The goal was simple for the 9-5 Indianapolis Colts on Sunday: win, and get in. In other words, the Colts could clinch a playoff spot in the AFC with a win over the Chiefs. That's exactly what they did, sneaking by Kansas City, 20-13. In this article, I'll tackle the tough questions following this game, including:
- Do the Colts deserve a playoff spot?
- Are the Colts legitimate Super Bowl contenders?
- Is Andrew Luck the Rookie of the Year?
- What's next for the Kansas City Chiefs?
- Will WR Dwayne Bowe return to the team in 2013? More importantly, should he?
5 THINGS WE LEARNED:
1. The 10-5 Indianapolis Colts do not deserve a playoff spot.
There's a lot of grey area here, but the bottom line is, Indy isn't a true playoff team. The Colts took advantage of an AFC that was horrendous outside of its top 3 seeds (HOU, DEN, NE). Indianapolis really only has one quality win: a 30-27 upset over a Packers team that struggled mightily early in the year. The Colts were blown out by Chicago, New England, and New York (A). They also lost to Jacksonville at home. Most importantly, Indy was extremely fortunate to pull out a narrow 7-point win over the spiraling Chiefs. When you really dissect what the Colts have done this season, and look at their opponents, it isn't all that impressive.
2. The Indianapolis Colts are not Super Bowl contenders.
In addition to everything I just mentioned above, the Colts defense was atrocious Sunday, and the season numbers aren't much better. The Chiefs, who are playing the seriously inept Brady Quinn at quarterback, managed to run for 352 yards on 44 carries Sunday. Jamaal Charles eclipsed 200 yards, and Peyton Hillis, who has done nothing all season, picked up 101 yards. The Colts rank 20th in total defense. They still don't have a run game. And as much as this might hurt you, Indy fans, Andrew Luck isn't Peyton Manning. For these reasons, the Colts will be quickly bounced in this year's playoffs.
3. Andrew Luck is not the Rookie of the Year.
It might sound a lot like I'm hating on the Colts here, but I'm really not. It's the truth. Andrew Luck has thrown 18 interceptions this year, tied for most in the NFL and one more than Mark Sanchez. I know he set the rookie single season passing yardage mark Sunday against KC, but that's not enough. I know the Colts were 2-14 in 2011, but it's not enough. With the way Russell Wilson and Robert Griffin III have been playing, it's between them.
4. The Chiefs must clean house.
The Kansas City Chiefs are in complete turmoil. They brought in Matt Cassell to be their next QB. That didn't work out. They brought in Romeo Crennel as head coach, simply because he upset the undefeated Packers in 2011. That hasn't worked out. The Chiefs lost star corner Brandon Carr in the offseason, and are about to lose star WR Dwayne Bowe. On top of all their struggles, KC is hindered by the Jovan Belcher tragedy. The Chiefs need a new look and a new identity, and it wasn't ever more evident than on Sunday. When a team rushes for 352 yards, it should win. Kansas City did that Sunday, but got so little out of the pathetic Brady Quinn, the Chiefs lost, 20-13. KC's mediocre defense even played pretty well, as they sacked Luck 3 times and came up with 7 tackles for loss. The Chiefs need a LEGITIMATE AND PROVEN winner at head coach, a QB with promise for the future, and more playmakers on both sides of the ball.
5. Dwayne Bowe won't be a Kansas City Chief in 2013.
Some might've thought this before Sunday. For me, though, it was the absolute last straw. Why would Dwayne Bowe want to return to Kansas City? They like to run the ball, and even Bowe knows the focal point of the offense should be Jamaal Charles. One more problem: The Chiefs don't have a stable QB, and really haven't since Bowe joined the team in 2007. The Chiefs are 29-66 in since Bowe was drafted, and have made the playoffs just once. That was in 2010, when the visiting Baltimore Ravens smacked the then AFC West champs, 30-7. Bowe's been solid and healthy for the most part since he came into the league. He has 4 seasons of 995 receiving yards or more, and has caught 39 touchdowns in his six seasons. Keep in mind, in those six seasons, he had guys such as Brady Quinn, Tyler Thigpen, Matt Cassell, Damon Huard, Brodie Croyle, and other worthless no-names getting him the rock. Bowe is 28, still in his prime. This is his one shot to get out of KC and land a mega contract. I'd put money on him leaving, and I think I will.