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With two games left to play in the 2011 regular season, the Colts are in an unfamiliar territory. Instead of their normal dilemma of  whether or not to rest starters, the team now faces the issue of  whether or not it truly wants to win each of its next two outings. A “sure thing” franchise QB in Andrew Luck could be the player at stake, and with Manning’s future in jeopardy, the smart money is that Luck is #1 on the Polians’ Christmas list.

Now more than ever, the long-term success of the franchise is at a crossroads. The Colts always had the luxury of falling back on #18, Peyton Manning, a consistent and dominant force who consistently has helped the Colts become one of the NFL’s premier teams over the past decade. That luxury may no longer be available, as it’s unclear whether Manning’s neck injury will ever recover enough to let him put on the pads and helmet. With such a risk, it appears certain that the Colts will take a quarterback early in this April’s NFL Draft. It is just a matter of whether the team will be in a position to draft Andrew Luck. Anything less than the #1 overall pick, and he’s almost guaranteed to be off the draft board.

If the team is so fortunate to draft Luck, it will get a signal caller who is regarded as the best quarterback prospect since Peyton Manning. It could mark a smooth transition from one great quarterback to the next, similar to other notables such as the San Francisco 49ers with Montana to Young and Green Bay with Favre to Rodgers. However, it is uncertain what the dynamic between Manning and Luck would be and whether Luck would be comfortable sitting for an extended period of time.

Should the Colts trade Manning? Should they trade Luck? These are all questions the Polians are likely thinking as thoughts of sugar plums dance through their heads. At this point, its uncertain whether there’s a clear answer. Peyton’s health and recovery should certainly help dictate the decision, but until things clear up, the franchise appears to be in a state of ambi-blue-ity.

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