Aug 24, 2013; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Indianapolis Colts quarterback Andrew Luck (12) throws a pass during warm ups before the game against the Cleveland Browns at Lucas Oil Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports
This will be one of the most exciting Colts seasons in recent years, as fans we are fortunate to have another stud quarterback under center. Second year starter and number 1 overall pick Andrew Luck is a special talent and you don’t need me to tell you that, he’s proved himself by leading multiple game winning drives in the past season. Even though Head Coach Chuck Pagano missed a big chunk of the season due to his leukemia treatment the Colts were able to play inspired football with the help of now Arizona Cardinals Head Coach Bruce Arians. Last year the Colts finished 11-5 and earned a Wild Card berth before falling to the Baltimore Ravens, this year they look to take the AFC South and in my brief preview I’ll let you know if I think that’s going to happen.
One of the big improvements the Colts made this offseason is on the defensive side of the ball when they added veteran safety Laron Landry. While I don’t think Landry is a great safety he adds one thing I have always thought the Colts haven’t had since the Bob Sanders years, and that is a hard hitting tough player on defense. Landry is physically amazing his combination of size and speed will make receivers think twice about going over the middle. The Colts secondary also experienced another upgrade when they added cornerback Greg Toler, Toler is a corner who has good size and in the preseason showed signs of being able to force turnovers. This year I have high expectations for this secondary who should be able to force some turnovers.
Normally when a team decides to switch offensive coordinators it can set a player back in his progression when he has to learn a new playbook, well in this case Luck just has to relearn his college offense as the Colts added Pep Hamilton as their new offensive coordinator. Last year Luck was in the shotgun throwing lots of passes this year will be a lot different as Hamilton looks to get the Colts in a West Coast style offense. This will do wonders for the Colts offense which is loaded with talent especially after the breakout season from T.Y. Hilton and of course the ageless Reggie Wayne is one of the best route runners in NFL history. Luck will have a lot of opportunities to make high percentage throws something that wasn’t always available last year, also while it scares me to see him run with the ball, I would bet we see Luck throwing more on the run and making more plays with his legs.
So how will this Colts season play out? Well clearly Andrew Luck is a special talent and this defense is good enough to win the turnover battle and in this league you have to win the turnover battle. I can see the Colts finishing 12-4 which will allow them to win the AFC South and getting themselves a home game in the playoffs. However I don’t see them going all the way this year, this is still a very young team, not only are the players young but this will be Pagano’s 2nd year as a Head Coach so even he may have a few learning curves to go through over the course of the season. Either way, just like all other Colts fans my expectations are through the roof and I can’t for the Colts to pick up their first victory against the Raiders on Sunday!