Each week, we’ll be scouring the net for team rankings from football experts, covering the previous week, and discussing them here. Let’s see what they have to say this week.
Average Ranking: 10.25 (previously 11.69) – A measurable rise after shutting down the #2 rushing offense.
CBS Sports – Pete Prisco – 10th (+2): One more victory and they will be in the playoffs. I bet the rest of the AFC didn’t want that to happen.
Cold Hard Football Facts -14th (+1): Reggie Wayne now has three seasons of 100+ catches and 1,250+ yards; according to the pro-football-reference.com search engine, only Jerry Rice and Marvin Harrison (four each) had more.
ESPN – Kuharsky – 10th (+3): Big improvements in rushing and run defense give the Colts a bit of a 2006 feel.
Fox Sports – 11th (+1): It wasn’t pretty, but the Colts got it done in the end against the host Raiders last week. And how about that performance from veteran RB Dominic Rhodes? I’d be stunned if the Colts lost to the visiting Titans, who are struggling badly now to keep things together.
National Football Post – xth ():
Haven’t updated their rankings.
NFL.com’s Collective Brain Trust – 9th (+1):
Michael Silver – 11th (+2): Other than perhaps Dominic Rhodes, did anyone on earth see Dominic Rhodes’ sudden re-emergence as Indy’s featured ballcarrier coming?
Sporting News – 10th (+1): The team has refocused on running and stopping the run, and it’s paying off.
Sports Illustrated – Don Banks – 10th (no change): It’s almost refreshing for a change to not be batting around the issue of whether the Colts are wise to rest their starters in Week 17. This year, Indy has needed to keep the pedal to the metal and win out to reach the playoffs. But from the looks of it, you have to wonder if the starters for the Titans (the Colts’ Week 17 opponent) have been taking it easy for the last eight weeks or so.
Sports Illustrated – Peter King – 10th (+2): Through backup running backs and backup wideouts and a backup tight end and backup offensive linemen, the Colts are starting to look like a team you don’t want to play in the playoffs.
USA Today – 10th (+1): Peyton Manning has them on verge of postseason again.
Walter Football – 8th (+5): I forgot to mention this, but a few weeks ago, Bob Lamey, a Colts radio person, said that NFL defenses had “figured [Peyton] Manning out,” and that Manning should be benched in favor of Curtis Painter. Lamey said that Indianapolis should draft Manning’s replacement in 2011.
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WEEI in Boston – 10th (+1): Over the last two weeks, Indy’s defense has played and dominated two of the best running backs in the league: Maurice Jones-Drew and Darren McFadden. For most of the season, the Colts run defense was abysmal. This is a nice trend for Colts fans as the team prepares for another playoff run.