Indianapolis Colts: 5 Reasons Why Your Favorite Team Sucks in 2013
Every Team Has Their Flaws, And The Colts Are Not Immune
The Indianapolis Colts rode a wave of emotions and outside motivation in 2012 to an 11-5 record and a playoff berth -- just one season after going 2-14. By all accounts, the Colts overachieved greatly last year. A new coaching staff, new franchise quarterback, only a handful of returning veterans and a completely new defensive scheme should have made for a 5-11 record.
It’s difficult to say that head coach Chuck Pagano being diagnosed with leukemia in Week 5 was what put the Colts over last year, but it’s a great storyline. The Colts started 2-2, then finished 9-3 while Pagano was being treated for cancer and showing up to home games when he could. But all that emotion and extra motivation is gone this year thankfully, so the Colts will need to find something else to continue to push them.
So how do the Colts match or improve upon on their record from last year? Maybe they don’t.< p>They went 9-1 in games decided by seven points or less, which is an amazing stat for a squad in the midst of a rebuild. It’s not likely the Colts can replicate such a season, which would mean the team regressing back towards the mean.
Either way, the Colts still have their flaws -- ones that won’t likely be fixed this season. That isn’t to say the Colts' flaws are going to make them suck this season; but if they did, these would be the five reasons.
5. Because T.Y. Hilton is their Third-String Receiver
T.Y. Hilton earned the No. 2 wide receiver spot on the depth chart with his play last season. In his rookie season, Hilton hauled in 50 catches for 861 yards and seven touchdowns, yet he was immediately glanced over when the Colts signed Darrius Heyward-Bey. Heyward-Bey hasn’t even put up similar numbers in his four NFL seasons, which begs the question: why is he starting? If you’re not going to play your best players, then you are not going to win.
4. Because Their Running Game Sucks
This isn’t anything new. The Colts have not had a consistent running back since Edgerrin James donned the blue-and-white. They haven’t even had a 1,000-yard rusher since Joseph Addai in 2007. Ahmad Bradshaw was brought in to boost the running game, but he got hurt in the preseason and was limited in Week 1. Their best option, Vick Ballard, was immediately relegated to second-string running back when Bradshaw was signed despite him running for 814 yards last season ... in his rookie year, no less. Their running back situation is similar to their receiver situation; they need to stick with one player so they can gain consistency and confidence, which will lead to victories.
3. Because Their Defense is Still a Work in Progress
Chuck Pagano was brought in as the head coach because he was a defensive specialist, an area the Colts have struggled in for as long as anyone can remember. Peyton Manning never had a great defense to help him win games and so far, neither has Andrew Luck. Pagano changed the Colts' defensive scheme from the 4-3/Tampa 2 to the 3-4, but is still working to find the right personnel. With Pagano back healthy and able to coach the entire season, the Colts' defense should get better as the weeks progress. For now, though, the defense is still their weakest spot.
2. Because They Lost Bruce Arians
Bruce Arians was brought in to be the offensive coordinator because he was an offensive mastermind with the Pittsburgh Steelers. He ultimately took over as interim head coach with Chuck Pagano had to step down due to his health. Arians went 9-3 as the head coach and landed himself his own head-coaching gig in Arizona at the end of the year. There are still questions on how good of a coach Pagano really is as he sports a 3-3 record, including three blown double-digit leads that resulted in two losses. The Colts' offense looked good in Week 1 despite having a new coordinator, but Arians was much more than just a coordinator.
1. Because History is Not On Their Side
Let’s look at the facts. The Colts were the first team in league history to go 11-5 despite having a negative point differential (-30). The Colts went 9-1 in games decided by seven points or less, which is an amazing feat since teams normally win those games 50 percent of the time. It looks like their good fortune has rolled over to the 2013 season, but eventually those odds will catch up to them, and so will the loss column.