I did this last year before the season started and, of course, I fell flat on my face. The 2015 Colts season was a bust for many of us who predicted what was “going to happen” and looked like goons for it. This season there is a lot of hope that the Colts can get back on track and perform like they had the previous three seasons under Andrew Luck. The expectations aren’t as high this season as they were last season, but there are still some expectations. The Colts are expected to win the AFC South, make the playoffs, and be contenders for the Super Bowl. Those are expectations the team has set for itself. The expectations by people outside the locker room are that they are going to battle to win the AFC South, struggle to make the playoffs, and are in no way contenders for the Lombardi. I beg to differ. In fact, I may be a little off-center with what my expectations are for this season, but I’ve been there before. At least I believe they can be more than what the critics are saying they can be.
1. Colts go 6-0 in the AFC South
Yes, the Texans and the Jags got much better this off-season. They made some good moves though they aren’t proven moves. No one really knows what Osweiler can do for the Texans and the hope is high that Bortles can pick up where he left off least season. Both defenses are improved and stout, but the Colts have a great equalizer in Andrew Luck. The Titans will be better this year as well, but they aren’t contenders to win the division. This is going to be a three horse race and the Colts are going to show their dominance once again.
2. Colts get to AFC Championship Game
I feel that with the talent the team has added and what was already here that this isn’t something that is too crazy. They did it two years ago with lesser talent so I do not see why they can’t do it again with a healthy Andrew Luck and an improved offensive line. I know someone is going to say why wouldn’t I say they are going to the Super Bowl. I don’t have an answer for them. I feel this team can get to Houston for the Super Bowl, but this is where I’m most comfortable putting them right now.
3. Andrew Luck is the Comeback Player of the Year
This may be a n0-brainer, but he will be up against some other great players that had down seasons last year. Luck has shown that he is ready to get out there and prove that he is the best young quarterback in the NFL and all reports point that he is fully healthy and has no restrictions at this time. Luck just got his huge contract as well so he will feel the need to prove he is back from injury and show everyone that he deserved to get paid the amount he did.
4. Colts will have a Top 5 offensive line
Here is how I see the offensive line being put together this year:
Reitz proved that he belongs in the starting lineup and Good proved that he was not a usual 7th round washout. I feel they will solidify the troubled side of the line and with the addition to the nasty young Ryan Kelly at center I feel this line will finally be complete. Joe Haeg could get some playing time at RG as well with Austin Blythe and La’Raven Clark also pushing for time that will only make this OL unit tougher as they will be pushing themselves all season long. For once in his career, Luck will have a formidable wall in front of him so he will have to get to his mark and get rid of the ball normally without having a defender clinging to him.
5. Frank Gore gets to 1,200 yard rushing
The Colts still haven’t had a 1,000 yard rusher in years and they came close last season, but close doesn’t cut it. As mentioned before, this offensive line is much improved and will finally open the holes for Gore to sneak through and he will finally be the weapon that Grigson hoped he would be. The Colts are an aerial assault team which will actually allow Gore to get his yards and make the defense play the run which is going to elevate this team to where it should have already been.
6. Robert Mathis will reach 14 sacks this season
Mathis seemed to get back to his old form as the season came to an end last year. Mathis has went on record stating that he feels 100 percent again and ready to go. He is aging and the Colts can’t rely on him like they used to be able to, but he can still get the job done. Mathis will get to 14 sacks this season and be named to the Pro Bowl as well. Having that production will hopefully boost the other pass rushers to want to follow suit.
7. Colts secondary will lead NFL in interceptions
Davis is the best in the secondary in Indy hands down. With the addition of Patrick Robinson, Davis should be able to play his game and shut down a whole side of the field by himself. Geathers will finally get his shot to start and Adams will still have a pro bowl caliber free safety for one more year. Butler still has some gas as well. I feel he will be a sleeper this season and with the addition of Green from the draft I think this unit is primed to breakout and be a force this season.
8. Colts will be a top 8 defense
I know many of you think this is stupid to say as the Colts defense isn’t the greatest unit. I believe though that with the upgraded secondary and Mathis getting back to form they will be a great unit. The run defense hasn’t been as bad as many think, but there is always room for improvement. D’Qwell Jackson will lead the league in tackles and will continue to be the run stuffer he has always been. Parry will only get better and Art Jones will finally have an injury free season where he can be the rock the Colts brought him into be on the defensive line. This defensive unit as a whole will be much improved and be ready for war.
9. Colts to have 8 Pro Bowl selections
Here is the list:
This is how I see this season going. As we move forward through training camp I will be giving out my final season prediction for the overall record, but I can say I believe that they will win at least 10 games. There are some wild expectations from me for this team, but they aren’t out of reach. This team has so much potential that has still yet to be discovered and this season I feel they will unlock the next phase of that potential. They won’t be a juggernaut, but they won’t be a cakewalk either.