Much like the year itself, the Colts 2019 season has drawn to a close. It was certainly an interesting one, with Andrew Luck’s shocking retirement putting the team in a tricky and unforeseen situation. That being said, Indy performed relatively well given the difficult circumstances, posting a 7-9 record in a season that could’ve gone much worse. Work needs to be done, however, and here are 3 “New Year’s resolutions” that will get the organization back on the right track.
1. Find a new QB
This one is pretty simple. Jacoby Brissett is a great back-up who was able to help right the ship after Andrew Luck’s retirement. He’s also a fantastic leader who has earned the respect of the locker room. But what he isn’t is the future of this franchise.
All year, Brissett served as a weakness in a struggling pass offense - regardless of the injuries at the receiver position. His lack of anticipation and inability to succeed in the deep portions of the field were the main catalysts that led to a porous aerial attack, ultimately meaning Indy must try and look elsewhere at the position in 2020.
The options for the future may look relatively slim this off-season, as the team will draft 13th overall and may miss out on many of the top QB options. However, a trade-up is possible (if Ballard is uncharacteristically willing to give up picks), and other options also remain present. Whether they take a passer, sign an FA option, or trade for a relatively unproven youngster like Josh Rosen, one thing is certain - they MUST acquire some competition at the position.
Objectively, it's difficult to weigh the 2nd half of the Colts' season and believe Jacoby Brissett is the answer at QB.— Zak Keefer (@zkeefer) December 30, 2019
He's had 7 games this year with less than 200 passing yards.
First 7 starts: 14 TDs, 3 INT, 3 games +100 rtg
Last 7 starts: 4 TDs, 3 INT, 0 games +100 rtg
2. Find the right kicker
In an attempt to not get fans triggered while reading, I’ll just say this - the Colts kicking unit in 2019 was nothing short of abysmal. Although the team put Adam Vinatieri in some tough situations, his play at the position led to at least a few losses, which can ultimately be the difference between the couch and the playoffs. Vinatieri may be the greatest kicker of all time, but he simply can’t be counted on for anything at this point. Thankfully, Indy claimed Chase McLaughlan with just a few short weeks left in the season, with his play helping inspire some confidence for next year. It remains to be seen if he’s the definite answer, however, which is something that the Colts must correctly evaluate before the 2020 season begins.
3. Get Nyheim Hines more involved
An explosive jitterbug, Nyheim Hines’ lack of involvement in the 2019 offense (and special teams) was inexplicable. For a team that played multiple games without its top 3 receivers, Hines’ usage was somehow non-existent, even with his strong yards per carry average and his quality pass-catching prowess. Also adding multiple return touchdowns in the second-to-last game of the season, Hines simply needs to open 2020 as a focal point for this team. Anything less - although not surprising - would be a disappointment.