Maybe it might feel like a repeat of the Indianapolis Colts 2017 Luck-less season, but believe it or not, the Colts have all the confidence needed in back up QB Jacoby Brissett.
And although those words are really hard to put together again, perhaps this might be a bit more encouraging… of course, that’s IF Brissett is needed past week one of the new season.
After the news from Colts’ GM Chris Ballard on Tuesday evening of yet another injury to 2018’s NFL Comeback Player of the Year, Andrew Luck will most likely miss the preseason due to a possible ankle injury. And of course as said before, flashbacks of the 2017 come to mind.
But in this case, this will not be a repeat of 2017.
Last week, I had fun with my OCD and wrote about radically changing around all of the NFL divisions to create a more geographically pleasing picture.
I was genuinely surprised at the number of fans who loved my ideas – and equally surprised at the ones who hated my new divisions.
But even the haters agreed that some amount of reorganizing is way overdue. If you simply pause and think about the number of teams that have moved, from Houston to Tennessee or perhaps St. Louis to Los Angeles, and you will agree that a few changes would be a good thing.
Here is my much more realistic view of a few changes to divisions that make a ton of sense. I’m not moving anyone from the AFC to the NFC and I’m keeping most of the divisions intact, so this should be a fairly painless change for most of you!
Rebuilding a team can take more than a season. But when it comes to the Indianapolis Colts, under the command of general manager Chris Ballard, the rebuild is almost complete.
During the rebuilding process, Ballard’s focus was to make over this team and gather young weapons to make a postseason run. Perhaps we saw a preview last season when the Colts caught fire after a slow 1-5 start that eventually led them to a surprising postseason run.
Ballard started this process with his second-round picks. Particularly, of course, we all know the story of linebacker Darius Leonard, a player that Ballard drafted in 2018. Some questioned the pick. But he now leads as one of the Top NFL Players 25-and-younger brigade along with Colts’ guard Quenton Nelson. And don’t forget, he was named Defensive Rookie of the Year in 2018.
This week I’ll be looking at the AFC and NFC South and how they did with their drafts. I’ll ask 3 questions about each team. Did they address their biggest need? Who will have the biggest impact? What could 2019 look like?
Let’s start with the Indianapolis Colts. After having a pretty strong offensive line, quarterback Andrew Luck, and Pro Bowl tight end Eric Ebron, the Colts focused on defense. 7 of their 10 picks were defensive.
Who could have the biggest impact? Former Michigan State safety Khari Willis. He worked hard and was an impact player. I think he’ll fit in nicely. 2019 for the Colts? If their defense lives up to its potential, it could be tough sledding for the rest of the AFC South.
Happy New NFL Year! It is the March Madness of the NFL. Legal tampering and free agency is well over a week old and it started off with quite a bang for some teams, including former Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Antonio Brown to the Oakland Raiders and his former teammate, running back Le’Veon Bell to the New York Jets, and not to mention the huge trade that sent WR Odell Beckham, Jr. to the Cleveland Browns.
And although these big name signings and teams were bringing the month of March “in like a lion”, the Indianapolis Colts were, and still are, very quiet in the trade talks.
The Colts, who currently hold the most salary cap space for the 2019 season, have little movement going forward. Listening to many of his pressers and interviews, it should not be a shock that Colts’ GM Chris Ballard didn’t have any plans to sign any huge names or make big splashes. And there is nothing wrong with that, in my humble and honest opinion.
Despite a tough loss last weekend against the number one seed in the AFC, the Indianapolis Colts are looking forward to bigger and brighter days in the 2019 season.
And although this team ended their season sooner than later, I believe they will be great contenders in the seasons to come.
But as for now, there are a few things to look out for in the offseason.
Who will stay and who will go?
Free agency will quickly be upon us. And just as soon as the clock strikes 4 pm EST, some big trades will be happening. Names like kicker Adam Vinatieri, wide receiver Chester Rogers, safety Mike Mitchell and guard Mark Glowinski are just a few on the list of free agents. Names like these were definitely considered playmakers this season, and lots of decision making will have to happen.
It was the second largest comeback in NFL history.
Back in January 2014, the Indianapolis Colts recorded a major AFC Divisional win in Indianapolis against the Chiefs. A team that was trailing by 28 points early in the third quarter, with a little “Luck”, the Colts claimed victory by a final score of 45-44 and a ticket to the AFC Championship in New England.
This season, these two teams are completely different. Chiefs’ quarterback Patrick Mahomes is leading the AFC’s number one seed to the divisional round after a well-deserved bye week. This has been their first number one finish since 1995. Andy Reid’s team finished the season 12-4 and 7-1 at home. The Chiefs also have the best offense in the league. With that being said, they also have one of the worse defensive lines.
As we all know and love, fairy tales start off with a “Once Upon A Time” and end up “…and they lived happily ever after.” And there is no doubt in my mind that the Indianapolis Colts are quickly becoming the perfect Cinderella story of the season.
During the preseason, Colts were ranked #32. News that Colts quarterback Andrew Luck was back after a season ending shoulder injury, but was the team improving as well? Was Luck not going to be the same? Was Colts’ GM Chris Ballard making all the right moves?
With the Pittsburgh Steelers’ loss to the New Orleans Saints, and a Houston Texans loss to the Philadelphia Eagles this past Sunday, the Indianapolis Colts were the sixth seed. In order to secure a playoff spot, Indianapolis has one more task at hand on Sunday Night Football: beat the Tennessee Titans or simply go home.
This Sunday means everything to this 9-6 team. With a win over the Tennessee Titans, they will earn a spot in the postseason for the first time since 2014. With a Titans loss, Colts will secure the sixth-seed and earn a wildcard spot. Here is where it gets interesting, with a win over Tennessee, and if the Houston Texans lose to the Jacksonville Jaguars, the Colts will be crowned as the AFC South Champs.
This situation is also mirrored for the Titans, who are also 9-6 and are behind the Colts.
When you lead the league in tackles, 146 to be exact, as a rookie linebacker, have 7 sacks, are coming in second in tackles behind the line of scrimmage, and are seventh in pass breakups, fans would assume this individual is going places in the NFL. This would include being selected to the NFL Pro Bowl in Orlando.
According to Robert Klemko of Sports Illustrated, “Three bodies vote on Pro Bowlers: Coaches, players, and fans. Necessarily, primetime broadcasts have a big influence on all three groups. How many primetime games did the Colts get in 2018? One: Thursday Night Football on Oct. 4, vs. the Patriots. (And it was the lone game Leonard missed this season due to injury).”