2013 Record: 8-4
2012 was supposed to be a year of transition into the Andrew Luck era. Instead, Luck accelerated the timetable a ton, took existing tools and turned them into a playoff team. Luck threw for over 4,300 yards and 23 touchdowns but 18 interceptions, and the offense wasn’t very balanced. Vick Ballard ended up with 814 rushing yards but still rushed for less than four yards per carry, as did Donald Brown. Reggie Wayne had an unreal year for a 34-year-old, clicking with Luck immediately. Donnie Avery had a solid year and T.Y. Hilton came out of nowhere to become a solid third receiver. The Colts really started gaining attention after they beat the Packers in Week 5, then strung together four straight wins Weeks 7-10, going to 6-3. They impressively beat the Texans the last week of the year before falling flat in Baltimore in the first playoff round. But the Colts have their eyes on bigger goals. In early June they signed Ahmad Bradshaw which fixes a huge issue for their offense. Ballard will be much more effective if not relied upon so heavily. They also shored up the offensive line with Gosder Cherilus at tackle.
The Colts typically had a strong defense in the Peyton Manning days, but not so much last season. There are very few household names after Dwight Freeney left in free agency this year. Veteran Robert Mathis remains and improving linebacker Pat Angerer is slowly improving. Not even the acquisition of cornerback Vontae Davis could keep the pass defense unit from being bad and the rush defense worse. The Colts gave up the fourth-most rushing yards. But the entire unit will get upgraded with the additions of safety LaRon Landry and cornerback Greg Toler. In 2012 it often seemed like the offense was simply outscoring the defense and the same thing could happen this year. When the Colts matched up against tough competition they really had little hope to keep them from moving the ball, instead playing catch-up all the time. The win over Green Bay had a final of 30-27. They gave up 59 points to New England. Even the Jets scored 35 points on them. But don’t underrate Coach Chuck Pagano who didn’t get to fully implement his system last year. Thanks to his inspiring fight against leukemia and interim coach Bruce Arians’ terrific job coaching, all the players believe in Pagano now. Watch out for these Colts.