With the 2012 season in the books, it's time to look back at all the things written about the Indianapolis Colts to see which ones panned out and which ones were way off base.
Obviously, no one saw 11 wins and a playoff berth coming for the Colts beforehand. Personally, I had them at four wins before camp and at five wins by the end of camp.
So, I was off by a few.
Here are some other bold predictions I made along the way and how they panned out.
This batch of awards came out well. You can certainly argue that Reggie Wayne was the offensive MVP, and no one will question that Austin Collie was a disappointment or that Andrew Luck was the best rookie.
Antoine Bethea wouldn't be my choice for Colts' defensive MVP. That would probably go to Robert Mathis or Jerrell Freeman.
Pat Angerer wouldn't be most improved either. I'm not sure who would win this for Indy as no one on the roster in 2011 improved much in 2012. Kavell Conner would have to get the vote narrowly over Anthony Castonzo.
Dwigtht Freeney didn't get cut before the season as I predicted. However, it's easy to make an argument that keeping him was a massive mistake. He had little impact on the defense and his salary prevented the Colts from other much-needed upgrades.
I will say this, while I was stunned the Colts rebounded so quickly, talk of a three- to four-year process was always ridiculous.
Early on, there was an attempt to downplay expectations for the new regime of Ryan Grigson and Chuck Pagano. The thought was they had inherited such a mess that it would take years to clean up.
That storyline ignored the realities of the modern NFL.
The Colts were always going to come back sooner rather than later.
The final votes haven't yet been revealed, but it's clear Luck isn't among the two favorites for the award.
In many ways, Luck was so much more than I could ever have guessed. He certainly was the driving force behind the turnaround.
While I was right that he won't win the award, I was wrong about comparing his rookie year to Cam Newton's. Luck managed to break his passing yardage record, and had Newton's rookie year taken place in 2012, he'd have ranked behind Luck.
Talk about tough calls. This article drives me nuts.
It's a lengthy rant about how it was irrational to expect the Colts to contend because they had a bottom-five defense.
The funny part is that I was absolutely right.
The Colts had the second-worst defense in football. It was every single bit as bad as I expected it to be. Against the league's softest schedule, they improved by less than a field goal a game.
They did, however, pick up a touchdown a game on offense and then liberally sprinkled everything with a healthy dose of #chuckstrong.
I was hard on Colts fans who expected a defensive turnaround. I stand by that. It never came.
Instead, Indianapolis was treated to something far more unpredictable and ridiculous.
If I have one predictive regret about 2012, it isn't the Colts.
I missed badly on Tennessee. I figured the Titans would be much better than they were. The Colts picked up a win that I never saw coming just based on how dysfunctional their opponent was.
I have no regrets about missing on the Green Bay game. That was one of the upsets of the year. The Colts split with the Jags.
Essentially what happened to the 2012 Colts is that they won all the toss-up games. They scored a big upset of Green Bay and then won every single coin-flip the rest of the year.
In fact, I'm still predicting the 2012 Colts win seven games. Yes, I know they won 11, but I still don't know how.