Ah, it's officially football season.

Denver Post columnist Woody Paige, perhaps better known for his regular spots on ESPN's Around the Horn, penned a Labor Day weekend piece gloating about how the Broncos were going to smash the Colts in Week 1.  His prediction?  42-20 Broncos.

Here are a few of the highlights (in italics) with my responses (in bold):

"In their two opening games at home with Peyton Manning at quarterback, the Broncos have scored 80 points."

That's True, But Both Of Those Opponents, Pittsburgh And Baltimore, Ended Up 8-8 And Out Of The Playoffs In Those Seasons.

"The Colts won last Oct. 20 to ruin Manning's return... The Broncos would've prevailed had Ronnie Hillman not fumbled on the Colts' two-yard line in the fourth quarter."

Indianapolis was up nine when that fumble happened and there were just three minutes left.  Denver scoring on that drive, then forcing the Colts to go three-and-out, then scoring again all in three minutes was hardly a certainty.

"Reggie Wayne, the Colts' premier receiver, is 35 and recovering from a torn ACL.  He barely played in the exhibitions.  By the way, the Colts lost all four, which doesn't matter, except no Super Bowl champion ever lost all four."

I'm struggling to understand why their preseason results are relevant. The Colts are 9-33 in the preseason since 2005.  They've won an average - an average - of 11 games per season in that span with playoff appearances in eight of those nine years.

"Manning could throw nine touchdown passes this time."

Hyperbole, much?

"The Colts need more than a horseshoe for luck against Manning."

Get it?  Because their logo is a horsehoe! LOLZ!

Everyone knows that the Colts going into Denver and winning in Week 1 against Peyton and the high-octane Broncos is unlikely.  That said, I'm not buying into a lot of Paige's rationale.  He's right on when it comes to the absence of Mathis looming large, but the Colts have had a knack for claiming big scalps (2012 Packers, 2013 49ers, Seahawks, Broncos) when they weren't expected to in their two seasons with Andrew Luck under center.  

I'm not counting them out.