Colts still afloat, but just barely

Three games into the NFL season, here’s what we know about the Indianapolis Colts:

•They won’t go winless.

•They are (slightly) better than the Tennessee Titans.

Heading into Week 4 against Jacksonville, here’s what we don’t know about the Colts:

•Did they get a sufficient emotional bounce against Tennessee to turn around their season?

•Do they have enough juice to sneak past another weak AFC South rival?

Answers to questions 1 and 2 are up for debate. The Colts no doubt got a lift against Tennessee, and they should have enough to vanquish the Jags in Lucas Oil Stadium. But can they still live up to the preseason billing of Super Bowl contender? The answer is almost certainly no.

Indy still doesn’t have a pass rush, still hasn’t reached equilibrium on offense and still looks the way it should have looked three seasons ago, when it was rebuilt from scratch. Rebuilding, of course, isn’t what this season is about. It’s about the Super Bowl. As in not only getting there, but winning it.

Right. As nice as it was for the Colts to get out of Tennessee with a win, it’s hard to see it for anything more than what it was: An ugly win against a bad opponent.

Season-changing? Doubtful. Job-saving? Likely.

But since Indy won and did so in dramatic — if not typical Andrew Luck — fashion, there is no doubt collective relief at Colts headquarters. Although all is not well, and they know it, there is at least a glint of hope moving forward.

Nice as it was to beat Tennessee, the Colts hardly looked like champions doing it. But it did turn around their season? Stay tuned. The drama has only just begun.

Rick Morwick is sports editor for The Republic’s sister paper, the (Franklin) Daily Journal. Send comments to [email protected].