After a long offseason, training camps, and preseason football, we're finally here. It's finally a legitimate game week. The Indianapolis Colts will open the regular season this Sunday against the Buffalo Bills, while the NFL's regular season actually kicks off on Thursday night with the matchup of the New England Patriots and Pittsburgh Steelers.
It's a season that is filled with high hopes and expectations for the Colts, as many think that this team has the potential to make it to and win the Super Bowl. It's a long season, to be sure, but as we start this week there are plenty of high hopes for the Colts.
That's reflected in the power rankings, as pretty much everyone has the Colts in the top five.
SB Nation's power rankings, averaging all of the power rankings from the different sites (including yours truly), has the Colts at number five. Here's what Danny Kelly had to say about the team:
Rounding out the top five are the Indianapolis Colts, who reloaded to take a run at it this year with the acquisitions of Andre Johnson and Frank Gore, two new pieces for the prolific Andrew Luck's arsenal. Offensively, Indianapolis should be pretty unstoppable. The defense is the bigger question, of course, but they added Trent Cole to boost the pass rush, and expect to get Robert Mathis back to (near) full health this year. Indy's brass hopes that these veteran pieces will put them over the 11-5 hump and past the Patriots to the Super Bowl this year.
Every Colts fan knows this season hinges not on the Frank Gore acquisition. Nor the Andre Johnson signing, for that matter. And no, not on the addition of top draft choice Phillip Dorsett. All eyes are on the defense, which must prove it can stop the run. Maybe this isn't as big a concern when it comes to AFC South foes, but looking around the conference, the Patriots, Broncos, Steelers, Chiefs and Bengals all can run the rock. Indy plays the first three of those teams (New England, Denver and Pittsburgh) in the regular season, and it's a good bet the Colts will run into one or two of them in postseason play.
There's no shortage of love for Andrew Luck. "He is as smart as Peyton, as accurate as Brady, tougher than Ben and as athletic as RG3," says one opposing head coach. But after a crushing AFC championship loss, Indy still finds itself a tweak away from the game's biggest stage. Step one? Getting a consistent run game. Adding RB Frank Gore helps, while adding WR Andre Johnson and WR Phillip Dorsett could help open running lanes from three-receiver personnel. That could help Luck, whose 66.3 percent dropback rate in 2014 was the NFL's third highest. -- Mike Sando
The opener between Andrew Luck's offense and a strong Buffalo Bills defense is one of the more intriguing Week 1 games.
As long as Andrew Luck is slinging it in a weak division, they will be near the top of these rankings. The defense has to be better.
It seems as if the general consensus is that the Colts are one of the two best teams in the AFC, along with the Patriots. That makes a lot of sense, and while other teams (like the Steelers and Broncos) will pose a tough test, if the Colts can get past New England, they just might reach their first Super Bowl since 2009. As we prepare for the start of the regular season, there are certainly very high expectations for the Indianapolis Colts.