Now that the preseason is finally over, the Indianapolis Colts are going to try and make a run at the Super Bowl. The past two years they have advanced a round further into the playoffs and this year their expectations are going to be focused on winning the Super Bowl.
The Colts open their season against the Denver Broncos on Sunday night. This is a great matchup between Andrew Luck and Peyton Manning. Last year the Colts were able to beat the Broncos at home in Manning’s return. But this year things are going to be different because of Robert Mathis’ suspension. He was a big part in the win last year and it’s going to be hard for the Colts to get pressure on Manning without him. Also, the Broncos have an improved defense that could slow the Colts down enough to get the win.
Next the Colts play the Philadelphia Eagles on Monday Night Football. I expect the Colts to win this matchup. Right now it’s hard to see the Eagles’ secondary holding up against the Colts’ wide receivers. But this could swing the other way too thanks to Chip Kelly and his offense. I will take the Colts’ passing game over the Eagles’ running game.
Next the Colts play the Jacksonville Jaguars in their first division game of the year. The Jags are building something special, but they are a couple years away from making an impact. Luck is a better quarterback than Chad Henne and they should win this one. They follow that up with a game against the Tennessee Titans. I like the matchup the Colts’ wide receivers have against the Titans’ secondary. Plus, the Colts have more talent right now than the Titans; they should win this with ease.
In Mathis’ first game back, the Colts will take on the Baltimore Ravens. This is going to be a great matchup to see if Eugene Monroe can stop Mathis. This was something that he struggled with when he played for the Jaguars. That matchup should give them a win.
The Colts then have their first Thursday Night Football game of the year against the Houston Texans. The Colts are undefeated on Thursday Night Football and I don’t expect Ryan Fitzpatrick to do enough to beat them. The Colts then play the Cincinnati Bengals at home when Geno Atkins could terrorize the Colts’ interior line, but there is going to be enough fire power for the Colts to put up big numbers and win in an expected shootout.
They then travel to play the Pittsburgh Steelers. The Steelers have an underrated offense and that could be a big problem for the Colts. Dick LeBeau, I think, is going to be able to slow down Luck just enough to get the win.
The Colts then play their second Monday Night game of the year against the New York Giants. Right now their offense looks terrible and the Colts should be able to move the ball with ease on their way to a win. Then, there’s a big matchup against the New England Patriots on Sunday Night Football. With the additions of Darell Revis to the secondary, the Pats are going to do a lot to slow the Colts down. The Colts drop this game because of Revis and the advantage he gives them.
Indy follows that game up against the Jaguars, Washington Redskins, Cleveland Browns and Texans. It should win those games thanks to better talent at the quarterback position and having better offensive weapons.
Then, I expect the Colts to lose to the Dallas Cowboys, a team that is going to be desperate to earn a playoff spot late in the year. Indy, by now, should have the division locked up and could look to be healthy going into the playoffs. The Cowboys have more to play for at this point and should win out of desperation.
The Colts finish up their season by playing the Titans and looking to sweep the AFC South for the second straight year. They should win this game and look to head into the playoffs healthy.
It’s important to remember things can change as the season goes along and things like injuries and development with the players can change a lot. But as of right now, I expect the Colts to go 12-4 and win the AFC South. But they will fall short of the second seed because of losses to the Broncos and Patriots.