Commentary

Colts can be playoff contenders soon

Indianapolis has the No. 1 pick, an easier schedule and players returning from injury

Originally Published: January 2, 2012
By KC Joyner | ESPN Insider
Bill PolianAl Messerschmidt/Getty ImagesBill Polian may be out in Indianapolis, but the roster has plenty of talent on it because of him.

For most franchises, the end of a dominant run of success is usually followed by a long period of less than stellar play.

The Vince Lombardi Packers made the playoffs one time in the 14 seasons after he ended his Green Bay coaching tenure. The Chuck Noll Steelers made the playoffs in four of his final 12 seasons with the team and made it as far as the conference championship game once. The same thing happened to the Bill Walsh/George Seifert 49ers, as they also made the playoffs four times in 14 seasons prior to this season's turnaround under Jim Harbaugh.

At this moment, it looks like a similar type of postseason drought could be in store for the Indianapolis Colts in the post-Bill and Chris Polian era. Even with the fortuitous bounce that is getting the No. 1 pick in an NFL draft with a once-in-a-generation quarterback prospect (Andrew Luck), the general consensus is that the Colts are in such bad shape personnel-wise that it could take years for the franchise to get back into playoff contention.

The truth of the matter is that some of the Colts' personnel woes are overstated and the team is actually not that far away from returning to playoff-contender status.


To read KC Joyner's take on the Colts' quick turnaround, as well as what they might do with the No. 1 pick now, sign up for ESPN Insider.