Jim Irsay: Colts have makings of another 'golden era'

Outside predictions on the Indianapolis Colts range all over the map, but team owner Jim Irsay believes his club -- armed with a healthy Andrew Luck -- is ready to return to the postseason.

"Time will tell. I'm optimistic, personally. I think we have the makings of a third golden era, if you will," Irsay said Tuesday, per the team's official website. "There was (Johnny) Unitas. There was Peyton (Manning). And now it's Andrew's time. I believe we can get to the top of Mount Everest and plant that Colts flag."

It isn't all sun-splashed utopias for Irsay, though, who admits the team needs to "score 24-plus Sunday" to "carry us while the injured, young defense holds on and tries to find some playmakers and some health."

We'd also question an offensive line that has underperformed during Luck's entire career in Indianapolis. With their star quarterback missing nine games to injury last season, the Colts spiraled to 8-8 and lost the South to the Texans.

"We have to go out and reprove ourselves," Irsay said. "People are wondering, 'Who are they?' Are they a 7-9 team that needs more draft picks and more maturation? Or is this a football team that has the right mix of some veterans and some young players that can go out and win the division and continue to get better?"

Give Irsay credit for pointing out his roster's issues on defense. Luck, meanwhile, is no longer the only worthwhile passer in the AFC South. The development of Marcus Mariota in Tennessee and Jacksonville's Blake Bortles turn two annual pushovers into a tougher out this season. In Houston, the Texans have sprinkled talent all around Brock Osweiler.

Until we see the unevenly constructed Colts -- not just their healthy quarterback -- dominate the rest of the division, the "golden era" is on hold.

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