General off-season strategy/overview: Re-load and re-lock. You know, we’ve been watching The Pacific, the World War II mini-series on HBO, this off-season, and reading the source books which led to the TV production. It turns out that the phrase you always hear on TV or with friends, “Lock and Load!” is historically inaccurate. The proper phrase, according to The Pacific and the World War II Marine Corps memoirs, is “Load and Lock!”So we’re trying to be true to history here: the perpetual contender Colts, the most consistent regular-season victory machine in NFL history, must simply re-load and re-lock for the 2010 season. We loved their top draft pick (Jerry Hughes) and generally trust Bill Polian to harvest great talent in the draft and in free agency.Totally premature 2010 diagnosis: Indy has won 12 or more games in a truly remarkable seven straight seasons, and 10 or more games in 10 of the last 11 years. We see no reason for the party to end in 2010. But it all comes down to a brutal stretch run: from Nov. 1 to Dec. 9, the Colts host rising division rival Houston, visit NFC power Philly, host 2009 AFC North champs Cincy, head to Foxboro for their annual November gut-check battle with the Patriots, host the talented Chargers and Cowboys in consecutive weeks, and then have a short week to prepare for a trip to Tennessee for a Thursday primetime showdown with what could be a tough division contender. That’s one brutal stretch. A 4-3 record would be commendable.
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