We all know that the Colts had a disappointing campaign in 2019. These three stats will show that they will turn that ugly 7-9 record around and be much better in 2020.
The Colts were expected to be major Super Bowl contenders this time last year. They were on the heels of making the Divisional round and losing a tough game to the Chiefs. Andrew Luck won comeback player of the year and was the MVP favorite for 2019.
Now Philip Rivers is the quarterback after the retirement of Luck and the poor play of Jacoby Brissett. But that alone doesn’t signal that this team will be better in 2020. These three stats will show that the team will be significantly better than they were a year ago.
This is the grade from Pro Football Focus gives DeForest Buckner for his performance in 2019. That is a major upgrade from Margus Hunt, who the Colts released, who only has a 51.1 grade. Buckner is faster, stronger, and younger. In other words, he is just flat out better.
Buckner makes the defensive line much harder to push around in the run game. He can plug up the interior well and close holes quickly. He is also strong enough to get a pass rush from the interior, which the Colts desperately need from the defensive tackle position.
This is where the Colts ranked in the running game, averaging 133.1 yards a game in 2019. They were really good most of the season and that’s what they built their offense on. They finished 7th in the league despite Marlon Mack missing two games because of a broken hand.
Mack should be even better in 2020. He ran for over 1,000 yards and should do so again this season. With an improved passer in front of him, teams can no longer key in on the running game and try to just stop Mack. The offensive line is one of the league’s best as well, and should continue to open up gaping holes.
That is how many more yards of passing Philip Rivers had than Jacoby Brissett did in 2019. Even though Rivers threw many more interceptions, he doesn’t have an issue pushing the ball down the field. Brissett was petrified of making any mistakes, so he didn’t take many chances.
Just the threat of someone being able to push the ball down the field more should open up the offense. Scoring more points is never a bad thing, and with Mack and Rivers in the backfield, the Colts should be able to do just that.
These three stats show you why the team will be better than they were a year ago. How much better they will be remains to be seen.