The Indianapolis Colts faced lofty expectations entering the offseason after they finished with one of the best records in the AFC and qualified for the playoffs last campaign.
Throw in the fact that they had some $50 million in cap space even after the blockbuster trade for quarterback Carson Wentz, and it turns out that pressure was completely warranted.
Despite having ample financial wiggle room, however, the front office has bizarrely erred on the side of caution, passing on a slew of seemingly perfect fits in free agency to preserve money for contract extensions for homegrown stars — zero of which have been given out, by the way.
In sum, the Colts had numerous opportunities to morph their playoff-ready into a certified championship contender, and they blatantly opted against doing so. With that in mind, you’d think pundits to be reluctant to peg them as one of the favorites in the AFC, right?
During the latest edition of “Get Up”, ESPN analyst Louis Riddick shockingly proclaimed that the Colts are the greatest threat to the Kansas City Chiefs, who, of course, have been to two consecutive Super Bowls.
Are the Indianapolis Colts really the greatest threat to the Kansas City Chiefs?
Let’s start by noting that it says a lot that Riddick, who played seven seasons in the NFL and has several years of front office experience under his belt, thinks the Colts can give the Chiefs a run for their money. However, we’re going to have to disagree with him here.
For starters, outside of the quarterback position (which is obviously immensely important), where have the Colts upgraded this offseason? We hate to even bring this up, but we can argue that their roster has regressed from a talent standpoint, especially on defense.
Not only have they lost edge rusher Denico Autry and linebacker Anthony Walker thus far, but slot corner TJ Carrie could soon land a deal elsewhere in free agency.
Promoting roster continuity is all well and good, but at some point outside additions need to be made to take your roster over the top and Indianapolis, outside of making some depth signings, hasn’t added any top-level newcomers like some other contenders.
Speaking of which, we absolutely love what the Browns have done this offseason, who really put the cherry on top of their fantastic free agency by signing Jadeveon Clowney. Right now, we’d give them a better chance of supplanting the Chiefs.
Beyond the Browns, we can’t say with any conviction that the Colts should have better odds to knock off KC than either one of the Bills, Ravens and Dolphins. We also wouldn’t sleep on the Patriots or Steelers, who are incredibly talented on both sides of the ball.
This isn’t all to say that we don’t think Indy has a realistic shot of defeating the Chiefs in a potential AFC Championship Game matchup. However, we’d feel a lot more confident in that stance if they pushed the envelope to upgrade their roster in free agency.
Again, the Colts’ roster is littered with stars and impact players, but that was also the case last season and they were eliminated in the first round of the playoffs by Buffalo, which was embarrassed by Kansas City in the AFC Title Game after jumping out to an early lead.
We’d love nothing more than to be proven wrong, but Indy simply has far too many question marks at this stage in the offseason for us to say they’re the greatest threat to the Chiefs.