One of the most memorable seasons in 29 years of professional football in Indianapolis came to an end Sunday afternoon.
By losing at Baltimore 24-9 to an inspired Ravens team in an AFC wild-card game, the Colts picked the worst possible time to resemble the franchise in transition that they are.
The one starting five, sometimes six, rookies on offense that carried on throughout the majority of the 16-game regular-season schedule minus its head coach as he endured leukemia treatments. The one forced to make do Sunday without offensive coordinator Bruce Arians, who watched from a Baltimore hospital bed after being admitted earlier in the day for an undisclosed illness.
More often than not, the Chuckstrong phenomenon — named for first-year Indianapolis head coach Chuck Pagano — coupled with Arians’ Midas touch as interim coach was enough to put the Colts in position to win.