Here's a look at the first half of the season for the Indianapolis Colts and a preview of what to expect in the second half:
First-half snapshot w/grade: It’s no secret that the Colts were expected to struggle without quarterback Andrew Luck (shoulder), but their inability to play a complete game has been alarming. One of the things coach Chuck Pagano needed to do without Luck was put a competitive team on the field on a weekly basis. That has been a failure. The Colts have either been blown out from the start of games -- such as against the Rams and Jaguars -- or collapsed in the second half with their flawed roster. Grade: Bring on 2018.
Midseason MVP: Linebacker John Simon. Receiver T.Y. Hilton can’t be the MVP after he publicly called out his offensive linemen for giving up 10 sacks against Jacksonville. MVPs don’t do that. Simon, whom the Colts signed last spring, has been the team’s most consistent player. He has 39 tackles, three sacks and an interception that he returned from a touchdown.
Best moment: The Colts unveiled a Peyton Manning statue in front of Lucas Oil Stadium the day before their Week 5 game against San Francisco on Oct. 7. The fact that a ceremony is the bright spot shows how bad things have been for the Colts. The other highlight was general manager Chris Ballard's acquisition of quarterback Jacoby Brissett from New England a week before their season opener at the Los Angeles Rams. Brissett has struggled at times, but he has been the least of the team’s problems despite barely being with them for two months. The Colts would likely be winless had they stuck with Scott Tolzien as their starting quarterback.
Worst moment: Being shut out at home against the Jacksonville Jaguars in Week 7. To start off, the Colts made Blake Bortles (330 yards passing) look like a star quarterback. That rarely happens. Then the Colts' offensive line had one of the worst performances in franchise history. They gave up 10 sacks, which was the second-most a Colts team had given up in a game. Indianapolis was so bad that it was surprising that owner Jim Irsay didn’t fire Pagano after the game.
Second-half outlook: Can the Colts skip ahead to the end of the season? Ballard will use the second half of the season to evaluate which players fit into the team’s future. It will also likely be the final weeks of Pagano's tenure. What started as three straight seasons of making the playoffs will likely end with three straight seasons of missing the playoffs. All eyes will be on whether the Colts will be a bad enough team to improve their draft status. The odds of that happening are pretty good if the first half of the season is any indication.