Power Rankings: No. 12 Indianapolis Colts

A weekly examination of the Colts’ ESPN.com Power Ranking:

Preseason: 10 | Last Week: 11 | ESPN.com Power Ranking since 2002

The Colts dropped a spot after needing quarterback Andrew Luck to bail them out (I know that’s not shocking news) by running for a 19-yard touchdown with about five minutes left to beat Oakland in Week 1. You can’t blame the panel of voters for dropping the Colts down a spot. I would have done the same. There were many people -- myself included -- who thought the Colts would have an easy time against the rebuilding Raiders. But quarterback Terrelle Pryor deserves credit for giving the Raiders a chance to steal the game on the road.

Luck’s touchdown run and Antoine Bethea’s interception of Pryor in the final 30 seconds kept the Colts from likely taking a significant tumble in the rankings.

ESPN analyst Herm Edwards said on the air Monday that he’d choose Luck to lead a team on a game-winning drive over Seattle’s Russell Wilson, Washington’s Robert Griffin III and San Francisco’s Colin Kaepernick. Luck already has eight game-winning drives during his 17-game career. And that’s why the Colts will always be in the mix to be a top-10 team all season.

You probably shouldn’t pay too much attention to the overall rankings. A bigger emphasis should be put on where the Colts sit compared to the other AFC teams. Denver, New England, Houston, Cincinnati and Baltimore are ranked higher than the Colts.

Those are the six teams I picked to represent the AFC in the playoffs, with the Colts being the final team to make it. The next closest AFC team in the rankings is Miami at No. 17. The Colts and Dolphins play each other Sunday in Indianapolis.

One great feature about the Power Rankings is that you have an opportunity to rank the teams. Click here and have at it.