Colts fans will love NFL reporter John Clayton’s bold predictions for 2020.
The Indianapolis Colts are an easy pick to improve upon their 7-9 record from last season, as the front office spent the offseason pushing the envelope in terms of upgrading the roster. In a top-heavy AFC, it wouldn’t be surprising to see them potentially clinch a playoff berth.
A great way to ensure that happens would be to win the AFC South division title outright, which would see the Colts clinch a top-four seed in the conference. That obviously won’t be an easy task, as the Tennessee Titans have arguably gotten stronger after being one win away from the Super Bowl in 2019.
The Houston Texans, meanwhile, made some questionable moves this offseason, the most notable of which was their decision to trade wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins for pennies on the dollar. However, with Deshaun Watson under center, they will always be in the running.
In sum, the Colts will need to be at the top of their game to finish above their division rivals in the standings. As it turns out, NFL reporter John Clayton believes Indianapolis will do just that this season in his latest bold predictions column for the Washington Post.
Every fan in Indianapolis knows that the play of Philip Rivers, who really struggled with turnovers (20 interceptions and eight fumbles) last season, will be crucial in determining the Colts’ ceiling in 2020. Amazingly enough, Clayton believes the 38-year-old gunslinger will not only enjoy a bounce back campaign, but he will be an MVP candidate (!) and lead Indy to the AFC South title.
"“Indianapolis is the perfect situation for Rivers,” wrote Clayton. “He is working with Frank Reich, his former coordinator and quarterback coach. He is playing behind the best offensive line he has had since coming into the league in 2004. He has good running backs in Marlon Mack and Jonathan Taylor and enough talent at wide receiver with T.Y. Hilton and rookie Michael Pittman Jr., especially because the Colts will use two-tight-end sets a lot. The defense is young and talented.”“The AFC South figures to be a dogfight. The Tennessee Titans are a nine- or 10-win team. The Houston Texans aren’t far behind, particularly with Deshaun Watson being one of the top six quarterbacks in the league. But the team with the most upside in the division is Indianapolis, and I think the Colts will win 11 games and earn the AFC South crown.”"
We totally agree that Rivers landed with the perfect team in free agency. At this stage of his career, he needs to work behind an elite offensive line and with speedy perimeter weapons, and it goes without saying that the Colts have both of those at their disposal.
Throw in the potentially elite running game with Marlon Mack and Jonathan Taylor leading the way, and Rivers should make a drastic improvement after he compiled a pedestrian 88.5 QB rating last year, which was the lowest mark of his career since 2007.
The crazy part about Clayton’s predictions is that they aren’t that bold. Rivers is just one season removed from completing 68.3% of his passes for 4,308 yards and 32 touchdowns compared to 12 interceptions. If he can return to that form, we really see no reason as to why the Colts couldn’t ride him to the AFC South crown.
Oh, and need a little sweetener, Colts fans? Clayton also believes the Patriots will miss the playoffs for the first time since 2008. So good! So good! So good!