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Indianapolis Colts 2018 Season Preview




Chris Ransom follow @DraftUtopia Posted on 8/6/2018.


Indianapolis Colts Free Agency Recap


Indianapolis moved to a 4-3 defense. They got Eric Ebron in Free Agency as a second tight end to compliment Jack Doyle. Ebron was the Colts major Free Agency pickup. They also got right tackle Austin Howard from the Baltimore Ravens.



Indianapolis Colts Draft Recap


The Colts got the top left guard Quenton Nelson out of Notre Dame and the top right guard Braden Smith out of Auburn as two starting guards that can help out right away. The Colts got some good depth players, but they really put their focus on the offensive line in the 2018 NFL Draft.


Kemoko Turay sits atop the Colts depth chart as a 4-3 right end. Darius Leonard and Nyheim Hines are nice depth players who could see time as rookies as well.




Indianapolis Colts Quarterback Summary: Andrew Luck is starting once again. Jacoby Brissett established himself as a viable backup. Head coach Frank Reich and offensive coordinator Nick Sirianni both have experience with developing quarterbacks. Marcus Brady will be the assistant quarterbacks coach as Sirianni will be both the offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach for Andrew Luck.


Andrew Luck never had a head coach, offensive coordinator, and quarterbacks coach who both specialized in developing quqrterbacks. The last time, Luck had an offensive minded head coach was during his rookie season when Bruce Arians took over for Chuck Pagano when Pagano had leukemia as an interim head coach.


Andrew Luck is already dominating Indianapolis Colts training camp in 2018. He's healthy and his play is speaking for itself with his strong start. Luck could be a comeback player of the year candidate if he stays healthy in 2018.


Indianapolis Colts Running Back Summary: Marlon Mack will take over as the starting running back in 2018. Indianapolis will have Nyheim Hines who ran the fastest 40 time in the 40-yard dash at the 2018 NFL Combine and Robert Turbin who they re-signed compete for the backup job behind Marlon Mack. Indianapolis has hired Tom Rathman to take over as their running backs coach. Rathman is the right guy for the job if he can get Marlon Mack to break out. Otherwise, the Colts may rely heavily on their passing game in 2018.


Indianapolis Colts Wide Receiver Summary: Right now the Colts have T.Y. Hilton as their #1 flanker receiver on the outside. Indianapolis is weaker at wide receiver then they have been in years past and it feels like T.Y. Hilton is the only asset in their passing game. Rookie wide receiver Deon Cain is out for the season. That may not even matter since Nick Sirianni has experience developing wide receivers. They also have Kevin Patullo as their wide receivers coach. Andrew Luck just looks so good in training camp.


Indianapolis Colts Tight End Summary: Jack Doyle is the Colts starting tight end. The Colts brought in Eric Ebron to compliment him. The Colts have a decent two tight end set once again with Jack Doyle and Eric Ebron that may be better then the Dwayne Allen and Coby Fleener combination that Luck had early in his career during his first three years with the Indianapolis Colts. Tom Manning is the first Manning to be employed by the Colts since Peyton, and no they are not related.


Indianapolis Colts Offensive Line Summary: Indianapolis has an okay offensive line. Anthony Costanzo is one of the leagues better left tackles. Quenton Nelson will start at left guard. Ryan Kelly is finally fully healthy at center. Matt Slauson and Braden Smith will compete with each other for the right guard job. I expect Smith to take over for Slauson at some point when Slauson gets injured. Otherwise, Smith can develop and get stronger. Indianapolis has Denzelle Good and Austin Howard pushing for the right tackle job.


The Colts have depth on their offensive line. Le'Raven Clark will be the backup left tackle. You got Mark Glowinski as the backup left guard. You also got Joe Haeg as a backup. Indianapolis has a lot of depth at offensive tackle and guard. As long as Ryan Kelly remains healthy at center, the Colts should do much better up front on the offensive line. Dave DeGuglielmo is the offensive line coach. He was the offensive line coach on New England's Super Bowl 49 team.


The Colts were awful in 2017. Indianapolis struggled without Andrew Luck last year. I believe the Colts can revert to how well they did in 2016 when they were top 10 in points scored, total yards, and passing yards.



Indianapolis Colts Defensive Line Summary: Indianapolis Jabaal Sheard at 4-3 right end Kemoko Turay at 4-3 left end, Hassan Ridgeway at 4-3 defensive tackle and Al Woods at 4-3 defensive tackle. Indianapolis also has Margus Hunt and Denico Autrey for depth as well as Terrell Basham. Mike Phair is one of the worst defensive line coaches in the NFL. He even got demoted from a defensive coordinator role in Illinois after one season. If the Colts do not have someone with 10 sacks its because the guys are young and because Phair puts more of an emphasis on stopping the run then rushing the quarterback. Former Colts pass rusher Robert Mathis is a pass rushing consultant.


Indianapolis Colts Linebacker Summary: Indianapolis has Anthony Walker Jr. at 4-3 right outside linebacker, Antonio Morrison at 4-3 middle linebacker, and John Simon at 4-3 left outside linebacker. Darius Leonard will give Morrison some competition at 4-3 middle linebacker. Indianpolis needs more outside linebacker help.


The Colts have two coaches that can coach their linebackers. Defensive coordinator Matt Eberflus specializes in helping linebackers drop back into coverage and linebackers coach Dave Borgonzi wwas a defensive quality control coach with Tampa Bay before getting a shot to coach up the linebackers on the Indianapolis Colts.


Indianapolis Colts Defensive Backs Summary: The Colts have Quincy Wilson moving to field cornerback and the other cornerback they drafted in 2017 in Nate Hairston. Losing both of their top two cornerbacks from last season to Free Agency does make the Colts thin at cornerback. I don't consider it a deal breaker as long as Wilson and Hairston play up ot the level they are capable of.


Clayton Geathers a 2015 third round pick from Central Florida will start at his natural position which is strong safety. Geathers played strong safety at Central Florida, but moved over to free safety. Now that the Colts have Malik Hooker they can start Hooker at free safety. T.J. Green gives you a good free safety for depth.


Jonathan Gannon and Alan Williams are both defensive backs coaches. One coaches the cornerbacks and the other coaches the safeties. Both enter their first seasons with the Colts.


The Colts have an offense that can carry them to wins. I expect the defense to be near the bottom of the league in a lot of categories though. I'd say the secondary is the strength of this defense.



Indianapolis Colts Special Teams Summary: Indianapolis has one of the best special teams units. They have Adam Vinatieri at kicker, Rigoberte Sanchez at punter, Marlon Mack as a kick returner, and Chester Rogers as a punt returner. Bubba Ventrone was a special teams assistant with the New England Patriots for the last three seasons, and now he's the Colts special teams coordinator so this is a good hire.




Indianapolis Colts Worst Case Scenario: The Colts go 7-9 and post a losing record in 2018. Even with this losing record they make a significant improvement.


Indianapolis Colts Best Case Scenario: Indianapolis finds a way to 9-7 or 10-6 and secure a wild card. They end up with either the final wild card or the first wild card in the AFC.


Indianapolis Colts 2018 NFL Schedule


Week
Date
Opponent
Time
Cable Network
Result
Week 1
September 16
VS
1 PM EST
CBS
W
Week 2
September 16
AT
1 PM EST
CBS
L
Week 3
September 23
AT
1 PM EST
FOX
L
Week 4
September 30
VS
1 PM EST
CBS
W
Week 5
October 4
AT
8:20 PM EST
FOX
L
Week 6
October 14
AT
1 PM EST
CBS
W
Week 7
October 21
VS
1 PM EST
CBS
W
Week 8
October 29
AT
4:05 PM EST
CBS
L
Week 9
Bye Week
Week 10
November 11
VS
1 PM EST
CBS
W
Week 11
November 18
VS
1 PM EST
CBS
W
Week 12
November 25
VS
1 PM EST
CBS
W
Week 13
December 2
AT
1 PM EST
CBS
L
Week 14
December 9
AT
1 PM EST
CBS
L
Week 15
December 16
VS
1 PM EST
FOX
W
Week 16
December 23
VS
1 PM EST
FOX
L
Week 17
December 30
AT
1 EST
CBS
L


Indianapolis Colts 2018 Projected Record (8-8): Indianapolis goes 8-8 this season. This team is fairly set offensively. They have some liabilities on defense that can be exploited relatively easily though. With a young coaching staff, I can see the Colts winning up to 8 games with a healthy Andrew Luck before potentially taking an even bigger leap in 2019.







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