Here are three opponents the Colts shouldn’t overlook this season.
There will be high expectations for the Indianapolis Colts in 2020 following their 7-9 finish last season. Most fans would agree — at least we hope that’s the case — that head coach Frank Reich did an outstanding job to notch that many wins following the retirement of Andrew Luck, which was made official just a few weeks before the start of the campaign.
However, with an offseason spent making impactful moves, the Luck bombshell can no longer be used as an excuse for any potential letdowns. Not only did general manager Chris Ballard make a needed upgrade at quarterback by signing Philip Rivers, but he bolstered the defensive front seven by trading for DeForest Buckner.
He also added a ton of talent in the draft, the most notable of whom include wide receiver Michael Pittman Jr. and running back Jonathan Taylor in the second round.
What bodes well for Indianapolis’ chances at making a return to the playoffs is that a handful of oddsmakers believe they have the easiest schedule in the NFL in 2020. While great news, we’ve seen many teams in the past fail to take advantage of their supposedly soft slate, and the same could happen to the Colts if they aren’t careful.
We fully trust Reich and the rest of the coaching staff to have the team prepared week in and week out, but these are three teams who could have Indianapolis on upset alert if they are overlooked.
3. Las Vegas Raiders
Jon Gruden and the Raiders are ready to make a splash in 2020.
Coming into the 2019 season, many NFL pundits projected the then-Oakland Raiders to finish with one of the worst records in the league. When the dust settled, however, they proved their doubters wrong by finishing just two games out of the final playoff spot in the AFC with a 7-9 record.
As much as you might think the Raiders’ quarterback situation will be their downfall, it’s worth noting that Derek Carr performed better than expected last year. In 16 starts, he completed 70.4% of his passes for 4,054 yards and 21 touchdowns compared to eight interceptions, which is pretty impressive when you consider that his most versatile pass-catching weapon was a tight end (Darren Waller).
Though Tyrell Williams is done for the year with a shoulder injury, first-round pick Henry Ruggs figures to add a whole new level of dynamism to the offense. Furthermore, running back Josh Jacobs will be expected to take another leap in Year 2 after rushing for over 1,100 yards as a rookie.
The Raiders surprisingly toppled Indianapolis in Week 4 last season, and the same thing could happen this time around if the Colts overlook them.