Best Is Yet to Come for the Indianapolis Colts and Other AFC South Must-Reads

Nate Dunlevy@NateDunlevyGuest ColumnistJanuary 7, 2013

The Colts can break away from the past to create a new future.
The Colts can break away from the past to create a new future.Andy Lyons/Getty Images

Bill Polian always used to say that the past is prelude.

Bob Kravitz of the Indianapolis Star agrees with him and says the end is the beginning for the Colts.

Chuck Pagano talked in his postgame presser about how the Colts had laid a foundation for future success, and that's undeniable.

Though obviously there are things the team has to do to improve, the Colts have the pieces in place for a dynamic offense for years to come.

Offense is more stable than defense, so if you can assemble a viable attack, particularly if it's an aggressive passing attack, most of the work of building a long-term winner will be done.

Almost everyone accepts the Colts weren't nearly as good as their record, but even more universally accepted is that they obviously improved from 2011. Perhaps the biggest thing working against Indy is history itself, however.

Colts fans have grown entitled to making the playoffs and will be expecting an unbroken run of brilliance like what they got from 2002 to 2010. During that stretch, the Colts won double-digit games every season.

That kind of streak is likely impossible so expectations need to be recalibrated. There will be more ups and downs than the franchise experienced in the last decade.

The past after all is prelude, but the future is wide open.


General Interest

Scott Kacsmar of NBC Sports looks at three fantastic rookie quarterbacks.

Mike Tanier of Sports on Earth examines all the potential Super Bowl matchups.


Houston Texans

Dale Robertson of the Houston Chronicle says five plays did in the Texans against the Pats.

John McClain of the Houston Chronicle asks if higher stakes will matter for the Texans.

McClain says Matt Schaub is thrilled with the win.


Indianapolis Colts

Brian Burke of the New York Times looks at just how overmatched the Colts were.

Mike Chappell of the Indianapolis Star talked to Ryan Grigson about the season.

Chuck Pagano wrote an open letter to Colts fans in the Indianapolis Star.

Zak Keefer of the Indianapolis Star breaks down a big touchdown by the Ravens.


Tennessee Titans

Tom Gower of Total Titans picks a defensive MVP for the 2012 Titans.

John Glennon of the Tennessean says Matt Hasselbeck is comfortable as a backup.

Jim Wyatt of the Tennessean thinks the Titans were mostly bad.


Jacksonville Jaguars

Ryan O'Halloran of the Florida Times-Union says Steve Keim is a candidate for GM.

Gene Frenette of the Florida Times-Union believes Mike Mularkey should go.

Vito Stellino of the Florida Times-Union posts an NFL notebook.