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Tuesday, February 4, 2014
Colts not in Clayton's early top five for 2014

By Mike Wells

INDIANAPOLIS -- The end of the season usually means taking a quick look at who could be some of the top teams in the following season.

That's what John Clayton did Monday.

And to no surprise, Clayton expects the Seattle Seahawks to be the top team again.

It's hard to disagree with Clayton on his decision. Seattle's average age is only 26 years old.

Here's the rest of the top five -- or eight -- since he has four teams listed at No. 5.

2. San Francisco

3. Denver

4. New England

5. Carolina, New Orleans, St. Louis and Arizona

A couple of things stand out with the eight teams Clayton has listed.

First, the Indianapolis Colts aren't on the list. The Colts beat the top three teams on the list and advanced to the divisional round of the playoffs, but they've got a number of issues they need to address in the offseason starting with the interior of their offensive line.

Quarterback Andrew Luck will only be able to mask those flaws for so long.

The other thing about that list I noticed is that it's loaded with teams from the NFC.

The Seahawks obviously showed that the NFC was the better conference this season the way they easily handled the Broncos 43-8 in the Super Bowl.  You can say the NFC Championship Game was really the Super Bowl when the Seahawks beat the 49ers 23-17.  All four teams from the NFC West and two from the NFC South -- Carolina and New Orleans -- are on the list.

The Colts and many other teams in the AFC have some work to do to catch up with their NFC counterparts.