The Colts made some splashy signings this offseason. They cut loose some dead weight (i.e. Trent Richardson) and signed hungry veterans like Frank Gore and Andre Johnson, who would love to win a ring before they call it quits. The Colts made it clear with their signings that their goal is the Super Bowl. Anything less would be considered a failure.
The AFC South has improved across the board this season, because it couldn’t get much worse. The Colts are still favored to win the division and possibly be in contention for home-field advantage in the postseason.
Here is the 2015 NFL team preview for the Indianapolis Colts.
2014 Win/Loss Record: 11-5
Key Additions: RB Frank Gore, WR Andre Johnson, OG Todd Herremans, DE Kendall Langford, OLB Trent Cole, ILB Nate Irving, S Dwight Lowery & WR Duron Carter
Key Losses: WR Reggie Wayne, RB Ahmad Bradshaw, RB Trent Richardson, S Sergio Brown, WR Hakeem Nicks, C A.Q. Shipley, DT Cory Redding, OLB Shaun Phillips, OLB Ricky Jean-Francois, CB Josh Gordy, S Laron Landry, RT Gosder Cherilus, RB Michael Hill, DE Fili Moala, OLB Andy Studebaker, S Delano Howell & WR Josh Cribbs
2015 Draft Picks: WR Phillip Dorsett, CB D’Joun Smith, DE Henry Anderson, S Clayton Geathers, DT David Parry, RB Josh Robinson, ILB Amarlo Herrera & OG Denzell Goode
Non-Division Schedule: AFC East, NFC South & (Denver/Pittsburgh)
Fantasy Sleeper: WR Duron Carter – Carter has been impressive so far in training camp, but he will need to leapfrog a few other young receivers to become fantasy relevant. Carter excelled in the CFL last season and has the body to be an elite receiver in the NFL. He is the son of Hall of Famer Cris Carter, who also had trouble in college on his way to the pros. Could it be a family trait? If Donte Moncrief or Phillip Dorsett struggle at camp or suffer injuries, Carter will be someone to keep an eye on.
Offense – QB Andrew Luck, RB Frank Gore, WR T.Y. Hilton, WR Andre Johnson, WR Donte Moncrief, TE Dwayne Allen, LT Anthony Castonzo, LG Jack Mewhort, C Khaled Holmes, RG Todd Herremans & RT Joe Reitz
Defense – DE Arthur Jones, DT Josh Chapman, DE Kendall Langford, LOLB Erick Walden, ILB D’Qwell Jackson, ILB Jerrell Freeman, ROLB Robert Mathis, CB Vontae Davis, CB Greg Toler, SS Mike Adams & FS Dwight Lowery
Team Analysis: The Colts coasted through the regular season in 2014, but then hit a brick wall in the postseason. That brick wall has a name, the New England Patriots. You can believe what you want to about deflated balls, but the Patriots could have been playing with a medicine ball and still outscored Indy in that game. The Colts spent the offseason upgrading both sides of the ball. They signed veterans Frank Gore, Andre Johnson and Todd Herremans to help the offense and signed Trent Cole, Nate Irving and Dwight Lowery for defensive leadership. The Colts are clearly on a ‘Super Bowl or Bust’ campaign. I believe they will win the AFC South once again and possibly earn home-field advantage, but the postseason is always the problem for the Colts. They have the talent to make it to the Super Bowl, but Denver, New England and Pittsburgh will be tough this postseason.
2015 Wins Over/Under Line: 10.5 (Prediction: OVER)
2015 Projected Win/Loss Record: 12-4 (1st in AFC South)
Bobby Roberts (otherwise known as Sweetbob) is the creator of ‘America’s White Boy’ and contributor at Project Shanks. His writing has been featured on ESPN’s ‘SportsNation’, Sports Illustrated’s Hot Clicks, Guyspeed, and various other sites. You can follow him on Twitter at @Sweetbob.