Senior NFL Columnist

Power Rankings: Surprising Colts exceeding everyone's expectations -- mine especially

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During a training-camp conversation this summer while sitting on a golf cart, Indianapolis Colts general manager Ryan Grigson ribbed me for picking his team to win one game.

I respected the big man for standing up for his team.

Now he should get even more respect.

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Grigson, the Colts' first-year general manager, has a team that would be in the playoffs if they started right now. We know there's still a long way to go, but the Colts are an amazing story at 4-3, fresh off an overtime victory against the Tennessee Titans Sunday on the road.

The Colts have played the past four weeks without coach Chuck Pagano, who is out battling leukemia, have a rookie quarterback in Andrew Luck and haven't been close to healthy on defense.

How is this happening?

Now comes an even weirder thing: The Colts-Dolphins game this week is a big one. If the playoffs started today, they both would be in the tournament. Who could have imagined that at this time of the season, or any point in the season?

The Colts have moved from down near the bottom of the CBSSports.com Power Rankings to the 12th spot in the first eight weeks.

What in the name of Peyton Manning is going on?

Wasn't this supposed to be a three-year rebuilding job?

A lot of the credit goes to Luck, but Grigson and interim coach Bruce Arians also deserve their share. The Colts are ninth in total offense, averaging 373 yards a game, more than the Texans and the Falcons, two of the league's best teams.

Luck has been good, not great. His passer rating is 74.8 and he has eight touchdown passes and eight interceptions. But he has 28 plays of 20 yards or more, the same as Tom Brady and only five behind Peyton Manning.

Luck has looked like a pro from the time he arrived in Indianapolis. He carries himself like a franchise passer -- and he's on his way to proving he is that and more.

The Colts in the playoffs isn't so far-fetched now. And to think, some idiot picked them to win one game.

RANK TEAM MOVE (LW)

Pete Prisco has covered the NFL for three decades, including working as a beat reporter in Jacksonville for the Jaguars. He hosted his own radio show for seven years, and is the self-anointed star of CBS Sports' show, Eye on Football. When he's not watching game tape, you can find Pete on Twitter or dreaming of an Arizona State national title in football.
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