The Indianapolis Colts remain the most perplexing team in the AFC. A team that should dominate has for some reason the past few years been less than mediocre. Blame it on injuries or lackluster defense but the Colts haven’t been contenders since 2014. Perhaps it was because of former GM Ryan Grigson who was fired earlier this off season and replaced by Chris Ballard. Or because head coach Chuck Pagano has just run out of magic. It is a semi miracle that Jim Isray didn’t clean house this offseason and get rid of Pagano too considering the head coaching talent on the market. Imagine what a Kyle Shannahan Andrew Luck duo would have looked like. One thing is certain its playoffs or bust this year for the Colts.
I’m going to take a lot of flak for this but is Andrew Luck really a sure-fire Hall of Fame QB? Since 2014 Luck has been only disappointing and though a lot of that has been blamed on Injury you have to put some of the blame on the QB himself, right? Even when Luck wasn’t injured he’s looked shaky at times over the years. Yet maybe if he does get one full year healthy he can get back to the form which earned him a free pass for 2 years. That however is a big if Luck is not expected to be ready to go for the first preseason game and may not be ready until week 3 or 4 according to NFL insider Ian Rappaport. If he gets back and into prior form the Colts should be a lock to make the playoffs but in a tight AFC south Luck must play like an MVP all year long.
If Luck is going to have a career year this year he certainly has the pieces around him. TY Hilton is still one of the best receiver’s in the league and a constant deep threat. Phillip Dorsett showed major signs of promise last year after a disappointing rookie campaign. Donte Moncrief reached top 5 in red zone touchdowns last year and if Luck can stay healthy can be a truly dangerous deep threat.
The receiving core must carry the load. Frank Gore is the Colts primary back and is on the wrong side of 30 for running backs. Add that to the fact that he must run behind a line that ranked in the bottom half of the league in run blocking according to profootballfocus.com .
Really though the entire season depends on the defense. The Colts have not had an NFL level defense for years but this off season with additions of Barkivius Mingo, Jabaal Sheard and Johnathan Hankins. If the defense can gear up to even mid-level NFL and the offense can perform it will be tight but maybe just maybe the Colts will find their way back to meaningful games in January.
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