Thursday, August 30, 2012

2012 NFL PREVIEW - Indianapolis Colts


2011 Record: 2-14-0 (4th in AFC South) 

HEAD COACH: Chuck Pagano

Key Additions: QB Andrew Luck; CB Vontae Davis; WR Donnie Avery; OL Winston Justice; OL Samson Satele; DL Cory Redding; DB Tom Zbikowski

Key Losses: QB Peyton Manning; WR Pierre Garcon; RB Joseph Addai; OL Jeff Saturday; LB Gary Brackett; TE Dallas Clark

Offense: The Colts are going in a new direction and top draft pick Andrew Luck is their quarterback after a strong collegiate career at Stanford. Also in camp is Drew Stanton and Chandler Harnish.
The running game will have Donald Brown (645 yards, 4.8 ypc average and five touchdowns) and Delone Carter, who rushed for 377 yards and scored twice. Others in the picture include rookie Vick Ballard (Mississippi State), Mewelde Moore and Deji Karim. The fullback is Ryan Mahaffey.
At wide receiver, Indianapolis still has Reggie Wayne, who led the team with 75 receptions for 960 yards and four touchdowns along with Austin Collie, who grabbed 54 passes for 514 yards and a touchdown.
Donnie Avery comes over from Tennessee this season and has had some decent seasons when he played with the St. Louis Rams. Rookies T.Y. Hilton and LaVon Brazil are also in the mix. The tight ends will be Coby Fleener and Dwayne Allen, both rookies who were taken in the first three rounds of the draft.
The line has Samson Satele at center this season with Joe Reitz and Mike McGlynn at guard. The tackles will be Anthony Castonzo and Winston Justice. Backups are Jeff Linkenbach, Seth Olsen, Jake Kirkpatrick, Mike Tepper and rookie Justin Anderson.
The Colts definitely missed QB Peyton Manning last year and it showed as the team finished 30th overall (287 yards per game) and 26th in rushing (100 yards a game) and 27th in passing, where they averaged 187 yards per game.

Defense: Like the offense, the Colts suffered through a miserable 2011 season, allowing 371 yards per game and finishing 25th in the league on defense, including 29th against the run, where they allowed 144 yards a game. The pass defense finished 15th overall, allowing 227 yards per game.
For the 2012 season, Indy will play the 3-4 defense and shift Dwight Freeney (8 1/2 QB sacks) and Robert Mathis (9 1/2 sacks) to outside linebackers in the scheme.
Kavell Conner and Pat Angerer are the inside linebackers and the line up front will feature nose tackle Antonio Johnson. The ends will be Drake Nevis and Cory Redding.
Backing up among the front seven will be Fili Moala, Brandon McKinney, Ricardo Mathews, Josh Chapman, Jerry Hughes, A.J. Edds, Mario Harvey and Scott Lutrus.
The secondary has safeties Antoine Bethea and Tom Zbikowski. The cornerbacks will be Justin King and Jerraud Powers (two interceptions with one TD return of a pick) with newcomer Vontae Davis, acquired in a recent trade with Miami, ready to go as well.
Adding depth to the defensive backfield is David Caldwell, Kevin Thomas and Jermale Hines.
The Colts totaled just 29 quarterback sacks and eight interceptions last season.

OUTLOOK: Revamping an entire organization is never easy and the Colts are sure to go through the growing pains as the 2012 season goes along.
Luck should be a decent quarterback and who knows, he may turn out to be the face of the franchise for years to come. The offense will have to improve and if the running game can compliment the passing attack, which still has two quality veterans playing for the team, the Colts may be better than some people might think.
The defense will have a new look that is more accustomed to the style new Head Coach Chuck Pagano likes to play. Mathis and Freeney are relentless pass rushers and should continue to provide the team with a positive in that area.
This team should do better than the 2011 version and Luck may very well be the best rookie in the NFL this season.
The Colts should finish 4-12 this year, which would be double the amount of wins they had last year. The future could be a bright one as the team rebuilds completely and looks forward to better days ahead.

Week 1- at Chicago
Week 2- vs. Minnesota
Week 3- vs. Jacksonville
Week 4- BYE
Week 5- vs. Green Bay
Week 6- at NY Jets
Week 7- vs. Cleveland
Week 8- at Tennessee
Week 9- vs. Miami
Week 10- at Jacksonville
Week 11- at New England
Week 12- vs. Buffalo
Week 13- at Detroit
Week 14- vs. Tennessee
Week 15- at Houston
Week 16- at Kansas City
Week 17- vs. Houston

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