The Indianapolis Colts' offense figures to be very, very good in 2015, in case you hadn't noticed. With Andrew Luck at quarterback, a number of intriguing receiving options, a new running back, and one of the best tight end duos in the NFL, there's a lot to be excited about - and the season just needs to hurry up and get here.
Speaking of hurry up, the Colts look to be one of the top no-huddle teams in the NFL in 2015, according to NFL.com's Gil Brandt. He looked at every team's personnel and ranked the top five teams at hurrying up their offensive attack, and the Colts came in third - right after the Eagles and the Packers. Rounding out the top five were the Broncos at number four and the Giants at number five.
Here's what Brandt said about the Colts:
Andrew Luck is like a more athletic Aaron Rodgers, except without the savvy that only accumulated NFL service time can bring. He threw the most touchdown passes (40) and racked up the third-highest yardage total (4,761) in the NFL in 2014, leading Indy to the playoffs for the third time in three professional seasons. Just imagine what he could do if he had an offensive line.
Luck's situation is a prime example of how a less-than-optimal supporting cast can hold even the most talented signal-caller back. Luck is a great quarterback who excels at running the no-huddle -- but to really thrive, you still need an offensive line that can pass protect, something the Colts struggled to do last season. (Although New England didn't record a sack in its AFC title game romp of Indy, the Patriots applied steady pressure throughout the game.) What Luck was able to accomplish with that unit in front of him was remarkable. The offseason addition of former Eagle Todd Herremans should help.
A good no-huddle offense also requires the presence of a capable ground threat, to keep opposing defenses honest -- and that's something Indy utterly lacked in 2014. Veteran Frank Gore can help solve that issue this season, even if he is a player on the decline. Lastly, with the additions of veteran Andre Johnson and first-round pick Phillip Dorsett to a receiving corps that already included T.Y. Hilton, Donte Moncrief, Dwayne Allen and Coby Fleener, Luck should be primed for even more success in his fourth pro campaign.
When talking about offense in today's NFL, it has to start with the quarterback, and the Colts certainly have a great one in Andrew Luck. He's one of the most exciting players in the league and quickly emerging as one of the top signal callers, as last season he broke the Colts' franchise record for most passing yards in a single season (finishing third overall in the league in 2014) and leading the league in touchdown passes. At just 25 years old he's only going to get better, and with him leading the offense there are plenty of reasons to think they'll be very good for years to come.
Wide receiver T.Y. Hilton is another young player (he's only 25 as well) but is coming off of a Pro Bowl season and has turned into Luck's favorite target, while the team also added veteran wideout Andre Johnson this offseason, replacing a potential Hall of Fame receiver with another one (in replacing Reggie Wayne with Johnson). Young speedsters Donte Moncrief, Phillip Dorsett (the team's first round pick this year), and Duron Carter could all factor into the picture as well, giving the Colts not only a number of receiving options but the speed that can stack up against any team's speed at the position.
Added to the receiving game are tight ends Coby Fleener and Dwayne Allen, who together make up one of - if not the - top tight end duos in the league. Fleener has shown to be a top-ten receiving tight end while Allen, if he could stay healthy, could emerge as one of the top overall tight ends. Both will have big roles in the offense this year too, especially in the receiving game.
And then at running back, the Colts got rid of Trent Richardson and instead signed Frank Gore, another potential Hall of Famer. Behind Gore they have Boom Herron, who provided a huge spark to the Colts in the receiving game during the playoffs last year, and then others such as Josh Robinson, Vick Ballard, and Zurlon Tipton.
The offensive line likely won't be great, but it has the potential to be the best they've had during Luck's time in Indy (which isn't saying much). A big part of that depends on health, but if everyone can stay upright and on the field, it should be at least a solid unit.
Overall, the Colts' offense should be very good in 2015, and they should be very good at running the no-huddle offense as well. As long as offensive coordinator Pep Hamilton utilizes the hurry-up approach, it should provide the Colts yet another advantage offensively.