Wilson's Word: Don't get caught up in hoopla

How quickly everything can change in the NFL. Colts Nation has every reason to be encouraged by five-game win streak, but let's not start booking Super Bowl reservations yet, OK?

A five-game winning streak means too many people are suddenly going gaga over the Indianapolis Colts.

Stop it. Right now. Seriously.

Enjoy the streak, I’m sure the confidence in this team is appreciated, but don’t get carried away just yet.

The next person who tweets anything with the words “Super” and “Bowl” should get a time out.

The last thing players need to hear is how this is the best Colts defense Indianapolis has ever seen.

Yeah, that’s what I’ve been hearing on radio and reading in tweets and in Facebook comments. It’s non-stop.

Hello? It’s seven games into the season. The regular season lasts 17 weeks. And then there’s the playoffs. Nobody remembers a solid defense unless it delivers come January and February. And the Colts won’t be playing offenses then that are missing their two top wide receivers, like Cincinnati was on Sunday.

Quarterback Andrew Luck is off to the best start of his three-year career. Yes, the stats back that up. But how about we all follow No. 12’s lead and not make such a fuss about it? He doesn’t care about those stats. It’s about wins and losses. Let’s just focus on the bottom line, like he does, shall we?

The offense leads the league in points, passing yards and time of possession. Those of us in the media throw these numbers around to support stories about encouraging trends. But please keep in mind, all that can change with one bad game.

Don’t get me wrong. Fans should be excited. Seriously, it’s been a lot of fun watching these guys lately.

Nobody likes a killjoy, but all of this hoopla makes me nervous, to be honest. Or perhaps paranoid is a better word. Just when you get comfortable, thinking everything is going according to plan, well, the NFL has a way of providing an eye opener.

How about a dose of recent perspective while so many revel in this 5-2 team?

It wasn’t that long ago when many were convinced this team couldn’t even win the AFC South Division after an 0-2 start. Remember? You know who you are.

Luck’s start was viewed as “pedestrian” because of three interceptions in two losses against solid playoff teams. Several people emailed or tweeted me to ask what was wrong with him.

Some fans wanted offensive coordinator Pep Hamilton fired.

That pass rush everybody is buzzing about now had only one sack in those two games. Some fans wanted defensive coordinator Greg Manusky fired.

Now all is forgiven? Everything is A-OK? Or have some optimists set themselves up for inevitable outrage whenever the Colts lose again?

The NFL is a grind and, at times, a roller coaster ride of emotion. Players learn quickly that keeping an even keel is most important.

Fans and the media need to do the same. Yeah, it’s kind of boring, but it’s the smart way to look at it. Because it is a long season. And a lot can still happen. The players know this. And if they don’t, trust me, they’ll get reminded.

I’ve made the mistake once before of being convinced the Colts were headed to the Super Bowl, that they couldn’t be beaten. And to this day, I still believe the 2005 team was the NFL’s best, beating its first 13 opponents by at least a touchdown and usually by a lot more. The average margin of victory was 16.3 points in those wins.

That’s still the best Colts team I’ve covered … so far.

Then they lost to the Pittsburgh Steelers 21-18 in the playoffs. One and done.

The Colts visit Pittsburgh’s Heinz Field on Sunday. There’s no doubt in my mind the visitors are the better team. But they have to play the best to win and keep this streak going.

The challenge stays the same the rest of the way. Don’t get too high or too low. Stay humble, my friends. The only time to truly celebrate and go crazy is in February.

And that’s still a long way off, if this team can get there.

Phillip B. Wilson can be found on Twitter (@pwilson24), Facebook and Google+.


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