NFL 2012: Indianapolis Colts Season Outlook

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NFL 2012: Indianapolis Colts Season Outlook
Chris Chambers/Getty Images
The Colts begin a new era in 2012 with Andrew Luck.

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.

 

New Additions

WR Donnie Avery, C Mike McGlynn, DT Brandon McKinney, DT Cory Redding, C Samson Satele, QB Drew Stanton, S Tom Zbikowski.

 

Draft Choices

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

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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

 

Subtractions

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.

This team is a lot like the Detroit Lions of 2008 and 2009. Following the Lions 0-16 season, they also cleaned house with a new coach and GM.

Andy Lyons/Getty Images
Reggie Wayne will be back to help the Colts start anew in 2012.

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.

 

Schedule

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

Joe Robbins/Getty Images
Andrew Luck has big shoes to fill.

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.

 

Prediction

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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