Why the Colts' run may be over

Do Peyton Manning's Colts have enough talent to get back to the playoffs this year? Howard Smith/US Presswire

The Indianapolis Colts have been one of the most consistent teams in the NFL over the past decade. Since the NFL moved to the eight-division format in 2002, they have won 10 or more games every season, and have won 12 or more games in seven of those nine seasons. For that reason, one could be forgiven for thinking that the Colts are going to continue to be the same playoff automaton that they've been in the recent past. It would be easy to recycle last year's AFC South predictions. Update the old template with a note about Chris Johnson's contract situation, take a jab at the Jacksonville Jaguars' chances of moving to Los Angeles, throw in a laugh at the Houston Texans' mythical ability to melt down in the clutch, then print it. See you again next August.

This year, though, things may actually turn out differently.

The Football Outsiders preseason projection system has given Indianapolis a mean projection of just 7.8 wins. In what we perceive as a very down AFC South, the Colts could still get a couple of breaks and win the division at 9-7. However, we're projecting the Texans to finally wrestle control of the AFC South away from the Colts.