(Tony Dungy, still wondering how Marvin Lewis got dissed yesterday)

While the Indianapolis Colts have dropped 3 of their last 4, the most recent result being Sunday’s humiliating 44-17 loss to Jacksonville, the Indy Star’s Bob Kravitz is far from ready to write off their playoff chances.

I’m not — repeat, NOT — telling you the Colts are going to get to the Super Bowl; even a pundit-in-a-pear-tree can see that the odds of winning playoff games are not good when you give up 375 yards rushing (courtesy of Elias Sports Bureau).

What I am telling you, though, is if you think the Colts are hopelessly and inevitably heading toward the shoals of elimination, you just haven’t been watching the NFL for very long.

Consider the Colts’ next opponent, the Cincinnati Bengals. A month ago, they lost three in a row and looked very vulnerable. The past month, though, they’ve been a beast defensively.

The Jacksonville Jaguars? They lost to Houston and Buffalo, and Sunday, they looked like The Team Nobody Wants To See In The Playoffs.

An NFL season is not a 16-game marriage as much as it is a series of 16 one-game marriages. One bears no relation to the other. How about the New York Jets, a team with everything on the line, getting whacked at home by a going-nowhere Buffalo team? Or New England getting shut out by Miami? Or Dallas, the NFC’s Flavor of the Month, getting blown out at home by New Orleans?

This is why most degenerate gamblers end up being housed in cardboard boxes under the nearby overpass.

It’s also why it’s a little bit early to insist the Colts have fallen and they can’t get up.

On the matter of New England being shut out by Miami, the Patriots might’ve lost nose tackle Vince Wilfork for the rest of the season, and even worse, some of the team might receive home delivery of the newspaper that allows Gerry Callahan to opine management has “sent Tom Brady to a gunfight with knives.”

Brady asked the Patriots for some real weapons at the wide receiver position, and the Patriots turned around and said: But you™re Tom Brady. How about you just do some more of your magic tricks?

œA man™s got to know his limitations, said Dirty Harry Callahan. So does a team. You cannot surround your quarterback with veteran castoffs and fragile rookies and hope he can sprinkle some Brady dust on them and turn them into quality NFL players. They put yard-sale tires on their Ferrari and hoped they would get them through the winter. It doesn™t look like they™re going to make it, and it™s a shame, really.

Seattle’s Mike Holmgren is unhappy about playing a road game on 3 days’ rest. Well, that and going head to head with “Sleeper Cell : American Terror”.