Super Bowl for Colts? Get real


Of all the offseason misjudgments, the most egregious had nothing to do with the draft or free agency.

Rather, it had everything to do with trumpeting an expectation the Colts are not equipped to accomplish: Win the Super Bowl.

That simply is not going to happen.

Yet by all but guaranteeing it, the Colts have set themselves up for an ultra messy situation, internally and externally, for the weeks and months to come.

We’re already seeing it unfold.

Prior to the season-opener, reports of a rift between general manager Ryan Grigson and head coach Chuck Pagano drew national media attention. One can only imagine what the personality clashes inside Colts’ headquarters are now like after the loss in Buffalo.

Unless Sunday’s horrid performance was just anomaly (and here’s betting it isn’t), it revealed a few nasty truths:

The offensive line is as bad as ever.

So is the defense.

Glossy name free agents Frank Gore, Andre Johnson and Trent Cole add nothing.

Andrew Luck still has to do it all, or nothing gets done.

Consequently, the Colts aren’t Super Bowl contenders.

Not even close.

True, it’s one game in a long season. But it’s hard, if not impossible, to identify a single encouraging aspect in a display where the Colts were bad on all fronts: Offense, defense, special teams and coaching.

Moreover, it’s difficult to imagine quick fixes can be applied anywhere. It wasn’t a matter of costly breakdowns here or there. The Colts were broken. Period.

Whether they stay broken and miss the postseason, or can be patched together just enough to win the AFC South and make the playoffs, is the question. Maybe they can do it, maybe they can’t.

Time will tell on that.

But for the here and now, the most dispiriting aspect of Week 1 is that we learned right out of the gate that this team is in no way shape or form what it was billed to be.

Super Bowl contender? Right.

What we see instead is an overhyped team whose old players look old and whose young players look clueless. This might have been expected four years ago, when Luck was a rookie, surrounded by no-names who weren’t expected to win anything.

But after three consecutive playoff trips and offseason investments that were expected to shore up a handful of soft spots, this is not what was expected. The Colts, from the owner on down, have openly talked about the Super Bowl. The national media has linked the Colts and the Super Bowl. And fans, after hearing it all, expect the Super Bowl.

But they’re not going to get to the Super Bowl. Not this year. And maybe not ever, unless the powers-that-be get serious about investing in areas other than the receiving corps.

Until then, the Jim Irsay/Ryan Grigson brain trust would be wise to remember: Don’t talk Super Bowl until you field a team that can win one.

Embarrassing doesn’t even begin to describe it when words and reality don’t line up.

Rick Morwick is sports editor for the Daily Journal in Johnson County, a sister paper of The Tribune. Send comments to [email protected].

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