Indianapolis Colts 2014 Season Preview and Prediction

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The Indianapolis Colts head into the 2014 season with high hopes. The front office believes this is a “Super Bowl or Bust” year for the team.

The Colts were 11-5 last season and took home the AFC South title. They pulled off one of the most impressive playoff comebacks in history against the Chiefs in the Wild Card round. But the season came to an end with a disappointing performance against former rival, the New England Patriots.

The team is loaded with offensive talent, but there are still issues on the defensive side of the ball. The Colts gave up 87 points in the playoffs and made a number of moves in the offseason to shore up this side of the ball.

The team also has a number of players returning from injury. Chief among them is long-time Colt and fan favorite Reggie Wayne returns from an ACL tear. Tight End Dwayne Allen, who was on cusp of a breakout year last season, returns from a hip injury.

The Colts are annually one of the most injured teams in the league. This year is no exception as a number of players have already been lost for the season. Safety Delano Howell was supposed to start this year, but further injury to his neck led to his release. Guard Donald Thomas re-tore his quad and running back Vick Ballard suffered a torn achilles. All three were on IR last season as well.

The Colts still have concerns across the middle of the offensive line and are likely to start three players with just one season of experience between each other. They’ve improved the receiving corps and have an interesting stable of running backs on the roster.

Defensively, the Colts made moves to get stronger across the front seven and improve on a run defense that gave up 125 yards per game (26th in the NFL). The secondary is still concerning as the Colts have serious issues at the safety position. The Colts will also be without their best defensive player, Robert Mathis, to start the season. He’ll serve a four game suspension for violating the league’s substance abuse policy.

The Colts also happen to reside in what is universally considered as the worst division in the NFL, the AFC South. While the other three teams have serious concerns at quarterback (among other positions), the Colts are set with Andrew Luck under center.

The entire seasons rest of the team’s ability to keep Luck healthy and on the field. Luck, like his predecessor, has an uncanny ability to make this team significantly better than it really is.