2015 Indianapolis Colts: The Final Review
With yesterday’s victory over Tennessee, the Colts were able to bring their record to 8-8. This caps off a mediocre season that ended in the Colts missing the postseason.
When we look at this season for the Indianapolis Colts, we can blame several things for the disappointment. We could say it was all of the injuries, and had Andrew Luck been healthy all season, the Colts would have been better.
Whether that’s true or not, we will never know. Just keep in mind that Luck threw 15 touchdowns to 12 interceptions in his seven games this season. He then lead the Colts to a 2-5 record in those games with a 47.6 total QBR. Sure, Luck would have provided the Colts with a better chance to win, but he struggled this season in the time that he was on the field.
We could make up any number of excuses for why the Colts were mediocre this season, and almost all of them could be applicable to the situation. However, there is only one true excuse for the Colts poor play this season. This team was not built to win, although many believed that they were.
Look at the defense to start, Indianapolis brought back many of the same names from last year’s roster. Along with some new names, and the return of Robert Mathis. Despite all of this promise, the Colts finished 26th in the league in total yards per game given up, as they surrendered 379 yards a game.
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Their secondary, which seemed to be loaded at the beginning of the year, ended up 24th in the league in pass yards given up per game. Their rush defense was ranked 25th in the league, as they gave up 122 rush yards to opponents per game this season.
To pour more salt in this wound, the Colts were also 22nd in the league in total sacks, despite supposedly having a great group of pass rushers. Lastly, their defense gave up the eighth most points in the league, ranking them 25th in said category.
So, yet again, the Colts came into the season with a promising defense, but underwhelmed us for the whole season. That is not something that is entirely foreign to Colts fans, as the defense has long been, and will continue to be the Achilles heel of this team.
The offense was what was supposed to make this team elite. With the signings of Frank Gore and Andre Johnson in the offseason, the Colts were supposed to be a powerhouse offensively. As a team, the Colts were certainly not elite by any stretch of the imagination. They were 28th in the league in total YPG on offense, as they only racked up 321 yards per contest.
The Colts rush game was supposed to be their “bread and butter” in 2015, but they ranked 29th in the league in rush yards per game. They only ran for 89 yards per game, and despite a good season from Frank Gore, the Colts still have not had a 1000 yard rusher since Joseph Addai in 2007.
Indianapolis’ passing attack ranked 22nd in the league, as they gained only 231 yards through the air per game. Part of this can be chalked up to the interchangeable quarterback situation, but keep in mind, that in Andrew Luck’s seven games, he only threw for 268 yards a game. Compare that to last season where he nearly threw for 300 yards every game.
The signing of Andre Johnson turned out to be complete and utter dud. Johnson, ended the season with just 41 receptions for 503 yards. He looked out of sync with every one of the Colts QBs, and that led to a diminished role in the offense. It has to be assumed that GM Ryan Grigson picked up Johnson for his “name” rather than his actual football abilities. Because it was clear in 2015 that Johnson had little football abilities left to give.
Speaking of Grigson, he built this team out of past-their-prime veterans, and it completely back-fired. To give you some sort of perspective, analysts were actually predicting the Colts to make a Super Bowl appearance! But they went 8-8, and it probably would’ve been much worse if it hadn’t been for Matt Hasselbeck.
Grigson picked up big names that could no longer play effectively, and that, in turn, left glaring weaknesses all over the field. Most notably on the offensive line, that struggled to protect any quarterback the Colts put under center this season.
It’s mind boggling to me that Grigson will stay on in Indianapolis. He’s the main reason why this team was so unsuccessful this season! He built a team out of fragile assets, and veterans, and just expected them to return to their former glory. In what universe is that a good strategy? That approach wouldn’t even work in Madden.
As for Pagano, I can understand keeping him. The players love him, and he really seems to know how to keep morale high in the locker room. I don’t know how good of an X’s and O’s coach he is however. The extensions of Pagano, and mainly Grigson come as a huge surprise to me, as I think both of them should have been let go.
Next: Colts v Titans: Next Day Analysis
It was certainly a season to forget for the Indianapolis Colts, and hopefully, they can get things straightened out in the offseason. The Colts have potential right now, but they’ll never win a Super Bowl as long as Ryan Grigson is in charge of personnel.