The Colts are still one of the worst teams in football, right?
Of course they are -- pay no mind to Monday night's 41-10 win over the Jets. That says far more about the Jets than the Colts.
But no matter what impression of the Colts you might have gathered from Monday night's win over Todd Bowles' hapless team, Indianapolis still has one of the worst defenses in the NFL, one of the worst offensive lines in the NFL, a wide receiver corps that has been consistently injured and, when healthy, underwhelming, and only one viable NFL running back: 33-year-old Frank Gore, who is on his third or fourth wind.
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There's no reason this team should be in the postseason hunt.
But after 13 weeks of play, there are the Colts, tied for first place in the AFC South.
How on earth is that possible? It's simple: they have Andrew Luck.
Luck has arguably been the best quarterback in the NFL the since the start of October. He entered Monday night's game with the Jets having completed 63 percent of his passes at an average of 7.63 yards per attempt over his last seven games.
That's pretty good.
It's even better when you consider that he has been pressured on nearly half of his drop-backs this season (the highest rate in the NFL), is the most-sacked quarterback in the NFL, has a poor run game (at best) behind him, and is forced to win shootouts in damn near every game.
Even with all of that going against him, Luck entered Monday night's game as the second-highest graded quarterback in the NFL, behind Tom Brady, per Pro Football Focus.
Luck has always been one of the most physically talented and intelligent quarterbacks in the NFL, but this year, he's become transcendent.
What else could you believe after his 23-for-29, 289-yard and four touchdown performance against the Jets on national television Monday?
How else can you explain the Colts -- this bottom-third-of-the-league squad in the middle of America -- being a playoff team?
You can't totally blame a bad team being in playoff contention in the AFC South, either. For all the hype around Marcus Mariota a few weeks back as the Titans made their own push for the postseason, we forgot that the second-year quarterback has a competent defense and one of the best offensive lines in football with two excellent running backs behind him.
Mariota has been excellent this year and deserves praise, but could you imagine him on this Colts team? He'd start forming indentations of No. 8 in the Lucas Oil Stadium turf.
It's unlikely that Luck will win NFL MVP -- that award will go to the quarterback on the best or most surprising team -- but he deserves serious consideration. (We are truly in a great season for great individual performances. )
Whether the Colts actually make the postseason remains to be seen. Indianapolis holds a tiebreaker over the Titans by virtue of having won both matchups this season, and they have a chance to go atop the division by themselves next Sunday when they host the Texans.
When it's all said and done, an 8-8 record might put the Colts in the postseason, which means that Luck only needs to carry the Colts to two more wins.
If he keeps playing like this -- he had a quarterback rating of 110 while being pressured Monday, an absurd number -- who's to say he (and the Colts) can't make it?