NFL

Why Your Team Won’t Win Super Bowl LI- Indianapolis Colts

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After winning the AFC South three consecutive seasons, the Indianapolis Colts took a major step backwards last year as they finished second behind the Houston Texans with a record of (8-8).

To be fair, the Colts disappointing season could be directly attributed to injuries, the main one being All-Pro quarterback Andrew Luck.

However, before Luck went down for the season, he wasn’t having one of his better seasons.

In seven games, Luck had a touchdown to interception ratio of 15 to 12, but what’s even more troubling was his inaccuracy. The former No. 1 overall pick yielded a completion percentage of 55.3, while having a quarterback rating of 74.9.

As Luck preps to have a bounce back season, there’s certain areas he’s dialed in on during the offseason. 

“There’s footwork, understanding the new offense. I worked on it all, a lot with coach [Brian] Schottenheimer, our quarterbacks coach, just making sure my feet marry up to the play,” Luck stated. “That was the big focus.”

Nonetheless, it’s unclear if Luck will even be allowed to return to his high level of play and not just for health concerns, but the lack of pieces around him.

Indianapolis’ offensive line still appears to be shaky, which is not a good sign for Luck, who’s coming back from injury.

Also, outside of T.Y. Hilton, the Colts are fairly limited at wide receiver.

With little to no running game to speak of, Chuck Pagano’s ball club will be heavily relying on Luck to get his receivers involved early and often.

Speedsters Donte Moncrief and Philip Dorsett must make major strides. 

“We’ve got to step up and make plays,” Moncrief said. “We have to help out T.Y. (Hilton).”

To Moncrief’s credit, he doubled his statistics from his rookie year last season. The Ole Miss product totaled 64 catches for 733 yards to go along with six touchdowns.

Now, they just need Dorsett to do similar things in his sophomore year. During his rookie campaign, Dorsett only hauled in 18 catches for 225 yards with one touchdown.

“We’ve got to basically help everybody,” Dorsett stressed. “We’ve got to help in the run game, we’ve got to help Andrew (Luck), we’ve got to play fast and we’ve got to play physical, and that’s what we’re going to do.”

For as many question marks Indianapolis has from an offensive standpoint, they have just as many unknowns on the defensive side of the ball, if not more.

In 2015, Indianapolis had one of the worse defenses in the league and the stats are there to back it up.

The Colts allowed 25.5 points per game, which ranked them 25th in the league. Not to mention, they were in the bottom half of the league in terms of pass and rush defense.

What did they do to improve?

Well, to put it nicely, little to nothing.

One of their lone bright spots from a season ago is no longer on the roster, as the Chicago Bears signed inside linebacker Jerrell Freeman to a three-year deal worth $12 million.

The lone key addition Indianapolis made was picking up cornerback Patrick Robinson, who rated very highly according to Pro Football Focus. 

Having said that, the Colts will be relying on a plethora of unproven players to take them over the top in 2016, which is a strategy you truly can’t depend on to be successful.

Super Bowl?

It would be a major accomplishment if this unit is able to just win the division.


About Mark Gunnels

Mark Gunnels

Mark Gunnels is an NFL columnist for Football Insiders. He has several years of experience covering the NFL and NCAA football. He's the radio color commentator for Lincoln University football. Mark's work has been featured on Sports Illustrated, Fox Sports and Yard Barker.