Indianapolis Colts 2011: What They Need to Win Super Bowl XVLI

Victor SpurrierContributor IIJune 10, 2011

INDIANAPOLIS, IN - JANUARY 08:  Quarterback Peyton Manning #18 of the Indianapolis Colts looks to pass against the New York Jets during their 2011 AFC wild card playoff game at Lucas Oil Stadium on January 8, 2011 in Indianapolis, Indiana. The Jets won 17-16. (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
Andy Lyons/Getty Images

The first thing the Colts need is to get healthy.  Last years injury list is a long one: Austin Collie, Dallas Clark, Melvin Bullitt, Clint Session, Jerraud Powers, and the list goes on.  

Peyton Manning will hopefully have some of his most important targets back and will not be playing with a new set of receivers every week.  Manning will be able to establish the necessary timing with his receivers this year unless they are bitten by the injury bug as badly as they were last year.  

The Colts should have one of their biggest problems, being the lack continuity at receiver, fixed by default.  

The Colts also need better play on the offensive line.  If Anthony Castonzo can be an effective left tackle right away, the offensive line will be much improved. 

However, some questions will still remain.  Signing a guard in free agency, whenever that starts, should solve this problem. 

Defense is where the Colts have not only their biggest problems, but possibly the hardest to solve.  Yes, they will get many players back off of injury such as Jerraud Powers, and Clint Session, but it may not be enough.  

The Colts' defensive ends are some of the best in the league, but defensive tackle has been a perennial problem for Indianapolis.  Fili Moala improved greatly last season, and Daniel Muir has developed into an adequate run stopper.  

The problem though is having an adequate lineman should not be an improvement.  If Moala can continue to improve combined with Muir and Antonio Johnson giving a little bit more production, the Colts might have just enough to get by at DT, although a free agent addition would be ideal.

At linebacker, the Colts might be solid at all three spots for the first time in a long time.  Gary Brackett gives leadership and solid play week in and week out, while Clint Session gives a bit more athleticism and can cover the tight end.

Pat Angerer is a tough, hard-nosed player that can hopefully help compensate for a lack of run stopping ability on the defensive line.  If Angerer can improve in coverage, the Colts will go from an average-at-best line-backing corps last year (without Session, and with Angerer being a rookie) to having one of the better groups of LB's in the league.

The Colts' defensive backs will be much improved considering they are getting their top two corners and top strong safety off of injury.  Hayden, Powers, and Bullitt should all be 100%.  

Even with all of them healthy, though, there are questions about the unit.  They lack the ability to cover elite wide receivers. They are a team with two solid number two corners, but without a number one.  Hayden, or Powers needs to step up in 2011 for the Colts to be able to win the Super Bowl.

Indianapolis has a chance to win the Super Bowl at home this year, but this is contingent on a big year from their rookie LT and improvement from their DT's and CB's.  

One to three free agent signings are likely what they need to win the title, but even if they make no additions, they have much more than a puncher's chance to win it.

Don't forget about their pass rush, and they still have Peyton Manning.  Without any additions, the Colts will probably be somewhere in the neighborhood of the fifth best team in the league this year.