Despite Experts Prediction, Indianapolis Colts Should be Among Favorites to Win Super Bowl

Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

The Indianapolis Colts are coming off of their second-straight 11-5 regular season. They also made it one round further this season than last as they were defeated by the New England Patriots in the Divisional Round in January, while losing to the Baltimore Ravens in the Wild Card round in the 2012 season.

Despite the improvements of 2013 and the team doing well even with key injuries, many experts aren’t putting the Colts among the top five contenders to represent the AFC in Glendale, Ariz. next February.

I think they’re making a mistake by leaving them out.

The Colts will likely be improved. They have Andrew Luck coming back for a third season. Look how much he’s improved in his first two.

Luck will have Reggie Wayne back to go along with receivers T.Y. Hilton, LaVon Brazill, Griff Whalen and Da’Rick Rogers. Also factor in Coby Fleener and Dwayne Allen as tight end targets and he’s got a ton of weapons to throw to in 2014.

Then, Vick Ballard, who like Wayne and Allen missed a big chunk of the season, will return, as will Trent Richardson. Indianapolis has to make a decision on whether to bring back Donald Brown or Ahmad Bradshaw in the offseason to be the third-string back.

That’s three very good and talented backs that give Indianapolis a ton of depth at that position.

With that all said, it puts the Colts in great position to have one of the best teams as far as offensive skill players go in the entire NFL. The only thing they really need to improve upon on that side of the ball is the line.

We also have to think they will improve their 20th ranked defense dramatically in the offseason as they have over $30 million in cap room to play with.

Yes, the defense played well over the final month, but they gave up 44 and 43 points respectively in the playoffs. That has to be fixed and quickly.

It’s a safe bet Ryan Grigson will spend most of that $30-plus million on the defense. They need help in just about every position on that side of the ball.

Then, look at the schedule.

Indianapolis has a very favorable schedule as they should go at least 7-1 at home. The division will be weak again as they should wrap that up by early December.

I trust this front office, coaching staff and roster. Mix in new playmakers on both sides of the ball and it’s a shame most experts left them off as key Super Bowl contenders. If all goes right and the injury bug stays away, Indianapolis could and should represent the AFC in next year’s Super Bowl at the University of Phoenix Stadium.

Eric Smith is the Colts Beat Writer for Rant Sports. He’s covered the team the past four seasons and is recognized as an accredited member of the media by the Colts. Follow him on Twitter @ericsportsguru

Around the Web

  • hmp49

    Colts lost 3 games this season by at least 3 touchdowns, even the Rams blew them out 38-8.

    Compare to Seattle, which only lost 3 games this season BY A TOTAL OF 15 POINTS, and scored 186 net points over its opponents vs 55 for the Colts.

    Colts have got a LONG way to go before being considered a SB favorite, as the current odds reflect.

    • jjordan

      It comes down to who wins and who loses in any sport. With that said; didn’t the colts beat the seahawks in 2013.

      • Da Noos

        “It comes down to who wins and who loses in any sport”

        Yeah, the Colts were knocked out in the playoffs, and the Seahawks won the Super Bowl.

        Of course, one game doesn’t tell the whole story. Any given Sunday, like the Colts being beaten 38-8 by the last place team in the NFC West. Does that one game tell me everything I need to know about the Colts?

        Colts got cut in half by Broncos in playoffs, and the Broncos were drawn and quartered by the Seahawks.

        Seahawks are consistent winners, haven’t lost a game by more than ONE touchdown in 2 years, unlike the Colts who were repeatedly blown out by 3 touchdowns or more.

        For all the big deal about Luck, it’s Wilson who has the record for most passing TDs by a QB in his first 2 years, with far less attempts than Luck. Wilson’s rating is over 100 both years, Luck’s rating is 81 for his career.

        And WIlson did it despite a crappy Oline and a “mediocre, pedestrain” receiving corps. Wilson had the 2nd highest percentage of snaps under pressure in the NFL this season (43% vs Glennon’s 44%).

        • nunyabizness71

          “Colts got cut in half by Broncos in playoffs,” No they weren’t. The Colts dealt the Broncos their first loss of the season however, just like they did the Seahawks…

        • Nathan Conley

          Dude way off! Colts didnt even play the Broncos in the playoffs and when they did play them in the regular season they handed (what the nfl thought was an invincible offense) their first loss. I agree playoffs are more important and at the end of the year the Broncos and seahawks were better. Colts got caught up with injuries to key playmakers, best rb, best te, best wr. Not to mention a defensive carousel where a few positions kept get getting injured. Colts had more players on IR than anyother team this year, to take hits like that and still win a playoff game speaks a lot. A healthy Colts team are better than Broncos and Seahawks. (They beat Den, sea, sanfran, in 5 week span) Next year players will be healthy, Colts will have second largest spending cap in nfl to fill voids (mostly defense as the offensive pieces will be back)and they are supposed to have one of the ‘easiest’ schedules. Colts will play in superbowl 49, aggainst packers/49ers/hawks.