2016 Indianapolis Colts Season Preview

It is almost time for the start of the 2016-17 season of the NFL and what would a season be without Roger Goodell going after Tom Brady. But that’s not what I want to focus on. Let’s jump right into the season preview of my favorite team, the Indianapolis Colts.

          After being the sure favorites to win the seemingly easy AFC South, the 2015 season for the Colts was an absolute disaster. Having Luck play just a handful of games due to injuries did not help an already depleted roster as the Colts managed to finish 8-8 without reaching the playoffs. A lot of changes needed to be made moving forward in terms of the offensive line to protect the franchise QB and the Colts did just that by drafting center Ryan Kelly out of Alabama. However, the rest of the line is all but a huge question on whether or not they can protect Luck and allow him to do the magical things that led the Colts to a 28-point comeback over the Chiefs in 2014. The Colts have to be worried about one thing that has haunted them since the Peyton Manning era : depth in skill positions.

          As long as Andrew Luck stays healthy, I have no concerns on the future of this franchise and particularly this season. Starting from 2012 when he was the first overall pick, Luck has recorded over 14,000 yards and 101 TD with a concerning 55 interceptions. But his drive and ability to command a young offense has turned heads in the NFL.

As for running backs, the Colts are heavily relying on one of the oldest, if not oldest back in the league, Frank Gore. Although the Colts have never been a team to rely on a solid run game, it would be ideal to have their offense to have a back who can take some of the workload off of Luck and his receivers and pack a punch in the end zone.

          The Colts have a lot of potential in the receiving core. And that’s about it. Potential. After letting go of Andre Johnson after a pretty disappointing season, the Colts will have T.Y. Hilton as their star receiver who is a man who might not be the biggest or fastest, but his quick cuts have earned him the nickname around Lucas Oil Stadium as the “Ghost.” Other wideouts such as Moncrief and now sophomore Phillip Dorsett will have to be more reliable targets for Luck moving forward.

          The defense is all but cringeworthy. No matter what the Colts have done to up their arsenal on the other side of the ball, it always seems to be that the other team lights up the scoreboard and every single fan in blue and white starts to pray for Luck to well, you know, make his own luck over and over again. The aging linebackers consisting of D’Qwell Jackson and Robert Mathis are not enough to stop high octane offenses such as the Chiefs and Packers who the Colts have to play back to back weeks this season. Vontae Davis might be our best bet for cornerbacks and the lack of depth is severely concerning.

          Now, if you’ve read this far, you might be asking yourself: how is this kid a fan of this team if all he’s said is negative? And, you’re not wrong. I’m just a realistic fan with realistic hopes which brings me to my last section of my article : the schedule for 2016.

          The AFC South portion of the schedule does not worry me at all besides the Houston Texans who will now be led by the former Broncos quarterback Brock Osweiler. They have one of the best receivers in the game, DeAndre Hopkins, along with a man who can break through any offensive line schemes, J.J. Watt. Besides the Texans, no team should be a huge threat to the Colts as they try to find their footing and dig the horseshoe through the teeth of the AFC South.

Here are the teams that worry me and should worry most fans.

Denver Broncos – Week 2

  • Although Peyton Manning wasn’t a threat towards the end of his career, the Broncos have one of the best defenses in the league that could come after Luck led by Von Miller.

Kansas City Chiefs – Week 8

  • The last time the Chiefs were in town the Colts broke their hearts in one of the greatest comebacks in NFL history. However, a healthy Jamaal Charles will be a menace out of the backfield.

Green Bay Packers – Week 9

  • Need I say more? Aaron Rodgers.

Pittsburgh Steelers – Week 12

  • If Bell can stop getting caught with drugs, he could actually help the Steelers become a championship caliber team with Big Ben and of course, Antonio Brown.

New York Jets – Week 13

  • The Jets are consistent on both offense and defense and with the resigning of Fitzpatrick and arguably one of the best receiving core in the game with Decker and Marshall, this will not be an easy matchup especially on the road.

Minnesota Vikings – Week 15

  • The Vikings are similar to Colts in many ways. They have one superstar followed by a few shining moments from decent players. This game should be tight as the season would wind down. But if Adrian Peterson gets the ball and starts running away from it all, it could be a huge L.

 

Final season prediction: I am hoping the Colts can finish 10 – 6 or better and win the division and secure another playoff berth and become relevant once more.

 

Thank you guys for reading this article. As always, if you have any questions or comments, leave in the comment section below and I will get back to you.