With a different coach and hopefully a different quarterback next season, what will the Colts offense look like in 2018?
It has been reported that Josh McDaniels will accept the Colts’ offer to become the next head coach in Indianapolis once the Patriots’ season is over.
McDaniels’ expertise is on the offensive side of the ball, and that unit will likely look a lot different than the Rob Chudzinski-led offense with Jacoby Brissett under center.
McDaniels had offers from almost every NFL team looking for a head coach this offseason and he chose to work with Chris Ballard in Indianapolis. McDaniels had to have some sort of assurance that Andrew Luck would be good to go in 2018 to accept the Colts’ job over those other teams that were courting him, so let’s assume Luck is under center for the sake of this exercise.
It’s always hard to determine who should get the credit for New England’s success over the years, but it looks like McDaniels and Tom Brady have been mostly in control on the offensive side of the ball.
We know the Patriots have loved to air it out under McDaniels with one of the greatest quarterbacks of all-time, but New England has also had success running the ball during his tenure.
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Since McDaniels returned as the Patriots’ offensive coordinator in 2012, New England’s rushing offense has ranked in the top-six in the NFL three times, and they’ve been in the top-15 in rushing efficiency in all six seasons according to Football Outsiders.
Making defenses afraid that Tom Brady will beat them with the pass has opened up that running game, but the Patriots have created great rushing offenses without having a ton of talent at running back.
The Colts ranked 24th in rushing offense this season, and McDaniels should improve that part of the offense along with a better passing game as long as Andrew Luck is healthy next season.
The Patriots have always had a good mix of deep shots and underneath throws in their passing offense, and that will be a benefit for Andrew Luck as well.
Luck has been hung out to dry a bit by an offensive system that requires him to hold onto the ball a long time behind an offensive line that’s unable to protect him. The addition of more of a quick passing game with McDaniels should save Luck from taking as many hits moving forward.
Even if the doomsday scenario occurs where Andrew Luck is unable to play in 2018, McDaniels has won with Jacoby Brissett at quarterback in New England before and he knows how to best use his skillset.
The Colts needed a major upgrade on offense after ranking near the bottom of the league last season, and the return of Andrew Luck along with the introduction of Josh McDaniels’ offensive system should make that happen.