With the preseason behind us we look forward to the start of the regular season of NFL action, which kicks off Thursday night with the defending Super Bowl Champion Philadelphia Eagles hosting the Atlanta Falcons. The Colts will also start their season off at home in a matchup against the Cincinnati Bengals at 1pm on Sunday afternoon.
Before that happens though, I wanted to take a quick look around the notable media outlets and see what everyone is saying about the Colts this season. Where does this team, with Andrew Luck at the helm, rank in terms of the rest of the NFL. Let’s have a look.
Obviously, the Colts can gallop right past some of the bottom-feeders if Andrew Luck reprises his old self. With what we know now, heading into Week 1: It’s challenging to place Indy above any team. The defense is bottom-tier, at least on paper. Which puts much pressure on the offensive line and running backs to grind out yards, thus slowing down the action and taking heat off that defensive group, as well as allowing Luck to settle in without putting the whole game on his shoulders.
There’s renewed hope in Indy after a miserable 2017 season, a sense that maybe the Colts’ luck is changing.
So to speak.
However, as one AFC South general manager told SB Nation’s Thomas George, Andrew Luck’s shoulder injury and lost season remain a dark cloud over the Colts:
”Sure, he has the tools, but that injury, anytime you start dealing with mechanics, the main mechanism, the arm for a quarterback, that is suspect and scary stuff. They’ve got to protect him, get him a running game and find him a weapon that he can count on, a go-to-guy. Nobody has any clue if he will ever be like he was.”
No team in the NFL surrendered more sacks in 2017 than the Colts. If the team allows close to that number (56) again, Luck’s going to take a beating. First-round rookie Quenton Nelson looks like the real deal at guard, but unless he can play all five line positions at once, he can’t fix Indy’s issues at both tackle spots.
You know...the guys tasked with keeping defensive ends off of Luck.
If one of Indy’s tailbacks is going to emerge as a dependable runner who will take pressure off Luck, we’ve seen no sign of it.
Frank Gore is gone. Marlon Mack is hurt. The biggest red flag about the Colts ground game (or lack thereof) might be that Christine “Frequent Flyer Miles” Michael made it onto the 53-man roster.
Luck’s a very good young signal-caller (or at least he was pre-injury). But there’s precious little around him. T.Y. Hilton, Jack Doyle...
Andrew Luck is back throwing passes, which is a huge relief. But the roster is just so-so.
It was good to see Andrew Luck back on the field (though a foot injury he suffered is at least a little concerning). The problem is I still didn’t see much from the team around Luck to move them up that much. Maybe I’m underestimating how much of a difference Luck can make.