Andrew Luck‘s Week 2 preseason contest against the New York Giants was the epitome of what made the Indianapolis Colts so hard to project both last season and this year. He made some incredible throws that displayed quite obviously why he went No. 1 overall in the 2012 draft, yet also received good fortune on some extremely poor plays: Aaron Ross miraculously turned an interception into a touchdown to Reggie Wayne, reminding that Luck led the league in dropped interceptions last year.
Many experts are screaming regression and bookmakers have responded, giving Indy only an 8.5 season win total after an 11-5 season with a young, maturing roster in 2012. The Colts’ odds have been relatively stable this offseason, though it seems the promise of the league’s next great passer has indeed pushed them up slightly since May.
(The first number is from Aug. 23; the second in parenthesis from roughly three months ago.)
Super Bowl Odds: 40-to-1 (45-to-1)
Division Title Odds: +240 (+250)
Season Win Total Line: 8.5 (8.5)
Late-May Snapshot: “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,” I wrote earlier this offseason.
I have to admit that the under on that 8.5 regular-season win total seemed like an easy evaluation given all the regression-loving numbers that were pointed at Indy this offseason. However, a qualitative assessment has me thinking differently.
Offensive coordinator Pep Hamilton just seems a much better fit for the Colts, and not even so much because of he and Luck’s college connection. His more quick-hitting, tight-end heavy style just seems a better fit for the personnel at hand. Throw in the last missing offensive piece late in the offseason, a superior blocking tailback in vet Ahmad Bradshaw, and it’s easier to feel much better about this offense holistically.