jags and were outplayed for three quarters. The competition will be tougher than Jax's defense when they enter the playoffs. I think they have a shot at the AFC Championship Game in the weakened AFC, but I'm not making them run-away favorites.

Don Lapre 12-20-2008 03:57 AM

Is the AFC weakened?
Hmmmm ....
I dunno, Sagarin ratings show the AFC having 4 of the top 6 teams.

1. Titans
2. Steelers
4. Ravens
6. Colts

When the Colts won it all in the 2006 season they were dead LAST in the league against the run and 21st in overall defensive yards allowed.
This year they are 25th v. the run and 11th overall in yds allowed.

You can make a strong case that this year's Colt defense is better than the Super Bowl winning team of two years ago.

But yeah, they're not running the ball well at all -- 30th in the league.

Still, they are a dangerous team, imo.

They've gotten hot down the stretch and that is normally what Super Bowl winning teams do.
Granted, the wins they've had have not come against murderer's row.

I would look for Pittsburgh or Tennessee to ultimately win the AFC, but the Colts have a puncher's shot, as I see it.

Anthony 12-21-2008 09:04 AM

My biggest problem with the Colts is that they're not putting teams away - even bad teams: Only one of the eight wins was by more than ten points, and five were by six points or less.

And they're not going to get to face the likes of Detroit and Cleveland and Jacksonville in the playoffs. It's hard to win four nail-biters in a row in the post-season (and as a wild card, the Colts will need to win four) - and even harder when the team has no running game.

HibachiDG 12-21-2008 01:30 PM

I think the AFC is a bit weakened, despite the Sagarin rankings giving them 4 of the top 6. The Titans are #1 in those rankings, but I don't think I'd consider them a Top 4 NFL team.

Really, it just seems like the teams with the strong defenses are in the AFC are able to be more consistent over the course of the season. Compared to the NFC, I'm not sure the AFC is quite as good or deep, but the teams with real good defenses, Titans, Steelers, Ravens, it kind of skews it in their favor. But, in reality, the teams are spread so evenly. Steelers have looked very good, but have losses to the Eagles and Giants. The Titans don't have a particularly difficult schedule, so they built up a nice W-L record. Baltimore is able to win against teams that they can impose their defense on, but have struggled a bit more with teams that can match them with defense. (Wins against the Eagles, Cowboys...losses to the Steelers twice, Titans, Giants)

There isn't a dominant team out there, so it's tough to really rank and compare teams. Everyone has their issues. I'd just put the NFC at a little bit deeper.

Anthony 12-23-2008 03:45 AM

Well here's one issue that's sure to come up at the spring owners meeting: The "winners" of the two West Divisions getting home field in the wild card games, especially with both quite possibly doing so at 8-8, and with all the negative publicity the Cardinals have been getting (and this is going to impact the Colts directly).

boston_aloha 01-22-2009 03:45 AM

Do you think they should change this rule?

I'm not sure how I feel about it... I was certainly mad this season that my team goes 11-5 and doesnt make the playoffs while another team went 8-8 and HOSTS a playoff game.

But hey, thats life I guess....

Anthony 01-22-2009 05:36 AM

In the NCAA basketball tournament, are all of the conference champions guaranteed a higher seed over all of the at-large teams?

Isn't getting an "automatic bid" enough of a reward for winning a division? Especially since the 8-8 Chargers finished three games behind another team in the same conference which did not make the playoffs at all.

And there is a lack of consistency here; otherwise the two wild cards in each conference would need to specifically be the two second-place teams with the best records.

So either the division finish is the be-and-and-end-all, or it isn't.

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