2015 NFL Season Preview- Indianapolis Colts
Indianapolis improves each year in the playoffs, but they still have a lot to improve on.
Quarterback Andrew Luck had another strong season as he set a franchise record with most passing yards in a season. As good as he played, there is still plenty of room for improvement as he had the second most turnovers in the league with 22. The running game was a mess before Daniel "Boom" Herron gave the offense a boost late in the season. Coby Fleener and Dwayne Allen formed one of the best tight end tandems in the league. T.Y. Hilton was the team's leading receiver with 82 catches for 1,345 yards and seven touchdowns but Reggie Wayne was hampered for much of the season by an elbow injury. The offensive line finished with five linemen on injured reserved but still played well with backups.
The defensive line as a whole was average with defensive end Cory Redding as the standout. The linebackers were productive at getting to the quarterback after Robert Mathis sat out the year due to a league suspension and torn Achilles. Safety Mike Adams proved to be a valuable player as he led the team with five interceptions and cornerback Vontae Davis had a pro bowl year as he recorded four interceptions. Greg Toler had an up and down year as he dealt with injuries early in the season and team's often tried to avoid Davis.
Kicker Adam Vinatieri was one missed kick from having a perfect season as a kicker. Punter Pat McAfee is one of the top punters in football and is an excellent kickoff specialist.
The rookie class offers a lot of hope for the future. Guard Jack Mewhort had a strong year at left guard and was a key offensive lineman in the latter half of the year. Wide receiver Donte Moncrief ended up passing Hakeem Nicks as the number three receiver to have a nice season. Outside linebacker Jonathan Newsome led the team with 8.5 sacks on the year.
Colts 2014 Rankings
Opponent Passing Yards
Opponent Rushing Yards
NFL Rank- 1st
NFL Rank- 22nd
NFL Rank- 12th
NFL Rank- 18th
NFL Rank- 3rd
NFL Rank- 11th
After finishing the year with a third straight 11-5 season, head coach Chuck Pagano knows that the team is going in the right direction. Indianapolis had a total of 25 free agents to make decisions on and will have over $25 million in cap room to work with.
Notable Additions- RB Frank Gore, WR Andre Johnson, G Todd Herremans, DE Kendall Langford, LB Trent Cole, LB Nate Irving, S Dwight Lowery
Notable Departures- RB Ahmad Bradshaw, RB Trent Richardson, WR Reggie Wayne, WR Hakeem Nicks, T Gosder Cherilus, DE Corey Redding, DE Ricky Jean-Francois, LB Shaun Phillips, S LaRon Landry
Colts 2014 Highlights
2015 NFL Draft
Going into the draft, Indianapolis held the 29th overall pick with many positions that needed to be addressed. Primarily at running back, outside linebacker, and safety.
Injuries and inconsistent play have hindered the Colts running game for the last three years. Indianapolis had to find a more consistent running game.
Robert Mathis sat out the season due to a league suspension and a torn Achilles. The Colts need to find his long term replacement.
Mike Adams was able to be resigned but LaRon Landry had been mostly inconsistent in two years in Indianapolis. The Colts need a hard hitting safety to play alongside Adams.
Indianapolis ended up selecting Miami wide receiver Phillip Dorsett with the 29th overall pick. Dorsett was arguably the fastest wide receiver in the draft but he is undersized frame is concerning as he is not as polished as a route runner as some of these other smaller receivers.
The Colts also notably drafted Mississippi State running back Josh Robinson in the sixth round. Robinson has a compact, muscular frame that allows him to run low to the ground with great vision. The main concern with him is he lacks great speed and elusiveness.
Phillip Dorsett Highlights
What to Expect
This team acquired a lot of pieces in hope to compete for a Super Bowl.
Andrew Luck has to cut down on his turnovers and not put his defensive in a bad situation. The team hopes Frank Gore can have one more productive year at running back. The receiver corps is stacked with Andre Johnson, T.Y. Hilton, Donte Moncrief, and Phillip Dorsett. Dwayne Allen has to stay healthy as he is a key piece in the passing game. Adding Todd Herremans to the line gives the unit a much needed veteran presence.
The defense should be improved after adding key free agents at each level. Kendall Langford can replace Corey Redding as the team's starting defensive end but no one else on the defensive line shows a lot of promise. Trent Cole and Robert Mathis can be a dangerous sack tandem if they can stay healthy. If Greg Toler can return to his 2013 form, the secondary is going to be dangerous.
Given all the talent they added in the offseason, Indianapolis has to be in contention for the Super Bowl just on paper alone.
Best record they can hope for: 11-5