The Indianapolis Colts are a young aspiring team being led by inspiring Head Coach Chuck Pagano and the dynamic play of Andrew Luck. They are a team with a lot of challenges and a lot to live up to after going 10-6 with a playoff berth last year. They have the talent to be a force in the NFL. Here are my predictions for the 2013 Season.
Week 1: vs Oakland
The Oakland Raiders come to town as a young team looking to find themselves. They have a lot more question marks on both sides of the ball, and I think the Colts struggle to run the ball but stand tall in the passing game.
Final Score: Raiders 10 – Colts 24
Week 2 vs Miami
The Miami Dolphins will be looking to demonstrate the budding relationship between Mike Wallace and Ryan Tannehill. They’ll try to challenge the Colts to a shootout but quickly find they’ve brought a knife to a gun fight when Reggie Wayne and T.Y. Hilton show off their chemistry with Luck.
Final Score: Dolphins 24 – Colts 34
Week 3 @ 49ers
Playing the San Francisco 49ers will be a bit of a homecoming game for Andrew Luck and Pep Hamilton as they face off against their former coach and mentor Jim Harbaugh. Harbaugh knows Luck and Hamilton too well to lose this game. The 49ers will pick the Colts apart.
Final Score: Colts 17 – 49ers 28
Week 4 @ Jaguars
The Jacksonville Jaguars are the Colts’ first AFC South opponent of the season. With the Jaguars’ passing game still a work in progress the Colts will stack the box to stop Maurice Jones-Drew while beating the Jags in the vertical passing game.
Final Score: Colts 31 – Jaguars 13
Week 5 vs Seahawks
The Seattle Seahawks should challenge the Colts to a shootout. Unfortunately the Seahawks have the better defense to slow the Colts down while Marshawn Lynch grinds out the clock late.
Final Score: Seahawks 28 – Colts 19
Week 6 @ San Diego
The Colts visit the San Diego Chargers with a game plan designed to establish the run game up the soft middle of the Chargers defense. I think the Colts defense goes on a sack fest of Philip Rivers as turnovers are the key to winning the game.
Final Score: Colts 31 – Chargers 17
Week 7 vs Broncos
Peyton Manning leads the Denver Broncos onto the field at Lucas Oil Stadium for the first time since the Colts sent him packing. In a nationally televised game Manning and Luck should put on a quarterback duel worth remembering, but Manning has more tools and a better knowledge of how to use them.
Final Score: Colts 30 – Broncos 35
Week 8 Bye
Week 9 @ Texans
After having a bye week to lick their wounds the Colts will come out looking to remind the Houston Texans that it wasn’t just Peyton Manning that kept them atop the AFC South for so many years. Defenses butt heads as the Texans win the day.
Final Score: Colts 17 – Texans 21
Week 10 vs Rams
Jeff Fisher brings the St. Louis Rams to town with hopes of using his fast, young offense to control the tempo of the game. Luck will take some major sacks in this game, but the Colts still prevail against the Rams’ weak secondary.
Final Score: Rams 11 – Colts 20
Week 11 @ Titans
A short ride down to the Tennessee Titans is just the tonic the Colts need to put together back to back wins against a team that can’t win on the legs of Chris Johnson alone.
Final Score: Colts 24 – Titans 14
Week 12 @ Cardinals
The Arizona Cardinals have the defensive backs to slow the Colts passing game down. However, they don’t have the offensive line and run game to finish the job in a low scoring affair that comes down to the wire.
Final Score: Colts 16 – Cardinals 13
Week 13 vs Titans
The Titans come to town looking for revenge by blitzing often and using Shonn Greene to control the clock. Andrew Luck gets put on his back a lot in this game, but his arm pulls them through in the end.
Final Score: Titans 17 – Colts 20
Week 14 at Bengals
The Cincinnati Bengals are on their way to being one of the top two teams in the AFC. They have the Colts outclassed on both sides of the ball. The loss gives the Colts motivation for a rematch in the playoffs.
Final Score: Colts 17 – Bengals 38
Week 15 vs Texans
The Texans come to town looking to beat the Colts up in the run game and build momentum for the playoffs. Luck puts up some points in this game when the Texans defense over commits, but the Texans still win the game.
Final Score: Houston 27 – Colts 24
Week 16 @ Kansas City
The Kansas City Chiefs are a team learning how to win and making mistakes along the way. The Colts attempt to get the running game into the next gear to build confidence for a playoff run, and the Chiefs fold like a cheap aluminum chair.
Final Score: Colts 23 – Chiefs 13
Week 17 vs Jaguars
The Jaguars limp into town already eliminated from the playoffs with most of the second stringers starting as an audition for next year. The Colts carve them up to secure a playoff berth as the No. 5 seed in the AFC.
Final Score: Jaguars 6 – Colts 24
2012 was an inspired season for the Colts. Finishing 10–6 again in 2013 holds the promise of them taking the next step for a deep playoff run.
Eric Beuning is a Fantasy Football writer for RantSports.com.