Well fellow fans and "fanatic" brethren the 1st game of the season is now finally upon us. Critics from all the major sports networks have put in their picks and not surprisingly, none of them have the Colts favored against the Bears this Sunday. Sometimes I feel like a lone wolf out here when I make predictions, but nevertheless I am picking the Colts to win at Soldier Field on Sunday. I tend not to let the media sway my line of reasoning for obvious reasons (the media doesn't follow unpopular teams when they make their predictions). Most of the critics out there who have opinions about the Colts are going off of last year's debacle and roster. I on the other hand go off of the "changes" that were made since last year. Not only do I look at the changes, but I also look at the schemes as to why I optimism on this years' Colts team and why I'm as excited as I've ever been as fan for this team.
In the past, I have used Madden as a reference in getting a point across on certain subjects, and see this topic as another opportunity to use it again. For example, when we talk about schemes, in the game of Madden a good player can pretty much play with any team on the EA sports game and win, even dominate at times. I have seen people play with the Browns and defeat opponents who were using the Eagles. It's not about the team you pick so much as it is the scheme you use with them. What does this have to do with why the Colts will be better than what most people think this year? Well, quite a lot actually. For starters, the defensive scheme brought in by coach Pagano and his staff is a proven one. If you want to tickle your fancy to know how well it's proven look no further than the Baltimore Ravens. They used the same system under Rex Ryan and coach Pagano and have fielded a top 5 defense for over 11 years. When people think of the Ravens, they think of defense before they think of anything else. The Steelers also use their own version of the "hybrid 3-4" defense as well and rank among the leagues' best consistently from year to year. The 49ers, and Texans a just a few examples of teams that have recently switched to the hybrid scheme and are tops in the league as well.
The second reason is the change of personal that has (and still is) taken place this offseason with the team. Over 70% of last year's roster is gone. They have been replaced by players who fit the system that is now in place. Even if the Colts hadn't changed so drastically personal wize, they would have been a better defense than last year's because of the scheme itself. We may not have been able to cover opponents WRs very well, but we would definitely be able to put pressure on the QB with the front seven we already had. That core is still very much in tact. The Colts also have the element of surprise on their side. No one is expecting them to come out like gang busters on Sunday and pose any sort of real threat to any of the elite teams in the league. Not only that, but their opponents don't know how well the defense has adjusted to the scheme either. I for one think the Colts have been very "coy" throughout the preseason as far as what they will be bringing this weekend. "It's aaalllll part of the plan."
So this weekend I expect the Colts to shock the world and pull out a victory against the Bears because of the reasons I just stated. BTW I wouldn't bet against me right now if I were you. I'm on a roll. I called the Vontae Davis "mystery trade" as well as the Cowboys beating the Giants on opening night Wednesday.