For the past few seasons, the Indianapolis Colts have been one of the most anticipated teams in the league. Much of this anticipation has been due to the continued progress of their offense. Last year, the Colts’ offense took another step forward as quarterback Andrew Luck continued to look like he would soon turn into a superstar. Heading into the next NFL season, the Colts will once again look like a potential favorite in their division. While most would assume this is due to their offense, many experts believe that their defense could be what helps them win (http://www.espn.com/blog/afcsouth/post/_/id/67163/colts-starting-defense-could-be-four-years-younger-than-2016s-slow-aging-unit).
Last year, the defense of the Colts looked good at times but started to look very slow and old by the end of the year. Much of this was due to the fact that their defensive unit is one of the older units in the league. However, this off-season the Colts have taken a lot of steps to get faster, younger, and more talented on defense.
If the current projections hold true, the average starter on the teams defense will be just 25 years old. This is a big drop compared to the prior season when the average age was just over 29 years old. Two of the biggest additions to the defense came from the NFL draft. This includes adding defensive back Malik Hooker who starred at Ohio State last year. Hooker is just 21 years old and will lead the newly revamped defense during the next season.
Heading into the 2016 NFL Season, one team in the league that was expected to take a major step forward were the Indianapolis Colts. While the Colts have been competitive all season long, a recent news article (http://www.indystar.com/story/sports/nfl/colts/2016/12/12/colts-all-hope-lost/95338428/) points out that their chances of making the playoffs have been hurt by a recent loss.
In 2015, the Colts ended up finishing with a record of 8 wins and 8 losses, which was good for second place in their division, but not good enough to make the playoffs. While the Colts missed the playoffs, there was plenty of reason for optimism heading into this year. For starters, the Colts would once again have star quarterback Andrew Luck. In 2015, he was limited to play in just 7 of the team’s 16 games. Furthermore, the team focused heavily on improving its defense to make them more competitive.
Thus far, the season has been full of ups and downs. The season took a major hit this past Sunday when the Colts lost to the visiting Houston Texans. Not only did the Colts fall to a game behind the Texans in the divisional rankings, but they have lost their edge in a potential tie-breaking scenario with the team. However, the Colts still have a chance to make the playoffs if they can win their next three games, each of which is winnable. Furthermore, quarterback Andrew Luck and receiver TY Hilton have shown continued development, which will make them a force if the team makes the playoffs.
Before the start of the 2016 NFL season, the Indianapolis Colts looked like they could be the top team in the AFC South Division and even compete for a spot in the Super Bowl. Much of the excitement was due to the continued improvement and success of Andrew Luck and TY Hilton, two of the top young players in the league.
While there has been a lot of excitement about the Colts, they have not quite met the level of expectations some set. With three weeks left in the regular season, the Colts are one game behind the Houston Texans in the division. The Colts have also lost to the Texans twice, which means they will not be able to win the tie-breaker if it comes down to it.
Ultimately, the Colts will need to win their next three games to make the playoffs. They will start their playoff goal this week against the Minnesota Vikings. Recent pregame predictions (http://sports.yahoo.com/news/week-15-preview-minnesota-vikings-034254108.html) believe that the game will be a good one and the Colts have a good chance of winning.
The Vikings are in a similar situation as the Colts in that they are a game away from making the playoffs. The Vikings are still fighting to win the division, but will likely have to make the playoffs as a wild card team. The Vikings and Colts have an interesting matchup in which the Colts strong offense will be up against the tough Minnesota defense, which has consistently shown the ability to stop top quarterbacks.