The Indianapolis Colts spent much of the preseason as a trendy postseason pick, thanks to a solid roster, the inventive mind of coach Frank Reich, and an anticipated upgrade at quarterback in Carson Wentz.
It hasn't worked out that way. The Colts are 1-4 with the single win coming against hobbled Miami. Wentz has already suffered injuries to both ankles. The team ranks right in the murky middle in every major statistical category.
"You cannot get overly concerned about a record," Wentz said this week. "Whether you’re 4-1, 1-4, it’s always just about the next week. In the NFL, anybody can beat anybody at any point in time, and you see that every single Sunday."
That's easy to say when your next opponent is the Houston Texans, and you play in a division that also includes the Jacksonville Jaguars. Still, following Wentz's any-given-Sunday to its logical conclusion, the Colts can't get comfortable any week, and certainly not now with a 20 percent winning percentage.
The record "definitely makes it a little more challenging and that’s where I think leadership has to rise up and guys will follow," Wentz said. "I think we have such strong leadership that guys will rally around and follow and we’ll say, 'Hey, that’s all behind us.'"
The sooner Indianapolis forgets about its devastating Monday night loss to Baltimore, where the Colts squandered a 16-point, fourth-quarter lead and lost in overtime, the better. Indy's best asset is its own division, with two of the NFL's worst teams and a to-date underachiever in Tennessee. In the immediate future, the Colts draw the Texans, Niners, Titans, Jets and Jaguars ... and it will be essential for Indianapolis to come out of that with four wins to keep its postseason hopes alive.
Jay Busbee is a writer for Yahoo Sports. Follow him on Twitter at @jaybusbee or contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.