Know Your Enemy: Nate Dunlevy on the Colts

Nate Dunlevy is my automatic go-to guy for Colts talk. He covers the AFC South for Bleacher Report, writes for Colts Authority, and loves the show Arrested Development.

Where does the Dan Orlovsky-led Colts getting their first win against the Titans last year rank in your all-time favorite Colts moments? That’s almost funny. It wouldn’t make the top 100. I’m guessing that was a joke.

Honestly, though, the win over Houston with Reggie Wayne going crazy in what we thought was his last game would make my top 30 list. [Zach note: See, even beating the Titans for your first win of a dumpster fire of a season doesn't register. I root for the most boring team in the NFL. It's official.]

Since the Texans are dominating the division and the Colts are at least two years ahead of their rebuilding plan, is there any hope to be had as a Titans fan? Absolutely. I think Jake Locker can become the next McNabb. [Zach note: Donovan McNabb in his prime was a top QB. We all remember his implosion in Washington/Minnesota. He was like 1000 Vince Youngs.] The Texans won’t have a long stay on top, as they’ve been lucky to dodge age issues this year.

Indy will be a beast with Luck, but that roster has a long way to go. There’s plenty of reason to stay positive as a Titans fan.

Does the Colts’ 28th rank in DVOA, one slot ahead of the Titans, mean that Sunday’s game should be evenly matched? The first game was, and I expect this game to be similar. The Colts play better at home, but not dramatically so. Should be tight. I expect Indy to win, but only because it’s a home game.

Is it safe to say that T.Y. Hilton has exceeded your expectations and given the Colts their first kick-return threat in years (decades)? The kick return is gravy on top of what has been an incredible rookie year for the young wideout. He’s already posted four 100 yard games and is first or second in every significant rookie category. You can’t ask for more than what Hilton has done each week.

Can you talk about the job that Bruce Arians has done as interim head coach? He’s handled the emotional side of coaching well, and done a great job making it clear that he’s just executing Chuck Pangano’s vision.

The players like him, and he’s done a better job being aggressive as the season has gone along.

I’m not going to gush over him, but he’s been pretty good in a tough situation.

After last year’s disastrous campaign, the end of the Peyton era and a Super Bowl at home, how is the fan base reacting to this team? People are happy. Luck is a jaw-dropper every time he plays. Enthusiasm is high.

It’s not like it was with Peyton, and that’s sad, but this is fun for Colts fans in a new way. It feels more like 1996 than 2006.

The Colts fired their defensive coordinator in 2011 at nearly the same time that the Titans fired Chris Palmer this year. Is there anything to be gained by dumping a coordinator in mid-season, other than to tell the fan base to wait for the NFL draft? Not really. The Indy D played better once Larry Coyer was gone, but at that point you are really just rearranging deck chairs on the Titanic.

I’d be shocked if the Titans got any boost from it.

Find Nate at Bleacher Report, Colts Authority, and check out his books Invincible, Indiana, and Blue Blood.

Finally, follow Nate on Twitter. He’s the football commentary version of a microbrew in a pile of Lite beers.

Are you missing one interview to complete your Know Your Enemy boxed set? Read and collect ‘em all right here.

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