Gulp. We know Tony Dungy is brilliant, and Peyton Manning is so precise it’s scary … but here goes:
* Marvin Harrison? Besides his yet-to-be-resolved Wyatt Earp moment from the Spring, he turns 36 next month.
* Chargers 28, Colts 24, in AFC playoffs, Jan. 2008.
* Indy has the second most challenging schedule in the NFL this season (1st is Pittsburgh). Of the eight road games, none of the opponents had a losing record last year (Houston and Minnesota were .500).
* There is only one gimmie in weeks 7-13, and that’s Houston, a team that oddly plays the Colts close.
But 9-7 for the Colts may miss the playoffs (Pats, Steelers, Browns, Titans, Chargers, Jags). And yes, we’re aware that the Colts were 13-3 last season with Freeney and Harrison missing a large chunk of games. This is a projection based on a daunting schedule and, we feel, the heir of invincibility that disappeared when the Chargers won that playoff game in the Dome. This is certainly not a THE COLTS ARE DEAD! PEYTON IS WASHED UP! DUNGY SHOULD HAVE RETIRED! post.
But we didn’t feel like picking the Favre-less Packers was risky, and even though the Giants were kind of a fluky Super Bowl champ and that division is brutal, a fall for them seems likely. Pittsburgh was actually our backup choice to slide, but we thought the Steelers drafted well and that offense might be the best Big Ben’s had to work with. Plus, the Bengals and Ravens could mean four easy wins, while the Colts have no such luck in the challenging division AFC South.
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