Only two weeks ago, the Indianapolis Colts struggled as they fell to the Houston Texans 17-29. Since then, the Colts had secured a spot in the playoffs and were reunited with their head coach, Chuck Pagano. The Texans traveled to Indianapolis having never been successful in the Colts’ domain. With their leader on the sidelines, the Colts extended the Texans losing streak in Indianapolis to 0-11. Indianapolis defeated Houston by the same twelve points that separated the two teams in week fifteen, 28-16.
Since returning from their week four bye, the Colts have been inspired and motivated by their leader and the strength he portrayed. Pagano made it clear the Colts need not focus on him, but the goals they had set together for the season. The Colts were fueled by Chuck’s courage when they overcame the first of many obstacles standing in their way. In week 5, the Colts obtained a seemingly impossible win over the Green Bay Packers.
After a tough road loss to the New York Jets the following week, the Colts went on to win four in row. Indianapolis’ wins over the Cleveland Browns, Tennessee Titans, Miami Dolphins and Jacksonville Jaguars improved thee Colts record to 6-3. After finishing the previous season 2-14, having a winning record was a big deal.
In week 11, the New England Patriots snapped the Colts winning steak. As they have done all season, the Colts rebounded by winning the next three contests against the Buffalo Bills, Detroit Lions and Tennessee Titans.
Going into week 15, the Colts had put themselves in prime position to secure a spot in the playoffs. All they needed was one win in the next three games. The Colts did not get their way when they visited Houston. The Colts, however, reached yet another goal when they defeated the Kansas City Chiefs in week 16 assuring them a shot at the one thing they have been striving for all season.
With a playoff berth clinched and their coach back on the sidelines, it would seem the Colts could not ask for much more in week 17. Unlike in the recent past, Indianapolis decided not to bench their starters despite the fact a win over Houston would not improve their playoff positioning. Sunday’s victory over the Texans meant a lot more to the Colts.
“Our goal is to go out and win every game…..To get a win for coach means the world to us,” stated on Andrew Luck’s Official Facebook page.
The Colts finally had been reunited with their leader and had a chance to make him proud one last time before the end of the regular season. Many may think a sudden coaching change might alter the dynamics of the team. The opposite was true on Sunday. Pagano’s return sparked something within them that was evident as the Colts stormed the field and excelled on both sides of the ball.
All season long, Pagano and his team have proven their fortitude and unwillingness to give up despite the circumstance. The Colts journey this season has been one that will not likely be forgotten. Indianapolis succeeded in pulling off the biggest turn-around season in NFL history. The Colts have proven to everyone that with strength, courage and resilience, anything is possible.