Six months ago yours truly told you the Indianapolis Colts would be an average football team and register a .500 record. I also stated they would not make the NFL playoffs and that would facilitate the end of the Philip Rivers experiment.
I had a plethora of reasons for my predictions and l thought all of you who talked about a division title and a home playoff game were blinded by your love for the guys with horseshoes on their helmets.
Now, before you call me idiotic (again) or even something stronger than that, let’s take a look at some of the reasons l was ultimately incorrect.
First and foremost, Rivers.
Simply put, he obviously had more left in the tank than l thought and when he finished with just over 4,100 passing yards and 24 touchdown passes, l was indeed surprised.
I also thought place kicking would be a weakness, but when Rodrigo Blankenship rolled out an incredible rookie campaign, that too proved to be a prediction that was, shall we say, somewhat inaccurate.
Throw in my statements about this team lacking a running back who could move the needle past the 1,000-yard mark (sorry, Jonathan Taylor), and l registered a rather anemic trifecta in terms of the offensive side of the ledger.
Yes, l proclaimed it might be difficult for Darius Leonard to match his production from last year, and l also said that outside of DeForest Buckner there were no significant new faces you could count on.
Before you email and tell me l was wrong about everything, please remember l did tell you the Colts cheerleaders would be stylish and that the retractable roof would not malfunction again this year.
Both of those came to pass, so please give me a little credit.
Now the fun starts in terms of the playoffs, and on Jan. 9 the Colts will travel to New York to face the red hot Buffalo Bills.
While Indianapolis is clearly an underdog, l do think they have more than just a puncher’s chance against the Bills if their defensive secondary shows up and plays with some intensity.
That being said, mix in enough of a running game to give Rivers the option of some play-action passing, and the same Colts l predicted would be woeful this year could conceivably pull off the upset against a Bills team that has been vulnerable at times despite their success this year.
Another plus is the weather forecast, which appears to be mild for this time of year in Buffalo. An apparent lack of strong winds and precipitation gives the Colts an even better chance, so l won’t label them as a one-and-done team in the postseason just yet.
So, with such a stellar track record in terms of my regular season predictions, l’m calling for a close game, one that comes down to who has the final possession.
Prediction: Colts 27, Bills 24.
Maybe now a few of you will forgive me and provide a good start to a happy new year.
Danny Bridges who actually did predict the Colts opening day collapse at Jacksonville and their upset of the Green Bay, can be reached at 317-370-8447 or at email@example.com.