Last season, Indy reached the AFC Championship game and were hammered by the New England Patriots. A lot has been said about that much, but in all honesty the game could have been played with pineapples and the Patriots would have still advanced to the Super Bowl. However, this year, Colts fans are filled with renewed hope and optimism. Andrew Luck has another year of experience under his belt and defeat at the final hurdle last season will only spur Chuck Pagano’s men to go one better this campaign.
The Colts acted quickly in free agency to secure the services of Frank Gore and Andre Johnson. The former San Francisco 49ers legend will provide a much-needed power running game at Lucas Oil Stadium this year, while Andre Johnson – who terrorised Indy’s cornerbacks for so many seasons for AFC South rivals Houston Texans – will finally get his shot at a Super Bowl crown playing under Andrew Luck, who the veteran described as ‘the best quarterback’ in the NFL.
Crucially, Indianapolis acted astutely to secure players on the defensive side of the field too. Kendall Langford, Nate Irving and Trent Cole will provide some speed on defence and the Colts should be much more physical this year. The return of pass rusher Robert Mathis should also mean that Indy manage to force more turnovers and sacks this season. The decision to re-sign ageing safety Mike Adams could also bear fruit in a familiar defensive system.
After Indy were paired with the NFC South this year, many assume that the Colts should go on to finish with an incredible winning record – possibly 14-2 or 13-3. Realistically, Chuck Pagano’s side should be looking to finish with at least a 12-4 record and secure one of the top two seeds in the AFC. The Colts have shown that they can win postseason matches on the road but home advantage is, as we know, vital for franchises to reach the Super Bowl. With a bit of luck, and better use of the ball on offense, Indianapolis Colts could be involved in next year’s showpiece event at Levi’s Stadium on February 7th.
You can follow Alex (Occasional quarterback, frequent benchwarmer and Indianapolis Colts fan) on Twitter @almacca93