Will the Colts go undefeated this year?
No one is thinking about the Colts going undefeated and if the Saints beat New England Monday night, the drumbeat for a perfect Saints season will become deafening. It’s a great story to be sure and I’d love to watch the Saints go marching toward history. As long as that possibility continues, the Colts can stay under the radar and relatively pressure free.
Individual player goals:
Even though the Colts won’t admit it publicly, they would love to see their players get individual recognition. For a team with such a consistent high level of achievement, the Colts have few perennial Pro Bowlers. Coming into the season, Peyton Manning, Reggie Wayne and Dwight Freeney were the only guys everyone would have assumed to achieve that status. This year, there’s a good chance that Dallas Clark, Jeff Saturday, Robert Mathis and Gary Brackett will join them in Hawaii. That possibility is enhanced by the extra attention winning a couple more games (and staying in line for an undefeated season) will provide. And yes, I think the Pro Bowl selection process is a bad joke but it’s still an honor.
The Manning factor:
At the moment, Manning is one of a small group on the inside track to the MVP. With a perfect regular season, Manning would almost certainly win that award. (The same is true for Drew Brees in New Orleans.) For Peyton, winning that award again this year would accomplish some impressive things. He would become the first 4 time MVP (a goal Brett Favre is in position to match 12 years after his last MVP!) and the first double repeat MVP winner. In unofficial terms, another MVP season would clearly separate Manning from Tom Brady in the minds of unbiased football fans and would elevate Manning into the highest levels of the football pantheon.
There are some other good reasons the Colts may keep pressing toward a perfect season this year. For instance, instantly elevating Jim Caldwell into a top tier coach; blowing a perfect season late in the 2005 season then losing in the first round of the playoffs; and let’s not forget about the amazing Ewing Theory potential of being perfect after Tony Dungy leaves the team!
So, no, I’m not planning to bet on an undefeated regular season for the Colts but I wouldn’t bet against it either.