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Indianapolis Colts 2016 Season Preview




Chris Ransom follow @DraftUtopia Posted on 7/21/2016.


What I said about the Indianapolis Colts in 2014: Indianapolis has the offense to win the big game. A bunch of young guys motivated to come together under the leadership of Andrew Luck is bound to occur. Luck will win a Super Bowl at some point. Vontae Davis is the best player on this defense and sure fire #1 field cornerback. Other guys like Robert Mathis and D'Qwell Jackson will also have to step up. I have a strange feeling Bjorn Werner, a 2013 first-round pick at 3-4 outside linebacker steps up with Mathis being suspended for the first four games. If the Colts go 3-1 in their first four games, they will get a first-round bye.


What I am saying about the Indianapolis Colts in 2015: Indianapolis has all of their key starters back for one more season. They added some players during Free Agency too. Last year I picked the Colts to beat the Patriots at Lucas Oil Stadium to win the AFC when the Patriots got home field I went with New England, but the Colts surprised a lot of people because up until the road game against Denver, Andrew Luck had 0 road wins against an elite quarterback. I get that Peyton Manning chokes in the playoffs, but Luck's road win in Denver was still pretty impressive.


What I am saying about the Indianapolis Colts in 2016: The Indianapolis Colts were my Super Bowl pick to win it all last season. I don't feel as strongly about them this season, but they may be good enough to get back to the playoffs if Andrew Luck can stay healthy.




Indianapolis Colts Free Agency Recap


The Colts chose to build through the draft rather than add anyone through Free Agency. We'll see if it pays off in 2016.



Indianapolis Colts 2016 NFL Draft Grades




Indianapolis Colts Quarterback Summary: Andrew Luck is the only quality quarterback on this roster. With Matt Hasselbeck retiring as the backup the Colts two main backups are Scott Tolzien and Stephen Morris who is the third string quarterback. Brian Schottenheimer is the Colts quarterback coach so I expect Luck to rebound with him as a quarterback coach.


Indianapolis Colts Running Back Summary: Frank Gore is the starting running back for the Indianapolis Colts. Indianapolis has Robert Turbin as a backup running back, Jordan Todman as a third string running back, and Tyler Varga at fullback. Running backs coach Jemal Singleton coached Alex Collins and Jonathan Williams at Arkansas when he was the Razorbacks running bakc coach. Now he will be the Colts running back coach in 2016.


Running back coach Bobby Turner was a running back coach with the Washington Redskins and the Denver Broncos before being the Atlanta Falcons running back coach.


Indianapolis Colts Wide Receiver Summary: Right now the Colts have T.Y. Hilton as their #1 flanker receiver on the outside. Donte Moncrief compliments Hilton. Phillip Dorsett the Colts 2015 first round pick is the teams slot receiver. There is no depth after these three receivers if one gets injured. I'm not sure Lee Hull will right the ship as the wide receivers coach, but the receivers may improve slightly with Hull coaching the receivers. Hull coached Darius Heyward-Bey and Torrey Smith at Maryland when he was Maryland's wide receivers coach.


Indianapolis Colts Tight End Summary: Dwayne Allen is the Colts starting tight end. Offensive coordinator Rob Chudzinski is excellent with developing tight ends. The Colts may not have depth behind Allen, but Allen can have a career year if him and Luck are both healthy.


Indianapolis Colts Offensive Line Summary: Indianapolis has an okay offensive line. Anthony Costanzo is one of the leagues better left tackles. Jack Mewhort is a quality left guard, but a horrible right tackle. It depends on where they start him. Ryan Kelly will start at center. Hugh Thornton will start at right guard. Denzelle Good is expected to start at right tackle.


The Colts have depth on their offensive line. Le'Raven Clark, the Colts 2016 third round pick will be their backup left tackle. Joe Reitz will be the Colts backup left guard. Jonotthan Harrison will be the backup center. Joe Haeg will be the backup right tackle. The only position the Colts don't have a backup for depth at is right guard, and that's probably the one position on the offensive line the Colts can afford to upgrade. Former Miami Dolphins head coach Joe Philbin will be the Colts offensive line coach and will also take over as interim head coach if Chuck Pagano gets fired during the season.


The Colts were 24th in points per game, 28th in total yards, 22nd in passing yards, and 29th in rushing yards in 2015. The Colts should improve a lot in those numbers in 2016. I think the reason the Colts were that bad on offense was largely due to Andrew Luck being injured.



Indianapolis Colts Defensive Line Summary: Indianapolis has a strong defensive line. Arthur Jones starts at 3-4 right end with David Parry starting at nose tackle and Kendall Langford complimenting Jones and Parry at 3-4 left end. The Colts also have solid depth on their defensive line.


Henry Anderson is a 3-4 left end that can push Langford for a starting job. Zach Kerr provides depth behind David Parry at nose tackle. T.Y. McGill is the Colts backup at 3-4 right end. Rookie Hassan Ridgeway is a good third string 3-4 right end that is pushing McGill for the backup spot.


Gary Emmanuel has been a reliable defensive line coach for the Indianapolis Colts. With the depth he has on the defensive line, we may see more pressures on the opposing quarterback.


Indianapolis Colts Linebacker Summary: Indianapolis has Robert Mathis starting at 3-4 right outside linebacker and Erik Walden starting at 3-4 left outside linebacker. The Colts will probably need to find upgrades to both linebackers in the 2017 NFL Draft. Nate Irving and D'Qwell Jackson are starting at 3-4 middle linebacker. Sio Moore and Antonio Morrison provide solid depth at 3-4 middle linebacker.


The Colts have two coaches that can coach their linebackers. Linebackers coach Jim Hermann and defensive coordinator Ted Monachino both specialize in developing linebackers.


Indianapolis Colts Defensive Backs Summary: The Colts have some cornerback depth it's not great though. Vontae Davis returns as the #1 field cornerback. Darius Butler is going to be the #2 boundary cornerback even though I feel like they could find an upgrade to that position in the draft. Patrick Robinson will play nickel cornerback. D'Joun Smith will be a dime cornerback on the Colts. Jalil Brown will be the quarter cornerback. As long as Vontae Davis stays healthy there is enough depth for the Colts cornerbacks to have their moments.


Mike Adams had 75 total tackles in 2015. Adams will start at strong safety. Clayton Geathers a 2015 third round pick from Central Florida will compete with 2016 second round pick T.J. Green for the starting free safety job across from Adams. Right now Geathers is the favorite to win that starting job, but a lot could happen depending on how Geathers and Green play in the Preseason.


Defensive backs coach Greg Williams struggled as an assistant defensive backs coach with the San Diego Chargers. I don't think he will do well coaching this secondary. Luckily for Williams, head coach Chuck Pagano knows how to develop defensive backs.


The Colts had one of the worst defenses in 2015. Indianapolis was 23rd in sacks, 25th in points allowed, 26th in total yards allowed, 24th in pass defense, and 25th in run defense. The Colts didn't make any additions to improve this defense so Indianapolis will be in a lot of shootout games in 2016.



Indianapolis Colts Special Teams Summary: Indianapolis has one of the best special teams units. They have Adam Vinatieri at kicker, Pat McAphee at punter, and Quan Bray as a return specialist. Tom McMahon has been the Colts special teams coordinator for four years now. He's been consistent enough to be considered reliable, but you can joke about how he kept his job after that special teams play against the Patriots that Chuck Pagano called.




Indianapolis Colts 2016 NFL Schedule


Week
Date
Opponent
Time
Cable Network
Result
Week 1
September 11
VS
4:25 PM EST
FOX
W
Week 2
September 18
AT
4:25 PM EST
CBS
W
Week 3
September 25
VS
4:25 PM EST
CBS
W
Week 4
October 2
AT
9:30 AM EST
CBS
L
Week 5
October 9
VS
1 PM EST
FOX
W
Week 6
October 16
AT
8:30 PM EST
NBC
L
Week 7
October 23
AT
1 PM EST
CBS
L
Week 8
October 30
VS
1 PM EST
CBS
W
Week 9
November 6
AT
4:25 PM EST
CBS
L
Week 10
Bye Week
Week 11
November 20
VS
1 PM EST
CBS
W
Week 12
November 24
VS
8:30 PM EST
NBC
W
Week 13
December 5
AT
8:30 PM EST
ESPN
L
Week 14
December 11
VS
1 EST
CBS
W
Week 15
December 18
AT
1 PM EST
CBS
L
Week 16
December 24
AT
4:05 PM EST
CBS
W
Week 17
January 1
VS
1 PM EST
CBS
W


Indianapolis Colts 2016 Projected Record (10-6): The Indianapolis Colts go 10-6 and return to the playoffs as a wild card. The Jaguars also went 10-6 in my season preview and since they swept the Texans in head to head play, they would win the AFC South tiebreaker over the Colts in this scenario.









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