The Indianapolis Colts are 10-4, in a great position to make the postseason, and their owner couldn't be happier with what he's seeing from his team.
Jim Irsay believes his Colts are the most "complete" team in the NFL, and made a case for them as such -- even after his best defender's Pro Bowl case went overlooked.
"We're so excited. And we control the things we can control," Irsay told NFL Network's Stacey Dales in an interview that will air Thursday on Total Access. "We couldn't control not having any nationally televised games at home this year, which was a disappointment. We couldn't control DeForest (Buckner) not getting the Pro Bowl. But we control that 60 minutes, and in that 60 minutes no one can take anything from us.
"That's our time. We know when we go into that 60 minutes that's how we're going to define ourselves. And we're taking it one game at a time. But I have a special feeling about this team, I really do. I think it's the most complete team in the league. I believe that. There's other teams and players in other positions that may be greater so to speak, but the three phases of the game -- special teams, defense and offense -- and you put it all together, I really love this football team. And we're doing things now in December that we couldn't do in September. I don't think we go to the Raiders and beat them on the road the way we did if that was September."
Indianapolis is currently 10-4 and on the losing end of a tie with Tennessee for the lead in the AFC South, but in a good position to earn a wild-card berth as long as the Colts take care of their own business. That includes beating a reeling Steelers team that at 11-3 has already clinched a postseason berth, but hasn't found a grasp of winning football in nearly a month.
"We have two more to go and we'll see. It's so tough being in the conference," Irsay said. "You could be like the one time New England was 11-5 and not make the playoffs this year. The way to solve that for us would be to go 12-4, which is win the next two."
After Sunday's Pittsburgh hurdle is a rematch with the woeful Jacksonville Jaguars, who haven't won a game since Week 1. That victory did, however, come over the Colts, who should have a bit of added motivation on their minds when they battle the Jaguars.
As for Buckner, Irsay was stunned when he learned his prized offseason acquisition didn't earn an annual honor reserved for the league's best. Buckner has made a significant impact on the Colts' defense, recording 52 tackles, 7.5 sacks, eight tackles for loss and 24 QB hits, and his absence in a key loss to Tennessee made his value even more noticeable.
"I thought it was April not Christmas for April Fool's," Irsay said. ... "We follow DeForest. He's our T-Rex. He's the T-Rex. Trust me, when you're in the huddle and you see a guy like that next to you, you're going like 'it's cool this play is going to be OK. And I'm a really good player by the way 'cause that guy's over there.'
"To see someone 300 pounds who moves like a small linebacker or safety it's remarkable. ... Hopefully he'll do what Darius [Leonard] did and not make Pro Bowl but make All-Pro because I can't imagine him not making All-Pro."
The latter remains to be seen. But Indianapolis is equipped to make a run, and they just might prove Irsay's claims to be accurate.