Sunday, August 23, 2015

2015 NFL PREVIEW - Indianapolis Colts

INDIANAPOLIS COLTS                                           

2014 Record:  11-5-0 (1st in AFC South)

HEAD COACH: Chuck Pagano

New Players in 2015 - RB Frank Gore; WR Andre Johnson; OL Todd Herremans; DB Dwight Lowery; DL Kendall Langford; LB Nate Irving.

OFFENSIVE RANK in 2014 -  3rd in NFL (406.6 ypg)

DEFENSIVE RANK in 2014 -  11th in NFL (342.7 ypg)

Offense:  The Colts offense revolves around quarterback Andrew Luck, who is coming off his best season as a pro. Luck threw for 4,761 yards with a league best 40 touchdown passes along with 16 interceptions. Ageless veteran Matt Hasselbeck will once again back him up.
The running game will look to veteran Frank Gore, who finished the 2014 season with 1,106 rushing yards (4.3 ypc average) and scored four touchdowns with the San Francisco 49ers. Backing up will be Dan Herron (351 yards, 4.5 ypc and one TD).
T.Y. Hilton is the top wide receiver for Indianapolis after a big year in which he caught 82 passes for 1,345 yards and seven touchdowns. Longtime Houston Texans WR Andre Johnson comes over this year to replace Reggie Wayne, who left as a free agent in the off-season. Johnson had 85 receptions for 936 yards and three scores last year.
Rookie Phillip Dorsett (Miami, Florida), along with Donte Moncrief (32, 444, three TD) will give the team depth. The tight end is Coby Fleener, who had 51 receptions for 774 yards and eight touchdowns.
Up front on the line will be either Khaled Holmes or Jonotthan Harrison at center along with guards Lance Louis and Todd Herremans. The tackles are Anthony Castonzo and Jack Mewhort.

Defense:  Josh Chapman looks to be the nose tackle while Arthur Jones will play the other tackle spot. The end will be Kendall Langford in the 3-4 alignment. Zach Kerr (three QB sacks) is also available at nose tackle.
Linebackers include veteran Robert Mathis, who is coming off a serious Achilles injury, on the outside along with Trent Cole. The inside spots are manned by D'Qwell Jackson (four QB sacks) and Jerrell Freeman. Pass rushers Jonathan Newsome (6 1/2 sacks) and Erik Walden (six sacks) will be on the outside spots as well.
The secondary will see corner men Vontae Davis (four interceptions) and Greg Toler team with safeties Mike Adams (five INT) and Dwight Lowery. Rookie D'Joun Smith (Florida Atlantic) and Darius Butler provide depth at cornerback while Dewey McDonald and rookie Clayton Geathers (UCF) will look to rotate in at safety.

OUTLOOK FOR  2015 -  As long as quarterback Andrew Luck stays healthy, the Colts should remain a contender in the AFC.
The running game will be looking to veteran Frank Gore for a shot in the arm to complement the passing attack, which was number one in the NFL a year ago, averaging 306 yards per game. With T.Y. Hilton and Andre Johnson in tow, Colts Head Coach Chuck Pagano knows Luck will enjoy more success in the passing game.
The defense needs to step up after last year's 45-7 shellacking against New England in the AFC title game.
The Colts will have Robert Mathis looking to come back from last year's Achilles injury that cost him the season. Mathis is the team's all-time sack leader and provides leadership on the field.
The Colts were eleventh overall on defense a year ago while finishing 19th in scoring defense, giving up 23 points per game.
After winning the AFC South last season and advancing to the AFC Championship Game for the first time since the Peyton Manning era, the Colts will no doubt set their sights even higher entering the 2015 season.
Expect another division title with an 11-5 record as Indianapolis will look to get over the next hurdle and make it to the Super Bowl this time around. It's possible, but only if Luck doesn't get injured and the defense is more consistent.

Week 1 - at Buffalo Bills
Week 2 - vs. New York Jets
Week 3 - at Tennessee Titans
Week 4 - vs. Jacksonville Jaguars
Week 5 - at Houston Texans
Week 6 - vs. New England Patriots
Week 7 - vs. New Orleans Saints
Week 8 - at Carolina Panthers
Week 9 - vs. Denver Broncos
Week 10 - BYE WEEK
Week 11 - at Atlanta Falcons
Week 12 - vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Week 13 - at Pittsburgh Steelers
Week 14 - at Jacksonville Jaguars
Week 15 - vs. Houston Texans
Week 16 - at Miami Dolphins
Week 17 - vs. Tennessee Titans

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