The Indianapolis Colts finished the season 11-5 and made it all the way to the AFC Championship game. We take a look at each position and breakdown the units performance over the past season. Pro Football Focus (PFF) provides the grades, Football Outsiders DVOA (value per play) and DYAR (total value).
The one position where the Colts are unequivocally set for the next 10 years is at quarterback. Unlike the rest of the AFC South, Colts fans don’t have to play the guessing game at QB.
2015 Contract: $7,034,363
Stats: 380-616 4,761 yards 40 TDs 16 INTs
PFF Grade: +13.0 (Post: +2.4)
DVOA: 9.3% (12th) DYAR: 885 (10th)
While the advanced stats might not agree, Luck made the jump this season from a very good quarterback to a great one. He was top three in yards and attempts and led the league in touchdowns. Only Dan Marino threw more touchdowns through his first three seasons than Luck.
The future is very bright for Luck and the Colts are in good hands with him at the helm. There have already been reports that a contract extension is in the works. Early rumors have him making between $23-25 million per year. A steep price, but well worth the cost.
The one area he needs to improve in is with regards to when he should take a sack or just throw the ball away. Luck had 12 fumbles this year and they were largely due to him trying too hard to make a play. Towards the end of the season and into the playoffs we saw a more patient Luck. The addition of frequent dump off routes to Dan Herron in the playoffs helped keep drives alive and allowed Luck to take fewer risks.
Luck was not happy with the outcome of this season. I expect him to be more vocal with the structure of the team and the focus of the offense next season.
Like his predecessor, Luck is extremely competitive and always strives to get better. Throwing 40 touchdowns is not going to be the peak of his career.
Expect Luck to cut down on the turnovers in 2015. If the Colts can assemble something resembling a running game, this offense will be the most dangerous in the NFL. Just getting healthy across the offensive line will help improve protection and lead to Luck taking fewer hits.
2015 Contract: Unrestricted Free Agent
Stats: 30-44 301 yards 2 TDs
PFF Grade: 0.3
Luckily for the Colts, Hasselbeck didn’t see the field very often this season. He only recorded 86 snaps last season and they were all late in blowout games.
There isn’t much to say about the veteran backup. He cost the Colts $3.75 million in 2014 and was likely the second best quarterback in the AFC South. Hasselbeck has done a great job helping Luck develop and offers valuable input on the
This will depend on if Hasselbeck decide to re-sign with the Colts. There is a very real possibility that he will just retire. He’s 39 and will turn 40 by Week Three of next season.
The Colts might also look at signing a younger, cheaper option at the position. Like the Peyton Manning led Colts, they don’t want to tie up a lot of money in a backup QB who will rarely be on the field.
That said, all those hits Luck takes will catch up with him at some point in the future. He needs to work on getting the ball out of the pocket quicker and avoiding big hits altogether (the Manning-dive is the smartest play in football).
We don’t want a repeat of 2011, but spending $3 million of cap on a backup QB is largely a waste of money.