Not that anyone asked for it, but ahead of the 2022 football season, I thought I’d get myself on record for how I see the Colt's season unfolding. Much you see may be familiar as hell, since we’ve all seen about the same amount of Colts action. So, unless you have been privy to a bunch of practices, we are piecing together what we’ve heard, with what we’ve seen.
We are going to be good, record wise, which is how they keep score, so that is a good thing. I think our schedule puts the onus on us to win the games we are supposed to. I believe that is something we have generally been better than average at, save the last two games of last year. Of course, this weak schedule is based on our perception of our opponents, prior to the season. Predicting this has a way of going wrong.
I’m not willing to bury the Titans just yet. They showed me their medal last year as they stayed the course, while losing their biggest weapon. I am worried that the demise of Tannihill has been exaggerated. Still, I think the fact that they will play the 1st place teams, while we get the 2nd place teams, should at minimum give us the edge and at maximum let us run away from them a bit.
There are a few things that could go wrong. I don’t know if we could survive an absence of Pittman for more than a couple of games? It would certainly test the likes of Patmon or Strachn. The O-line didn’t show me much in the preseason. I know having a scheme will take the vanilla out of the play calling, but IMHO, we had dudes that were losing their one on one matchups. I’d feel better about the depth, if I’d ever seen D. Kelly play in a game. I have no idea what to expect from the TEs?
On defense, I don’t know if we are going to get the uptick in rushing the passer that we have been trying to address annually? Paye may be slowed and I haven’t seen a real reason to call Dayo "Hurricane". I also do not know if we are going to be as good against the run, as we have been in the past. I will say that Leonard (harder for me to change to Shaq, than it was to say O kear i kay) always makes the ground D better, so maybe I should just say I worry about his week to week availability.
I know, I'll start hearing boo birds and raspberries when I make my next observation, but Frank scares me a little, well at least a little. I worry about his play calling, post scripted plays. I worry about his ability to emotionally fire up a team. I worry about his loyalty to a fault. I wonder how a guy who thrived in the K-Gun offense, can completely abandon any sort of No-huddle offense. I shake my head whenever Hines is on the field as the feature back, unless it is obviously a passing down, or in a 2-minute offense.
Individually, I expect Ryan to have a borderline monster year. He’s back over 4,000 yards, where he belongs, as those layups and YAC count towards that as well. I expect Tayor to have the same impact on the game that he had last year. I’m not convinced that Hines becomes some sort of fantasy stud. Pittman is going to elevate himself into that All-Pro conversation, but I fear we may still be looking for that Robin, to his Batman, next year. I’ve also got a bit of a bad vibe around R. Kelly (not that one). When he’s on, he’s a machine and worthy of All-Pro consideration, but I think he may take a while to recover from a really tough year.
I think we are going to be talking about Rogers more than Moore this year. Between kick returns and ball hawking, I think he’s going to get plenty of INT chances, as teams shy away from Gilmore. I also hope that our edge rushers show enough that Buckner can wreck more havoc on the inside. All news is positive on Leonard right now, but it sounds to me like he may be playing with one foot on a banana peel. I do have a great deal of confidence in Speed, but nobody is the Maniac.
I’m not sweating Specks at all. I see him being a nearly automatic guy on shorter attempts, who looks to have added some length during the off-season. I think the coverage and return teams will be solid, or at least they should with the assets we appear to be spending on them. I’ll trust Bubba until I have reason not to.
It is a great time of year for optimism, so my optimistic view is that we have addressed the shit that usually pisses us off the most, including: Better QB play, more consistent pressure on their QB, getting off to a better start, and running the damn ball, when running the damn ball is working.
I won’t be surprised if we move up rapidly in some Power Rankings (as much as I hate them). I won’t be surprised if we host a playoff game, or even two. I won’t be surprised if we have to reach for an O-lineman, somewhere along the line and I won’t even be surprised if Irsay gets to hoist a Lombardi.