NFL 2012: Indianapolis Colts Season Outlook
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Quick Review of 2011
Offense—30th total, 27th passing, 26th rushing
Defense—25th total, 15th passing, 29th rushing
The 2011 Colts were perhaps the most discussed 2-14 team ever. After 13 seasons of having no other quarterback start a game except Peyton Manning, Manning's multiple neck surgeries forced him to miss the entire season. Without Manning, the team rapidly went from Super Bowl contender to a has-been team.
WR Donnie Avery, C Mike McGlynn, DT Brandon McKinney, DT Cory Redding, C Samson Satele, QB Drew Stanton, S Tom Zbikowski.
QB Andrew Luck, TE Coby Fleener, TE Dwayne Allen, WR T.Y. Hilton, DT Josh Chapman, RB Vick Ballard, WR LaVon Brazill, G Justin Anderson, LB Tim Fugger, QB Chandler Harnish
Undrafted Free Agents
How many games will the Colts win in 2012?
DT-DE James Aiono, NT Chigbo Anunoby, T Steven Baker, CB Cameron Chism, DE Kevin Eagan, CB Antonio Fenelus, G Jason Foster, LB Chris Gallipo, G Hayworth Hicks, DB Buddy Jackson, RB Matt Merletti, CB Micah Pellerin, WR Jason Sambrano, P Brian Stahovich, WR Griff Whalen
RB Joseph Addai, DE Jamaal Anderson, LB Kevin Bentley, LB Gary Brackett, DE Tyler Brayton, S Melvin Bullitt, TE Dallas Clark, QB Kerry Collins, G Ryan Diem, FB Jerome Felton, DT Eric Foster, WR Pierre Garcon, LB Cody Glenn, WR Anthony Gonzalez, TE Anthony Hill, CB Jacob Lacey, QB Peyton Manning, T Quinn Ojinnaka, QB Dan Orlovsky, QB Curtis Painter, G Mike Pollak, G Jamey Richard, C Jeff Saturday, LB Ernie Sims, TE Jacob Tamme, LB Philip Wheeler
Outlook For 2012
The Colts horrible season led to a major housecleaning. Ryan Grigson is the new general manager, Chuck Pagano the new head coach and few of the familiar players will be on the roster in 2012. Most notably, quarterback Peyton Manning was released in March.
The 2012 season will start a new era in Indianapolis.
Like the Lions, the Colts hired a defensive-minded coach. Like the Lions in 2009, they also used their first two draft picks on a quarterback and tight end.
The Colts drafted mostly offensive players to surround top pick Andrew Luck with weapons. New coach Chuck Pagano brought DT Brandon McKinney, DT Cory Redding and S Tom Zbikowski over from Baltimore to help begin to re-build the defense.
Sept. 9 at Chicago
Sept. 16 Minnesota
Sept. 23 Jacksonville
Oct. 7 Green Bay
Oct. 14 at New York Jets
Oct. 21 Cleveland
Oct. 28 at Tennessee
Nov. 4 Miami
Nov. 8 at Jacksonville
Nov. 18 at New England
Nov. 25 Buffalo
Dec. 2 at Detroit
Dec. 9 Tennessee
Dec. 16 at Houston
Dec. 23 at Kansas City
Dec. 30 Houston
The Colts are no longer a media darling. All of their games will be on Sundays at 1:00 p.m. ET, except the November 8th, game at Jacksonville. That will be the Colts only prime-time appearance, unless they get "flexed" late in the season.
Expect Luck to continue the trend of top-pick quarterbacks who put up big numbers in their rookie season. Sam Bradford and Cam Newton each passed for over 3,500 yards in their rookie seasons in 2010 and 2011.
Even so, expecting six or seven wins is not a realistic expectation.
The Colts will probably win no more than four games this year.
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