Vegas has the Indianapolis Colts Super Bowl odds ranked in the top 15 for Super Bowl LV. Upgrades at key positions like quarterback, defensive tackle, and defensive back have many in Colts Nation excited. Here’s why the 2020 Colts are poised for greatness and a Championship.
Losing Andrew Luck has been a looming dark cloud over this franchise since his departure before the 2019 season. For most fans, 2019 was going to be the year that Luck took this team to greener pastures. Things, unfortunately, can change in an instant and in this case, not for the better. Jacoby Brissett was inserted as the starter with very little time to prepare and a mountain of expectations to reach.
The 2019 season started off great for the Indianapolis Colts going 5-2 in their first eight games. Brissett looked like he was up to the task as the starter throwing 14 touchdowns to 3 interceptions. Just when things seemed to be going great for the Colts and nothing seemed too impossible for this team, disaster strikes again. Injuries seemed to continue to pile up and the Colts finished 2-9 in the last nine games.
Needless to say, this was not the season most in Colts Nation had foreseen at the beginning. Head Coach Frank Reich went into this offseason knowing exactly what this team needed to reach the Super Bowl. Averaging 194.3 yards per game and 6.5 yards per play ranked the Colts 30th in the league this season in both categories. On defense, Coach Reich just wants to see more consistency from his team down the stretch.
"“We are used to around here in this area of the country of knowing how to throw the football. So we are going to throw the football, OK? We will figure it out. We didn’t do a good enough job this year. We will do better next year.”"
NFL free agency in 2020 might have been the most exciting free agency for Colts Nation in a long time. Colts General Manager Chris Ballard might have put together the best offseason in his short time in charge of football operations. He took the number 12 pick in this year’s draft and sent that to the San Fransisco 49er for Defensive Tackle DeForest Buckner. He then followed that up by bringing in former All-Pro Xavier Rhodes and T.J. Carrie to solidify a sometimes leaky secondary.
Clearly the biggest offseason signing for the Indianapolis Colts was none other than Philip Rivers. A singing that was not met with overall approval from Colts Nation, despite Rivers being a proven elite player. Philip Rivers worked with both Frank Reich and Offensive Coordinator Nick Sirianni during his time with the Los Angeles Chargers.
Indianapolis Colts: Super Bowl or Bust
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Luckily for Rivers, he is walking into an Indianapolis Colts team that is built to win a Super Bowl right now. He has a nasty offensive line that should keep him off his back for most of the season. He has a running game that will allow OC Nick Sirianni the flexibility to not rely on Rivers to win games for them. The only real weak spot on the offensive side of the ball is at wide receiver and back up tight end. Two guys to watch for in the draft that could solve this issue quickly are Denzel Mims and Michal Pittman Jr.
Defensively this team is stout from top to bottom. The only real issue with this team was consistency towards the end of the season and injuries. The front seven should be every opposing quarterbacks nightmare all week heading into the game. With the newly added Buckner adding pressure up the middle, defensive end Justin Houston could be even more disruptive than before.
You cannot mention the Indianapolis Colts defense without automatically thinking of its dynamic duo at LB with Darius Leonard and Anthony Walker. Both Linebackers posting similar stats of at least 120 tackles, 6 tackles for loss, 2.5 sacks, and 1 interception is unprecedented.
Adding All-Pro Xavier Rhodes and T.J. Carrie to the secondary gives Defensive Coordinator Matt Eberflus veteran leadership and consistency on the back end. Rhodes is coming off a down season no question but a change in scenery might be just what he needed. Carrie should give the Colts depth and he can be used during Dime set situations. Both players should greatly benefit from the improved pass rush forcing quarterbacks to make rushed dangerous throws.
Looking at the 2020 Indianapolis Colts roster I see a lot of similarities to the 2015 Super Bowl Champion Denver Broncos. Both had aging quarterbacks on the backside of their careers looking for that elusive championship. Offenses built to run the ball down peoples throats in crunch time and masterminds delivering dimes to open receivers.
Solid defensive units from top to bottom with a front seven built to get after quarterbacks. A linebacker that is one of the most dominant players in the league paired with a veteran pass-rushing defensive end.
There is no reason that this Colts team shouldn’t reach the postseason barring any unforeseen injuries on either side of the ball. Philip Rivers and the Indianapolis Colts are set up for a championship run and the NFL should be on notice.