“Refuse to live in circumstances & decide consciously to live in vision.”

In the midst of a battle with Leukemia, Indianapolis Colts head coach Chuck Pagano dug up this quote to help him fight the good fight. In addition, it served as fuel to ignite his surprising 5-3 team throughout the remainder of the season. To go even further, this quote has been the theme of the Colts since the decimation of the Peyton Manning/Bill Polian era this past offseason.

In response to a 2-14 campaign in 2011, a franchise low, Owner Jim Irsay decided to spark a new era in Indianapolis. In that came the departure of such household names as running back Joseph Addai, middle linebacker Gary Brackett, tight end Dallas Clark, center Jeff Saturday, wide receiver Pierre Garcon, head coach Jim Caldwell and of course, quarterback Peyton Manning.

Replacing the once mainstays are Vick Ballard, Jerrell Freeman, Weslye Saunders, Samson Satele, Donnie Avery, Pagano and the first overall pick of the 2012 draft Andrew Luck. Given the mass exodus of the past regime, external expectations of this franchise weren’t the best. With the Colts however, vision undoubtedly took precedent over circumstance.

In just eight games, the Colts have more than doubled their win total of a season ago. Despite having surrounding talent, that was considered by many, lesser than what his counterpart Robert Griffin III has in Washington, Luck is showing he is indeed NFL ready. The team is collectively defying the odds.  Luck directs the sixth best offense in passing yards at 285 per game. He’s also the reason why Reggie Wayne has a league best, 835 receiving yards.

Defensively, the team plays with that “bend but don’t break” approach, where you may get something on them, but it won’t be enough to take them out.

The Colts may have ways to go before returning to championship contention, but they are far removed from the team they were a season ago.

In my book, this is the undisputed “feel good” story of 2012. At this rate, this team will continue its rally around Pagano, make an unlikely playoff appearance and may even hurt a team(s) feelings along the way. There’s nothing more dangerous than a team that’s motivated by the world being against them.

Here’s a look into what the Colts and the rest of the league will do in week 10:

Colts over Jaguars

Bengals over Giants

Dolphins over Titans

Vikings over Lions

Patriots over Bills

Saints over Falcons

Buccaneers over Chargers

Broncos over Panthers

Ravens over Raiders

Seahawks over Jets

Eagles over Cowboys

49ers over Rams

Texans over Bears

Steelers over Chiefs

Week 9 resulted in a 10-4 mark.  This trend must continue!  See you in seven days!

By Antoine Hoffman

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