The Indianapolis Colts displayed some major signs last year that bode both good and bad heading into year two of the Andrew Luck era. This makes their 45-to-1 Super Bowl odds still rather untouchable but their 8.5 season win line and +250 division title odds rather intriguing given their previous 11-5 mark.
On the one hand, they will go from the AFC South’s fourth-placed schedule in 2012 to second-placed schedule in 2013, and managed to barely pull games out of nowhere even against that easier slate. Luck also showed some signals of a quarterback on a team set for regression, with significantly lower accuracy and efficiency numbers than fellow rookie Robert Griffin III and Russell Wilson along with many others.
However, this was an extremely young, gelling Colts team in 2012 that should only continue to mesh and mature in 2013. Not only is Luck’s offensive line far more adequate thanks to offseason additions — Luck took the most hits of any quarterback last year — but he figures to play smoother with Pep Hamilton taking the reins at offensive coordinator, a man who worked with Luck during his last two years at Stanford. Bruce Arians did a fine job, but Hamilton’s more rhythmic approach might suit Luck and this offense’s make-up better.
“I think there’s a comfort level with that,” Colts backup QB Matt Hasselbeck said, via the Indianapolis Star. “Also, how he plays. He’s earned the respect of this locker room and he’s earned the respect of the people around the league he has to go up against. That probably makes it 10 times easier than it was coming in last year when he probably felt he had a lot to prove.”