The Indianapolis Colts had their stuff handed to them in NFL Week 1 against the L.A. Rams and will hope to rebound in NFL Week 2 when they host the Arizona Cardinals. Current odds have the Colts sitting at +7.5 point home underdogs.
When Andrew Luck was drafted with the first pick of the 2012 NFL Draft, he was considered a sure thing, which is rare in the NFL.
Luck delivered immediately, and led a team that tanked to get him the previous season, to the playoffs. For the next two seasons, Lucks number continued to improve and the Colts as did the Colts, who went to the playoffs again, making it as far as the AFC Championship Game, which they lost to the New England Patriots.
Through his first three years in the league, Luck led the team to the playoffs despite not having a consistent running game and one of the worst offensive lines in the NFL.
By 2015, the offensive line woes caught up to the Colts and Luck suffered an injury that forced him to miss nine games. The Colts failed to make the playoffs that season, and failed to address their offensive line issues again.
Last season, Luck managed to play in 15 games and had one of the best statistical seasons of his career, but the Colts once again failed to make the playoffs after finishing the season 8-8.
This season is a make or break one for Colts coach Chuck Pagano, who was surprisingly retained after missing the playoffs for the second consecutive season.
With the Tennessee Titans and Houston Texans getting better in the offseason, winning the AFC South will be a big challenge for the Colts.
The Colts tried addressing their offensive line issues through the draft and free agency, but it is too early to predict how they will perform in their first year together.
If the offensive line holds up, Frank Gore should be able to find some running lanes, and Andrew Luck will have some time in the pocket, which should make their offense very dangerous. However, if the Colts can’t protect their quarterback, expect them to miss the playoffs for the third consecutive season.