The Indianapolis Colts are the apparent poster child for #REGRESSION heading into the 2013 NFL season. After enjoying an almost mystical mojo and their share of good bounces last year — Andrew Luck leading the NFL in dropped interceptions thrown — Indy is expected by many experts to not enjoy quite the same fortune just as they upgrade from the division’s fourth- to second-placed strenght of schedule.
Their negative scoring differential and the many stats lending to this provide a perfectly valid argument against the Colts repeating as postseason squad and this certainly factors into my 8-8 assessment for this team. However, I would be able to look past this if I was higher on the Colts expensive free-agent class.
Yes, Indy did address crucial areas for improvement with right tackle Gosder Cherilus, strong safety LaRon Landry and outside linebacker Erik Walden. However, I’m not sold on this being millions of dollars well spent or that this will even improve the line all that much. Landry and Cherilus both broke streaks of not offering all that much just this past year, while Walden has consistently ranked in the basement of Pro Football Focus’ outside linebacker rankings. Ahmad Bradshaw and Greg Toler are solid enough players but come with their own question marks about heavier roles.
Of course, Luck’s arm could very well shatter any regression calls or problem areas on roster, especially under new offensive coordinator Pep Hamilton. Their ability to reunite effectively in the pros and make this two-tight end, quicker-hitting offense can overcome this defense failing to make giant strides in year two under Chuck Pagano. If chips on both sides of the ball fall Indy’s way again in 2013, this squad’s definitely in the division title and potentially conference title conversation.
This roster is riddled with reason for doubt, yet brimming with hope thanks to their can’t-miss quarterback from the 2012 draft.
Predicted Regular Season Record: 8-8 (2nd in AFC South)
Predicted Finish: Miss postseason
More of Thomas Emerick’s 2013-2014 NFL team predictions: NYG | WAS | PHI | DAL | GB | CHI | DET | MIN | TB | ATL | NO | CAR | SEA | SF | STL | ARI | NE | MIA | BUF | NYJ | BAL | CLE | CIN | PIT | HOU | IND | TEN | JAX | DEN | KC | SD | OAK