Originally posted on Football Nation  |  Last updated 11/9/12
On Thursday night the Indianapolis Colts controlled the Jacksonville Jaguars to improve their record to 6-3.Even if it was against the hapless Jaguars, beating a team on the road with only four days rest is pretty impressive.The 2011 Colts were the NFL's version of a dog that's so ugly it's cute, but in 2012 they have made a complete turnaround.Coming into Thursday's game the Colts were 3rd in the AFC in total offense, and 7th in total defense. After their 2011 season, it isn’t easy for people to buy Indy as the real deal but here are some reasons why believing in them isn’t quite as crazy as it sounds.The AFC has no dominant teams: The 7-1 Houston Texans are most people's favorite to win the AFC but of their seven wins, only two were against winning teams. The Colts have just as many. Houston faces a tough test this week in Chicago which could very well leave them just one game ahead of Indianapolis in the South.The Texans are a legitimate AFC favorite but they have yet to prove they’re dominant or even that they can stay healthy.They still have five games left against winning teams compared to three for the Colts. And Houston’s key offensive players, Matt Schaub, Andre Johnson and Arian Foster, rarely go entire year without being on the injury report.  There are no rough stretches left in their schedule:  Building chemistry and confidence is key for a team that is trying to turn the corner.The Colts have a few tough games left but each one is followed by what should be an easy win.Their remaining schedule is as follows: at New England, Buffalo at home, at Detroit, Tennessee at home, at Houston, at Kansas City, Houston at home. If Indianapolis takes care of the weaker teams, they won't lose two in a row for the rest of the season.      They keep getting better: The Colts are not only much improved from 2011, they are much improved from Week 3 of this year. When they lost at home to Jacksonville the term “rebuilding year” was involved with almost every conversation about them.Now after dominating the Jags on Thursday night, they have won four in a row, and are on pace to make the playoffs. If Indy can make the same strides from Week 10 to 17, that they made from Week 3 to 10, look out.  Andrew Luck is a winner: With some help a game-managing quarterback can get you to the playoffs, but winning in the playoffs is a different story. The last nine Super Bowls were won by teams with a quarterback that can take over a game (Eli Manning, Aaron Rodgers, Drew Brees, Peyton Manning, Ben Roethlisberger, and Tom Brady).In his rookie season, Luck has already proven he can take over of a game. Coming into Thursday, he was leading the AFC in total yards and had broken the rookie record for passing yards in a game the week before. His signature win was in Week 5 against the Packers. Luck threw for 362 yards, two TDs, and ran for another to help bring his team back from a 21-3 halftime deficit.Ben Roethlisberger, Joe Flacco, and Mark Sanchez all made the AFC Championship game in their rookie seasons. None of them were nearly as impressive in their rookie campaigns as Luck has been so far. Don’t be fooled by the rookie label, Luck has been building a legitimate case for MVP.  
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Logan Morrison curses out umpire CB Bucknor mid at-bat

Raptors jab Bucks on Twitter after Game 4 victory

Report: NBA GMs not hesitant to draft Lonzo Ball due to father LaVar

DeShone Kizer changes course, stands by Tom Brady-Cam Newton quote

Nick Saban doesn't offer much praise of team for 'adequate' spring game

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Dennis Schroder admits Mike Budenholzer wants him to avoid trash talk

WATCH: Miguel Sano throws punch as benches clear in Twins-Tigers game

Glen Coffee making NFL comeback after four years in Army, seven years away from game

Fan wears Clemson championship gear to Alabama spring game

NBA reportedly investigating incident involving Patrick Beverley, Thunder fan

Blake Griffin out for the season with toe injury; how screwed are the Clippers?

The 'It's not good to play the King' quiz

Best of Yardbarker: David Fizdale and the Grizzlies won't go down quietly

Three Up, Three Down: Home run hitters are heating up

The 'Even the Browns can't mess this one up' quiz

25 times Mother Nature disrupted sports

In some ways, Dan Rooney was just another NFL owner

Box Score 4/20: When Westbrook isn't enough

The 10 best sports docs available for streaming

The '♫Happy Birthday Simpsons. Simpsons, it's your birthday♫' quiz

White House championship visits over the years

Biggest needs in the draft for every NFL team

The 'Baseball has been very, very good to its players' quiz

NFL News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

The 'It's not good to play the King' quiz

Three Up, Three Down: Home run hitters are heating up

The 'Even the Browns can't mess this one up' quiz

In some ways, Dan Rooney was just another NFL owner

The 10 best sports docs available for streaming

The '♫Happy Birthday Simpsons. Simpsons, it's your birthday♫' quiz

NBA Referee Hotline Bling: David Fizdale calls B.S.

Kris Bryant can become the next Derek Jeter — and more

The 'Baseball has been very, very good to its players' quiz

NHL youth movement: How the 2016-17 rookie class fared

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker