Surprising Colts growing up faster than expected

Indianapolis Colts
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The Indianapolis Colts are growing up fast.

As they near the midway point of the season, they've already doubled their victory total from 2011 and at 4-3 are suddenly talking about the playoff picture.

Nobody expected this.

How have they done it?

Most of the players in this year's rookie class - from Andrew Luck to tight ends Dwayne Allen and Coby Fleener - have become key contributors in the first half of the season.

The latest example came Sunday when unheralded running back Vick Ballard, a fifth-round pick in April, made one of this season's most spectacular plays: a twisting, 4½-yard dive that earned perfect marks from the judges and gave Indy a 19-13 overtime victory at Tennessee.