Evaluating The Colts Three Biggest Games of 2015
The 2015 NFL regular season is right around the corner, Colts fans. To me there is nothing quite like a Sunday consisting of fantasy football and watching your favorite team compete on a weekly basis. Especially when you can claim your fandom to a team that has seen success in recent years and appears to be trending upwards.
This would be the case for the Indianapolis Colts, as quarterback Andrew Luck is considered by many to be a top-five player in the NFL and could potentially take the Colts to the promise land within the next few seasons.
Just a few months ago the NFL released the regular season schedules for all 32 teams in the league and once again it appears that the Colts could have another easy year. You can see the full schedule here.
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As previously stated, at first glance it appears to be another easy year for the Colts in terms of being able to take care of business and make the postseason as they try to reach their destination that is the Super Bowl next February. But, there are three teams on the schedule that stick out: New England, Denver and Pittsburgh.
Here’s a little breakdown of each of the three teams:
1. New England Patriots:
Tom Brady has completely owned the Indianapolis Colts during the Andrew Luck-era. With Brady’s four-game suspension recently upheld by the NFL, fans around the league should mark the week-six Sunday Night Football matchup between The Colts and Patriots on their calendars. The Colts have undoubtedly increased their talent on the offensive side of the ball with the additions of Andre Johnson, Frank Gore and rookie Phillip Dorsett, while New England lost defensive playmakers Darrell Revis and Vince Wilfork via free agency back in March – a slight blow to the Patriot defense. Look for Brady to be ready to ball out when he makes his regular season debut against the Colts in October. Expect this game to be one of the most hyped-up regular season games this season.
2. Denver Broncos:
Let’s face it, when the Colts took on Peyton Manning and the Denver Broncos last January, Peyton Manning looked like a shell of himself with many uncharacteristic overthrows to his targets throughout the game in what looked to be a game in which Manning was battling an injury. Nonetheless though, you have to credit the Colts for shutting down the Broncos and stealing the game from the Broncos on their home field. The Colt’s offensive line held the tandem of Demarcus Ware and Von Miller to two total sacks all game. This season, the Broncos will be coming to Indianapolis to take on the Colts. Manning lost a very valuable weapon this offseason when the Jacksonville Jaguars inked tight-end Julius Thomas to a five-year, $46 million contract. On the defensive side of the ball, Denver drafted a potential steal in Missouri defensive-end Shane Ray to add to the team’s pass-rush. As mentioned earlier, Indy has also improved on both sides of the ball with some key offseason additions such as Frank Gore, Andre Johnson and Trent Cole among others. This game will be the fourth time that Manning and Luck face off, and Andrew Luck certainly has the bragging rights over his predecessor, holding a 2-1 record against Manning and the Broncos. This is a game that certainly has the potential to be a shootout.
3. Pittsburgh Steelers
The Colts/Steelers game last season was a tough pill to swallow for every Colts fan last year as they saw the Colts fall 54-31 in Pittsburgh. Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger absolutely torched the Indianapolis secondary, who had lost Vontae Davis early in the game, for six total touchdowns in a record-breaking performance. The two teams meet up in Pittsburgh once again this coming season, with the Colts hoping for a more positive outcome this time around. If the Colts want to stop Roethlisberger from gashing the defense, it is crucial that they must get to the quarterback and force pressure. With the additions of Trent Cole and Kendall Langford, the Colts may have better luck at getting to Big Ben than they did back in October when they didn’t come up with a single sack. If Indy can put pressure on Roethlisberger and do a decent job of containing receiver Antonio Brown then we can certainly expect a much better outcome than the last time that these two teams met up.
In conclusion, these three teams are the teams that really stick out in the Colt’s schedule. If the Colts want the No. 1 seed in the AFC they will have to handle their business against these teams and prove to the critics once and for all that they are capable of getting over the hump and have the capability to challenge New England in the AFC for a title. It will be interesting to see just how the Colts handle their business this season with all of their new weapons.