While this year’s Indianapolis Colts team has so far generated very little national buzz, one mainstream media talking head, Fox Sports 1’s Colin Cowherd believes that the Colts will finish with a 12-4 record and have the best overall record in the AFC:
It’s nothing new for Cowherd, who’s shown the city of Indianapolis some love in recent weeks.
Specifically, Cowherd has already praised Indianapolis’ other professional sports franchise, the Indiana Pacers, earlier this offseason–calling them a ‘Top 5 Team in the NBA‘ following their signing of highly regarded veteran big man Al Jefferson.
However, he has now turned his attention to the Colts–issuing another glowing report.
With a healthy Andrew Luck and an improved offensive line with the addition of 1st round pick Ryan Kelly, offensive line coach Joe Philbin, and additional young talent, the Colts should be definitely improved from last season even with a returning middling defense.
Despite entering the season with championship aspirations, last season’s Colts team finished 8-8 and missed the playoffs for the first time in Chuck Pagano‘s 4-years with the team.
However, 12-4 and with the best record in the AFC–over a team like the New England Patriots seems a bit lofty for expectations, even for my normally high standards for the Colts.
Even in an improved AFC South, the Colts should still be a playoff team in my opinion just by the fortune of having Luck for a full season. However, this seems to me to be a team that is realistically closer to a 10-6 team–maybe 11-5 at best.
However, since 12-4 is really only one more win from my ceiling mark, it may not be all that lofty of an expectation after all and isn’t too far off-base.
With a fully healthy Luck, this is a Colts team that is largely the same team that is just one season removed from playing in the AFC Championship Game after all.
Additionally, the Colts beat last season’s Super Bowl Champion Denver Broncos during the regular season and narrowly lost to the NFC Champion Carolina Panthers in overtime despite enduring a disappointing season.
Either way, kudos to Cowherd for going out on a limb and making a bold prediction for the Colts to return to their contender status.