Don’t count the Colts out quite yet

The Colts have struggled this season, losing three games in a row and four of their last five. This is brand new territory to the majority of Colts players on the roster. And while it is time to be concerned, it isn’t time to give up on the Colts.

Indianapolis has been the most successful NFL team in the last decade, winning more games and setting a standard of excellence both on and off the field.

They have been so good in fact, that they haven’t lost more than four games in a season since 2002, and has earned a trip to the playoffs eight consecutive years.

We are use to the blue and white being undefeated or at least clinching the division at this point in the season.

At 6-6, the Colts are a game behind the 7-5 Jaguars, who also hold the tiebreaker. Not counting last year (when Polian gave up the last two games to “rest,”) the Colts lost 7 games combined in 2007 and 2008.

Younger guys like Donald Brown, Jerraud Powers and Melvin Bullitt must be unsure of the team because they are only use to winning at the professional level. In contrast, the elder leaders of this team understand how difficult it is to win year after year.

“I don’t remember not winning 12 games. This is definitely odd and something were not accustom to,” said safety Melvin Bullitt. “I guarantee those guys in the locker room right now are really thinking about these next few games. We have a short week. We are going to put this one behind us and go out and get us a win.”

Manning has the most experience on the team in his 13th year. The defensive tandem of Freeney (9), and Mathis (8) and offensive stars Wayne (10) and Clark (8) have been through a lot. They have went into the Meadowlands only to lose in the playoffs to the Jets 41-0. Those guys overcame the rivalry against the Patriots, but first got beaten up years ago.

The clock on this team isn’t running out, but it certainly is ticking.

After a disappointing 38-35 overtime loss Sunday to an underachieving Dallas team, Indy must huddle up and regroup. It’s imperative for this team to win out but it won’t be easy. A short week now favors nobody as the Colts travel to AFC South foe Tennessee for a Thursday clash.

Of the remaining four games, three are division opponents including a week 15 matchup at home against Jacksonville.

Injuries have decimated this team there’s no question about it. Just on offense, Manning is without some of his top weapons including Dallas Clark, Austin Collie and Anthony Gonzalez. The biggest problem however lies at the running back position.

Joseph Addai missed his sixth straight game Sunday and his top two backups have been injured throughout the season. As for this whole season, there has been no running game. At least in the past there would be signs of one. Free agent Javarris James, cousin of Edgerrin James, has had to step up in recent weeks

Although he did scored two touchdowns against the Cowboys, the Colts have no sustainable running game. In the first half they tallied just 21 rushing yards and 20 in the second. Dallas on the other hand amassed 217.

The Colts have never been a true running team since Manning came aboard 13 years ago. However they use to be able to use it as a weapon with play-action. Teams the last couple of years have played the pass because the run game gets nowhere anyways. It doesn’t help that the teams’ top 3 backs are injured currently.

There have been a lot of positive moments for players and fans in Indianapolis in the past. Now in the midst of adversity, it’s not time to give up. In the hands of a great system, the top quarterback and a veteran team, the Colts must regroup and fight through the injuries in order to make their ninth straight playoffs appearance.

“Since I have been here, we have won 12 games in a row. Obviously this year we are struggling a bit but we still control our own destiny,” defensive captain Gary Brackett said Sunday.

The wildcard is out of the question so Manning and company must rely on winning the division. It wouldn’t surprise me to see the Jags roll over and cough up the AFC South but it’s time for the Colts to take matters into their own hands and return to their winning ways.

Hopefully the mood around Indianapolis will change on Thursday. For now, the Colts are concentrated on taking it one game at a time…PLAYOFFS!?!

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