Five things the Colts need to happen this season to be successful

The season is not going to be easy, we will need to play each game and win every yard on the field. While many analysts have said the Colts will have a successful season, many others have also said that the Colts will struggle and miss the playoffs because we face many SB-ready teams (Broncos, Seahawks, 49ers, Texans twice) and also many young teams with rising talent (Bengals, Rams, Dolphins, Chiefs).

However, I do think the Colts can be a successful team this season, and by “successful team” I mean reach the postseason, because that is the important part of football, you need to go to the postseason as many times as you can because once you are there, everything can happen. Yes, of course, you need a good team to win a SB, but you also need a lot of luck while you are in the playoffs, so for me, it’s a matter of times: go to the postseason as many times as you can and eventually you will get lucky and win a Lombardi Trophy.

That being said, here is a list of things that I think the Colts need to achieve this season in order to go to the playoffs, whether it is as division champions or as a wildcard team:

1) The Colts need Andrew Luck to continue to get better as a QB: What does this mean? For Andrew Luck to get better as a QB, he should decrease his turnovers in about a third, he should increase his TDs by around 5 more this season, and most importantly, he must play better when we are playing outside of the Lucas Oil Stadium and be more efficient in the red zone. If Andrew Luck can accomplish these things in his second season, we could be able to win one of those difficult games away (at 49ers, at Texans, at Bengals or at Chargers), continue the dominance at home and win the rest of the away games vs division rivals.

2) The offensive line needs to protect Andrew Luck better: If we are making the postseason, this unit can’t allow 41 sacks again. The big guys up front must give Andrew Luck a better protection. I am not saying what number of sacks would be acceptable because sacks are not the only factor to consider if an O-Line is good or not. For the O-Line to accomplish this, Cherilus and Thomas have to prove that they are at least, above average starters, Castonzo has to prove that he is good enough to handle the LT duties and Thornton or Holmes have to prove that they can start as a rookies and protect Andrew Luck at least a little bit better than the other veteran options they would be replacing.

3)The TEs (Dwayne Allen and Coby Fleener) have to emerge as the most reliable receiving options outside of Wayne: With this Pep Hamilton’s “No Coast” offense, it seems the TEs are going to get a lot of targets, so it is imperative for them to be reliable receivers if the offense is going to succeed. Dwayne Allen only needs to continue being the player he was last season, maybe just a Little better. However, Coby Fleener is the TE with most work to do. He has to prove that he was worth that 2nd round choice, he needs to prove that he can stay healthy and that he can double his production for last season.

4) The defense in general has to stop the run. It is very clear to me, Pagano’s plan for this defense is simple: stop the run. We need to stop the run for multiple reasons: firstly, because we face Foster, Johnson and MJD twice a year; secondly, because by stopping the run, the defense is going to force the opposing offense to more and more situations of long yardage, where they will need to pass, and if our defense forces the offense to pass, the pass rush and the coverage should be better than what they actually are (because I think that the pass rush and the coverage are just above average by themselves, but if we create some favorable situation for them, they should look better than what they actually are). If we can’t stop the run, I think the pass rush and the coverage will start showing some weaknesses.

5) Stay healthy, especially in certain areas, such as OT, CB, OLB and S. It is obvious that the entire team has to stay healthy if they are going to be successful. It is obvious too that our most important player, Andrew Luck, has to stay healthy for the Colts to win games, as well as some of the most important players need to stay healthy (Wayne, Mathis, etc.), but I wanted to highlight the OT, CB, OLB and S positions because we have not much depth there , and if the starters can’t play, the backups are a huge downgrade for the team. For example, yes, we have a nice group of CB (Davis, Toler and Butler), but what if one of them gets injured? If one of those gets injured, either Vaughn or some of the UFAs would have to take his place, and I am not confident yet that they could handle the situation. We have nothing at OT outside of AC and GC, and the same can be said about the OLB and S group. We may have talent to develop, but for this season, they are not yet proven talent.

Of course, there are several other important things that the Colts need to do to be successful, but I think that if the Colts do this things in a regular basis, they could easily win the games they have to win (vs OAK, ARI, JAX twice, TEN twice, SD and KC) and win two, three or maybe four of the games I consider the most difficult this season (vs DEN, SF, SEA, HOU twice, CIN, STL and MIA). That is 10 to 12 wins, and should get us the division title or the wildcard. What do you think about the thing the Colts need to do to be successful this season?

This is a FanPost and does not necessarily reflect the views of Stampede Blue's writers or editors. It does reflect the views of this particular fan though, which is as important as the views of Stampede Blue's writers or editors.

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