Colts quarterback Andrew Luck (left) plays the Houston Texans this week. (Reuters)
The Indianapolis Colts are the feel-good story of the NFL.
A team of unknowns, has-beens, never-weres and wanna-bes, they have become about as welcome to their opponents as a pesky mosquito at twilight party time. In one of the most unexpected twists in recent NFL memory, they have gone from a franchise in ruin to a team admired — and, they have done it in the blink of an eye.
Just days ago the team announced that head coach Chuck Pagano, who has ghost-written this script from a hospital bed, is expected to have recovered enough from leukemia to return for the season finale. The Colts are 9-4 and on the cusp of earning a playoff spot nobody — not even its most ardent supporters in Indianapolis — dared dream possible just months ago.
There has been that unlikely comeback win against the Green Bay Packers. They beat the Minnesota Vikings. They won seven of eight, losing only to the New England Patriots.