Whatever happens Sunday in Baltimore, it’s been an amazing football season to countenance. Whatever happens, even a
Remember when the season started and
They've built the monster, done it two, three years ahead of when anybody had a right to believe it might be done.
And they've done it with a couple of holdover veterans and a bunch of rookies who don't seem to know they're not supposed to be here.
“It’s been [a] real special [season] to me,”
This is all gravy, the Colts playing with house money or whatever other tired cliché you want to use. Whatever happens from here on in, it's an added bonus that nobody had a right to expect.
Will they win? I picked the Ravens.
Can they win? Absolutely.
* They turn the ball over one time or less.
* They keep
* They can keep Luck upright. Luck was sacked 41 times and hit 116 times, the second highest in the league. Baltimore doesn’t quite have the defense it used to have, but it’s still formidable, and
* They can get a lucky break, a fortuitous bounce of the ball. Let’s be honest: The Colts have gotten their share this year. The non-fumble by
* The rookies don’t freak out when they get a load of M&T Bank Stadium. It’s a brutal place to play, and those young guys are going to hear things about their moms and grandmas they never could have imagined. The whole Colts-to-Indy thing is still very much alive in the Charm City, and they’ll hear about it. And with
* They can survive the first quarter and get this game into the fourth quarter, stay within one possession, well, you know what this Colts team does in one-possession games. If this stays close into the fourth quarter, the Ravens Pucker Factor — not an advanced stat –—will go sky-high.
* They can play even on special teams. Baltimore is terrific on special teams and the Colts run hot and cold (hot last week). It’s going to be a big day for kick and punt coverage and kick and punt returns.
Now, all of these things make sense.
The good news is, nothing about these Colts makes sense.
If form holds, they'll turn it over three times and still find a way to win.
That's been among the most fascinating things about this team: By every rational, statistical measure, they shouldn't be any better than 7-9 (and yes, the soft schedule has helped, but they still beat Houston, Green Bay and Minnesota).
They've been outscored this season.
They're near the bottom of the league in giveaway/takeaway ratio.
They're sub-standard in every defensive category, especially the run, where they give up a league-worst 5.1 yards per carry.
All they do well is win football games.
I'm picking the Ravens — I'm a born contrarian — but wouldn't be surprised if they found a way to pull this thing out.
We haven't been right about them all season.
Maybe we'll be wrong again.