Can the Indianapolis Colts recover from last season’s end-of-the-year collapse?
August 19, 2022
Despite having a ton of talent, the Colts are no guarantee to be a playoff team
NFL Preview – Indianapolis Colts
By Steve Quinne
Win Total = 10.0
The Colts have talent. A ton of it.
A year ago, Indianapolis sent the most players to the Pro Bowl, with an NFL-high seven elected to the original roster. It was a group led by Jonathan Taylor, arguably the best running back in the league.
Thus, ten wins seems like it should be a relatively easy number to hit. After all, that gets a team right on the fringe of making the playoffs.
And that’s exactly where Indy found itself a year ago. A loss to the Jaguars in the final game of the season dropped the Colts to 9-8, on the outside looking in for the postseason.
It was a shocking turn of events. It was a collapse of epic proportions.
The Colts started just 1-4. They then won eight of their next ten games to get to 9-6. In the driver’s seat for the playoffs, Indianapolis lost its final two contests.
Talk about a roller coaster. It was one of the most head-scratching seasons in the franchise’s nearly seven decades of playing football.
Someone had to take the fall. It wound up being Carson Wentz, the quarterback who spent just one season in a Colts uniform before being jettisoned to Washington.
Now, Indianapolis will be guided by Matt Ryan. The veteran quarterback arrived from Atlanta, looking to add a second act to his career.
He’ll certainly have plenty to work with, as the Colts remain a talented club. But it’s still hard to see them getting to 11 wins or more, which this over/under requires to hit.
Yes, Indianapolis should have four free wins, given that the Colts get Houston and Jacksonville both twice per season. But that’s what everyone thought a year ago. The Colts also get semi-layups against the Commanders, Giants and Steelers.
That gets them to seven. If they split with the Titans, they’re at eight. They’ll probably beat the Eagles in Indy. But it’s hard to find three more wins on their schedule.
The Colts are not beating the Chiefs. They’re losing to Denver and Las Vegas on the road. They’ll likely lose to Dallas, Minnesota and New England on the road, as well. And the Chargers will roll into Indianapolis and beat them.
Could they get to 10? Sure. But 11 or more? That seems unlikely.
The under seems unlikely, as it took a collapse a year ago for the Colts to only get to nine wins. So, take the over but prepare to settle for a push.
Odds to Make the Playoffs = -180
They should’ve made it a year ago. Thus, the people who want to scapegoat Carson Wentz for that not happening are jumping all over the Colts this season. Matt Ryan will make all the difference, at least in their minds.
Maybe. Maybe not. It really comes down to whether Indianapolis can win the AFC South. And that’s a two-team race between them and Tennessee.
The Titans lost a lot of talent, but they’re still the defending champs in the division. They were the No. 1 seed in the AFC a year ago. Mike Vrabel and company just find a way to win.
That means Indy would have to secure a wild-card spot. And we all saw how that goes.
The Colts seem like a playoff team. But that doesn’t mean they’ll be one. Take the +160 on them finding a way to miss out once again.
Jonathan Taylor to Lead the NFL in Rushing Yards = 4/1
Jonathan Taylor is the co-favorite to win the NFL rushing title. He and Titans running back Derrick Henry are both 4/1 to rack up the most yards on the ground. They’re both great options.
It probably is a two-man race, as there aren’t a lot of teams that don’t go with some sort of running back by committee approach. And there aren’t a lot of teams that stick with the ground game in the pass-happy NFL.
But the Colts do. And they love to feed their star running back the rock.
A year ago, Taylor racked up 1,811 yards on 332 carries. Expect more of the same this season.
Taylor and Henry will both flirt with 2,000 yards, if they stay healthy. Bet on the younger player to reach that milestone.
Taylor cruised to the rushing title a season ago, besting the second-place finisher by more than 500 yards. He’ll defend his crown in 2022.