I mean, I don't want to call us coddled or anything. Last season, I went into the first seven or eight games thinking "points are a step forward, right?" despite their 5-3 record. Now, after an 11-5 season and Andrew Luck, we have very little to be complaining about – and yet, a lot of Colts fans are very dissatisfied.
The 7-3 Colts are doing this just a few years after going 2-14 and winning the rights to Luck with the NFL's worst record. That's perspective that matters. If the Colts drop games, look lost at times, or go one-and-done in the playoffs, that's what we call "progress." In today's "What have you done for me lately?" NFL, it's almost as if we expect greatness from a team that's already great right under our noses.
One thing, very quickly.
People, like Schottey, have been very critical of Eric Walden this year. In fact, the two most winged-about topics:
– trading a top pick for Trent Richardson
– Eric Walden not being omnipotent
First, with Richardson: remember Bjorn Werner? Our first-round pick from last year? Chances are, we aren't going to get a great pick this year, and Werner hasn't exactly panned out as a constant starter this year. Trading a 27th pick for a good sophomore runningback seemed like a good idea, and it's still not the end of the world. Remember, he had to learn Cleveland's entire playbook last year, and learning a totally different system on the fly isn't easy.
As for Walden, his play has been improving from week to week. Other than a stupid helmet-to-head testosterone display last week, he played better than anyone else on Indy's defense. With 28 tackles, Walden ranks sixth on the team, has forced and recovered a fumble, and is Indy's third-best linebacker (behind Freeman and Angerer). What's more, he's been getting better.
Instead of deciding that he's a waste before watching him play, it might be better to:
– watch him play
– notice how well he plays in pass defense
– how shoddy the play of Vontae Davis and Antoine Bethea have been recently
– how much better he is every week
And after that, evaluate. Still not worth that much money, but hey – he's getting there.