Full Stat Predictions for Indianapolis Colts' Regular Season
With the Colts' second preseason game in the books, the team's starters and main contributors seem to be set.
Some of the Colts' offensive players have been projected to be fantasy steals, such as Andrew Luck, Coby Fleener and T.Y. Hilton, but what do we see as their most likely totals by the time the season ends? Find out that and more in our stat predictions.
Andrew Luck: 370-585 for 4,329 yards, 29 TDs, 12 INT (63.2%, 7.4 Y/A, 93.6 passer rating)
With offensive coordinator Pep Hamilton’s offensive system coming to Indianapolis in 2012, Colts quarterback Andrew Luck should see his efficiency raise dramatically. Hamilton will have Luck taking less shots down the field and incorporating more “safety net” routes into plays. Hamilton also will place more emphasis on the running game, which will take a bit of the pressure off of Luck’s young shoulders.
While Luck won’t have quite as many attempts (he had the most rookie pass attempts ever with 627), with an improved completion percentage and less turnovers his bulk totals shouldn’t change dramatically. In fact, I expect his touchdowns to actually rise.
169 attempts, 673 yards (3.98 YPC), 8 receptions, 64 receiving yards, 6 total touchdowns
Ballard’s attempts should go down in 2013 with the addition of Ahmad Bradshaw in the backfield. However, with Hamilton’s run-heavy offense, I still would expect Ballard to receive anywhere from 150-200 attempts.
He’s the only back with experience on the roster that doesn’t have injury concerns, and that dependability could be the difference between his season totals and a guy like Ahmad Bradshaw’s.
144 attempts, 598 yards (4.15 YPC), 15 receptions, 143 receiving yards, 8 total touchdowns
The Colts’ newest running back, and the most talented, is poised to be an important addition. Much more well-known and experienced than Ballard or Donald Brown (whom he’ll be sharing snaps with), Bradshaw likely would be the unquestioned starter if not for injury issues.
Unfortunately, with Bradshaw missing the preseason with a foot injury, it seems likely that Ballard will start the season as the starter, and a minor injury or two throughout the season may keep Bradshaw from finishing as the Colts’ leading rusher.
92 attempts, 376 yards (4.09 YPC), 6 receptions, 64 receiving yards, 2 total touchdowns
The third, slightly less-used head of the Colts’ three-headed rushing attack, Brown is a more explosive back than Ballard (and has thus far been outplaying him in the preseason) and may have a slightly higher average during the season.
Brown excels in a fullback-heavy offense, and also runs off the edges better than Ballard does, which is where the Colts’ blocking should be strongest in 2013.
Kerwynn Williams (NOTE: Waived to make room for TE Jack Doyle)
30 attempts, 128 yards (4.27 YPC), 5 receptions, 65 receiving yards, 0 total touchdowns
Williams is shifty, with good speed in the open field, but it's doubtful he’s used much outside of the occasional long third down. With high explosiveness, Williams' average may be a bit higher than the others, however, as he’ll get a chance to run a few draws on long third downs that will artificially raise his yard-per-carry average.
80 receptions, 1,024 yards, 5 touchdowns
Wayne’s numbers will take a dip with the growth of the receiving talent around him, but he still will be Luck’s No. 1 target. Even with the young guys stepping up and getting more chances, Wayne should see his ninth 1,000-yard season, tied for third most all time.
45 receptions, 640 yards, 4 touchdowns
This may come as a surprise to some, as Donnie Avery caught 60 balls for 781 yards last season. But with the growth of T.Y. Hilton and the young tight ends, as well as an offense that doesn’t push it down the field quite as much as former offensive coordinator Bruce Arians did, Heyward-Bey shouldn’t expect the bulk targets that Avery received.
55 receptions, 880 yards, 9 touchdowns
Hilton is going to be a star for the Colts, and 2013 should be an encore to a fantastic rookie season. Hilton may not see a huge jump in numbers as Luck looks to spread the ball around, but he should lead the team in receiving touchdowns and yards per reception. Hilton has been brilliant in the preseason, catching five of six targets for 97 yards and two touchdowns.
15 receptions, 198 yards, 1 touchdown
The Colts hoped that Brazill would mature and grow into a blossoming fourth wide receiver this offseason, but so far he’s failed to impress in training camp and the preseason. He will likely make the roster due to his potential and big-play ability, but expecting much in the regular season is a mistake.
10 receptions, 106 yards, 0 touchdowns
A possession receiver, Whalen should only see the field in case of injury. The Colts just have too many playmakers elsewhere to have Whalen be a premium target.
54 receptions, 586 yards, 4 touchdowns
After a strong rookie season, look for Allen to increase his productivity as a sophomore. Where he really makes his money is as a blocker, which isn’t reflected in statistics, but his value as a receiver shouldn’t be overlooked either.
40 receptions, 406 yards, 3 touchdowns
Some expect Fleener’s statistics to rise even more than these projections, but he’s had an extremely poor preseason, and there are major concerns about his hands. Fleener should get a few more looks this season in Hamilton's offense, but I think the talented wide receiver core will still be the main targets.
10 receptions, 82 yards, 1 touchdown
Cunningham’s biggest value should come on the goal line, where the Colts can use him in “Jumbo” sets. His versatility should get him a few catches, including a score or two.
38 total tackles, 2.5 sacks
Redding has averaged just over 40 tackles over the past four years, but with an aging body and a deep roster at defensive end, he may not quite reach that in 2013. He's usually good for a couple sacks, however, and as the Colts' strongest pass-rusher on the defensive line, his production is desperately needed.
22 total tackles, 0 sacks
Franklin has just been a depth nose tackle over the past two years, and he should rotate fairly often with second-year nose tackle Josh Chapman. In addition, the nose tackle won't see time in the Colts' nickel formation, as he offers little to no aid in pass rush.
Ricky Jean Francois
39 total tackles, 3 sacks
As Jean Francois takes on his first starting role, expect career highs from the fifth-year defensive lineman. Jean Francois is versatile enough to play in different sets, but will also see a healthy rotation with the Colts' young, deep group of defensive linemen.
42 total tackles, 9 sacks
Mathis should see a slightly higher total of tackles in his second season in Pagano's system. Along with the increased tackle total comes one more sack than in 2012, when he reached eight sacks in just 12 games.
It would be a surprise if Mathis was able to reach double-digit sacks without Dwight Freeney commanding double-teams, but that doesn't mean the 32-year-old vet can't do it.
53 total tackles, 3 sacks
Walden has averaged 53 and three over the last two years, and I don't see that changing dramatically in 2013. His biggest strength will be setting the edge against the run, not rushing the passer.
27 total tackles, 4 sacks
The Colts desperately need some pass rush productivity from their 2013 first-round pick, but don't expect Werner to be anywhere near a double-digit sack guy in his first NFL season.
Werner needs to make the transition from 4-3 defensive end to 3-4 OLB, and it won't happen overnight. Werner's ceiling is Ryan Kerrigan, but Kerrigan was a starter from day one in Washington, and Werner is going to be a rotational player in 2013.
162 total tackles, 2 sacks, 1 interception
Freeman burst onto the scene last year with 145 total tackles, which should raise slightly as an improved defensive line allows him more freedom in 2013. With a couple of sacks and an interception, Freeman also has a little bit of playmaking in him.
The other linebacker spot will likely be a rotation of Kavell Conner, Pat Angerer and Kelvin Sheppard, but Freeman is a constant.
60 tackles, 13 passes defensed, 4 interceptions
Davis managed 51 tackles last year in just 10 games. He should get more if he lasts the full season this year, but not many, as the Colts' front seven should be able to stop the run more frequently than they did in 2012. Davis also should get his hands on a few more passes during his second season in Pagano's system.
76 tackles, 11 passes defensed, 6 interceptions
Toler will get targeted a little bit more than Davis, resulting in more tackles. However, Toler is also a bit of a ball hawk and should pick up a couple more picks than Davis will. He also will gamble and allow a few more completions, but the turnovers are invaluable.
89 tackles, 9 passes defensed, 3 interceptions
The Colts haven't had a strong safety to pair with Bethea since 2007, when Bob Sanders still roamed Indianapolis. LaRon Landry will likely take some of Bethea's tackles, but his support in the run game will give Bethea the chance to patrol the field in coverage freely and pick up a few interceptions.
92 tackles, 6 passes defensed, 1 interception
The support that Landry offers in the run game and over the middle will lead to a high amount of tackles, if he can stay healthy, of course. While Landry isn't a top-notch safety in coverage, his aggressiveness will lead to a few pass knockdowns, and maybe even an interception or two (although probably a few deep completions as well).