For most of the 2000s, the Colts were the team to beat and really didn’t have a consistent rival to the divisional crown. Now is the time to take back that dominance as a new decade starts.
The Colts used to be the dominant figure in the AFC South. Almost every year you could pencil them in as the AFC South champs before the season even started. That’s because Peyton Manning and company were one of the best teams in the league.
2002 was the first year that the AFC South was a division. In that first decade from 2002-2009, the Colts won the division 6 of those 8 seasons. That is a ridiculously good percentage. They were truly the dominant team in that decade.
Contrast that to the last decade where the Colts only won the division 3 out of 10 seasons. They weren’t able to establish any sort of rhythm against their divisional opponents. Other teams in the division got stronger during that time, but now the rest of the division is in flux.
Houston just traded away a top 3 receiver in the game. Jacksonville is trying to start a 6th round pick as their quarterback. Tennessee is putting their faith in a guy under center who has perennial injury problems. The division is ripe for the taking.
The Colts have an excellent chance to take that divisional crown this year. Adding Philip Rivers, DeForest Buckner, and drafting Michael Pittman Jr. and Jonathan Taylor gives them some offensive and defensive firepower. They will be better equipped to win the division than they were last season.
If they want to establish dominance over the course of the decade though, they need to find a franchise quarterback. They may have drafted one in Jacob Eason. Only time will tell if he develops into the type of guy who can run the organization and get them to where they want to go.
A decade of dominance starts this season. This is their first chance to get themselves a divisional title and start the decade off on the right foot.