2014 Indianapolis Colts Season Predictions
The Indianapolis Colts enter the 2014 season full of promise once again, off consecutive 11-5 seasons and in a good position to take what looks to be one of the worst divisions in football – the AFC South.
Quarterback Andrew Lucks has been progressing at light speed, TY Hilton emerged as one of the best receiving options in the NFL last season and Reggie Wayne returns after missing most of the 2013 season.
But there are some definite question marks for Indianapolis heading into 2014 – will Trent Richardson and an ugly running game get on track? And will an OK defense be enough to vault the Colts over the Broncos and the Patriots who look like the class of the AFC?
- Indianapolis Colts Betting Lines to win the 2015 Super Bowl XLIX 14/1
- Indianapolis Colts Betting Lines to win the 2015 AFC Conference 6/1
- Indianapolis Colts Betting Lines to Win the 2014 AFC South -200
Andrew Luck enters his third season as a pro in 2014 looking every bit like the franchise quarterback he was touted to be out of college. He has improved every season but has yet to maintain consistently elite numbers – 3,822 yards and 23 touchdowns in 2013 – good for just 17th in the NFL.
That should change with the return of the reliable Reggie Wayne and his Tight End Dwayne Allen and the addition of Hakeem Nicks.
There is depth at the pass catching positions of Luck for the first time in his career which should mean an automatic uptick in his production.
Some improved O-line play would be nice too. Luck was harassed far too often last year and although the Colts did little to upgrade the line during the offseason, you’d have to think the blocking will be better in 2014.
That said, a reliable running game will make the guys up front look a whole lot better. Trent Richardson and the Colts running game ranked 21st in the NFL last year – they scared nobody and allowed teams to key on Luck and his receivers.
The former Cleveland Browns first round pick was awful last season averaging just three yards per carry last season and blamed his “unfamiliarity” with the play book for his brutal campaign. That should, in theory, change this season. Indy will need Richardson to emerge this year – backup Donald Brown is gone and Ahmad Bradshaw is an injury waiting to happen.
Indy’s biggest issues come on defense. It is one aspect of the game that may prevent them from getting to the next level, particularly in the playoffs when they face the likes of the Broncos and the Pats.
The Colts gave up an astounding 85 points in their two playoff games last year – ungood to say the least.
Sadly, the Colts largely failed to address the defensive issues during the offseason. Outside of Vontae Davis who played injured last year, the Indianapolis secondary looks to be in shambles. It is a good thing for Robert Mathis and an OK front seven.
Oh wait – Mathis will miss four games this year after violating the league’s substance abuse policy! Ugh!
D’Qwell Jackson and Arthur Jones were added in free agency – decent moves by management but not enough to make a top third defense that Luck deserves!
Super Bowl Betting Prediction:
The AFC South is the Colts’ division to lose – they are far and away the best team out there. The fact that they get to play the Titans, the Texans and the Jags twice each is a gift from the football gods.
That said, question marks in the running game and on defense will likely keep them from taking the next step.
Indy takes the AFC South with ease but is exposed in the playoffs again! They are a lock to win their division but not trustworthy enough to take the AFC crown or the Super Bowl for that matter.
A 12-4 record seems to be on the horizon but a World Championship may be another year or two away!
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