Jake Locker was officially named the Tennessee Titans starting quarterback, as the second-year pro takes over at the job over Matt Hasselbeck. Locker obviously plays in the AFC South, the division in which the Indianapolis Colts are also a part of. So what kind of impact does this have for Indianapolis heading into the upcoming season?
It means a whole lot, at least according to ESPN’s John Clayton:
This can definitely pay off for the Colts, as they can make the most of this season. Their new quarterback, Andrew Luck, has thus far been impressive after only two pre-season games. He’s been playing like a legit pro, showing the skills of a quarterback who’s been in the league for a while now.
However, Clayton’s statement in that tweet could mean almost the unimaginable. For most Colts fans, they’re at least looking for about five wins this season, which is obviously much better than last year’s terrible record of 2-14 which led to the major rebuilding this past off-season.
Going against young quarterbacks could mean major advantages for an Indianapolis defense that looks to soar this year. They so far have shown that the new 3-4 defense they are in is paying major dividends, as they were able to tame the Pittsburgh Steelers just enough and punishing the St. Louis Rams in their last two-preseason games.
The Colts still have their two main components of their defense still on board with Dwight Freeney and Robert Mathis. The Colts also have two, young linebackers that can be major forces in Pat Angerer and Kavell Conner. Head coach Chuck Pagano looks to make the most out of this defense that has a lot of potential.
So let’s say Indianapolis does win those all those five games at home, as Clayton mentioned. Could there really be a possibility of catching a spot in the playoffs this year? It’s definitely possible.
The offense is not as bad as it seems. The offensive line has definitely improved and they are looking to bring their run game back up to solid conditions like they did back in Joseph Addai‘s first two seasons and during the era featuring Edgerrin James. Running back Donald Brown will be carrying most of the load this season and he definitely looks like he’s primed for a breakout season. Having Delone Carter getting some carries after him helps out even more.
As for the wide receivers, Indianapolis still has Reggie Wayne aboard as he looks to play much more differently this season, lining up at different spots all over the field like the slot and even where the tight ends stand. Austin Collie is a big asset, but it’s important if he stays healthy. The Colts also have two young prospects in T.Y. Hilton and LaVon Brazill.
The Colts also have a nice tag-team of tight ends in Dwayne Allen and Coby Fleener, both who could reek havoc on opposing defenses and gives Luck some nice assets. It may be premature, but it has a chance to be like what the New England Patriots have in Rob Gronkowski and Aaron Hernandez.
The Locker decision may not seem like much, but it can pay huge dividends for what the Colts can face. They have a good chance of finishing second in the division, with the Houston Texans finishing first when looking at a realistic standpoint. And with Jacksonville Jaguars having a young QB of their own in Blaine Gabbert, the Colts have a solid chance of taking control of the young quarterbacks they’ll be up against. They could win four out of their six division games this season.
So look out for what Indianapolis can do this season. It can be very possible that they can make the playoffs, pulling off what the Cincinnati Bengals did last season with a young team that was led by then-rookie quarterback Andy Dalton.