NFL insider thinks Colts are a 'dark horse' to win the AFC South this season

Let's wish this into existence!
Houston Texans v Indianapolis Colts
Houston Texans v Indianapolis Colts / Kevin Sabitus/GettyImages

While everyone is hyping up the Houston Texans coming off a surprisingly successful season in 2023, Indianapolis Colts fans sit back and watch as their team is doubted. Albert Breer of Sports Illustrated doesn't fall into that camp, however, as he wrote that "the Colts are lurking as a dark horse in the AFC South" this year.

Here's the full quote:

"The Colts are lurking as a dark horse in the AFC South under second-year coach Shane Steichen, and the lines are a good reason to take that threat seriously. Over his seven seasons in charge, Indianapolis GM Chris Ballard has poured resources into both areas, and this feels like it should be a year for all of that to pay off."

Albert Breer

Colts fans will love reading this, as this is what they've been saying all along. Shane Steichen proved that he can be the head coach this team needs, especially considering that Anthony Richardson played just four games last year yet the team still nearly made the playoffs without him. Breer also praised Chris Ballard for his efforts as the GM and noted that it "feels like it should be a year for all of that to pay off".

Albert Breer says the Colts are a dark-horse in AFC South

Breer continues by focusing on the offensive line and how it's going to be a strong unit in 2024.

"On offense, Bernhard Raimann is poised to answer the Colts’ long-term left tackle question once and for all. Quenton Nelson, Ryan Kelly and Braden Smith are still around. Second-year tackle Blake Freeland has gotten a lot stronger, and the team brought back Danny Pinter and Wesley French, and drafted Matt Goncalves and Tanor Bortolini in the third and fourth rounds, so the depth and balance is in as good of shape as it’s been in years."

Albert Breer

This will be important when it comes to protecting Richardson and ensuring that he doesn't have an injury-plagued 2024. If the offensive line can keep the Colts hopeful franchise quarterback upright, that's a plus for this team as they look to face the toughest AFC South we've seen in quite some time.

Breer also singles out the defense, noting that the addition of rookie edge-rusher Laiatu Latu will help the already-talented group they had on that side of the ball. All in all, he's sold on the Colts potentially being the real deal in 2024.

I know that the Texans are coming off a great season and it makes sense why people are propping them up but just this time a year ago, people were doing the same thing with the Jacksonville Jaguars and look how that turned out. Teams have to go out there and actually play the games so if the Colts can stay healthy and play their game, they've got a great shot to shock some people and win their division for the first time in a decade.