Two short weeks ago, the Colts had the look of a one-and-done playoff team. Crushing losses versus St. Louis, Arizona and Cincinnati will do that.
But after two very impressive performances, most recently a 23-7 hammering of the Kansas City Chiefs, they now have the look of a team that may be peaking at just the right time. Maybe.
The Chiefs had every reason to feel good about their chances on Sunday, having blown out the Raiders and Redskins by a combined 101-41 in the preceding two weeks. And then there was the fact that it was a home game in what is generally considered one of the toughest, loudest stadiums in the league.
But the Colts have a way of reminding us to never to count them out. Sunday’s win was just such a reminder.
It didn’t look good at first, as the Chiefs’ Jamal Charles broke through the Indy defense, evading numerous tacklers to score a 31-yard touchdown run. For Colts fans, it was that “here-we-go-again” feeling.
But the Colts defense found its mojo after that, and helped the offense by creating turnovers, the first of which came when Cory Redding recovered on a Knile Davis fumble. The offense went to work. Donald Brown faked a block and managed to sneak into the open field, where he took an Andrew Luck dump-off pass 33 yards for the touchdown to put the Colts up 10-7 with 9:23 remaining in the second quarter.
Robert Mathis continued to make a strong case for Defensive Player of the Year, as he hit Alex Smith’s arm as he was throwing, causing the ball to sail right into the hands of Jerrell Freeman, who came down with the interception.
It didn’t take the Colts offense long to convert the turnover into points. Donald Brown once again showed why he deserves the #1 spot on the depth chart as he broke free for a 51-yard run down the sideline, somehow managing to stay in bounds to score the Colts’ second touchdown of the day.
This was a return to the style we saw in early-season victories against powerhouse teams like the Seahawks, 49ers and Broncos.
Of course, the Colts still have something to prove in the playoffs. They still have to prove they can maintain their new-found mojo. For the memories of an entirely different team still linger.
But each victory brings them a little closer to the team they were at the start of the season, which is hopefully the same team they will continue to be heading into the playoffs.
Can be that team again? Definitely maybe.