Thanks to coming over from the long-time division rival Houston Texans, Andre Johnson has helped turn the Indianapolis Colts into legit Super Bowl contenders.
Johnson, the Texans all-time leader in touchdown receptions, catches and receiving yards, called Luck the “greatest quarterback in the NFL.”
The greatest quarterback in the NFL might be debatable, but Luck is easily the greatest quarterback who’s ever thrown the ball to Johnson. Johnson has started 167 games in his NFL career catching passes from Matt Schaub, Derek Carr, Ryan Fitzpatrick, Sage Rosenfels, Case Keenum, Tony Banks, Dave Ragone, T.J. Yates, Ryan Mallett, and Matt Leinart.
Safe to say that Andrew Luck is a huge upgrade at quarterback. Could this be the year that Johnson returns to WR1 form? That depends, but more than likely, Yes.
Johnson is coming off of a slightly disappointing season finishing with under 1,000 yards and had his lowest yards per game total since 2005.
Even after finishing with under 1,000 yards, Johnson still finished with 146 targets which was 5th in the NFL at 9.7 targets a game. Johnson also finished with 85 catches, catching 58% of his targets, which in his previous 10 seasons he was catching an average of 62% of his targets.
The Colts have made significant changes to the offense in the off-season, including releasing veteran wide receiver Reggie Wayne and wide receiver Hakeem Nicks. Wayne accounted for 116 targets in 15 games last season for the Colts while Nicks accounted for 69 targets. 185 available targets.
When you look at the Colts running backs, Gore will more than likely be the main contributor. In his last 4 seasons, Gore has an average of 18 catches a season. Pretty much a non-factor in the passing game.
What’s the point you ask? My point is: where are all these targets going to this season? Easy. Andre Johnson.
Andre Johnson is getting paid $7.5 million dollars this season. Coby Fleener, Dwayne Allen, T.Y. Hilton, Phillip Dorsett, and Donte Moncrief are getting paid a combined $7,231,337 this season.
I know it’s just salary, but the Colts would not be paying Johnson unless they planned on using him. Hilton had six games with 10-plus targets and 100 yards last season.
Wayne had five games with nine-plus targets last season. The rest of the Colts receivers and tight ends combined for four games with nine-plus targets
With the targets comes the potential for Johnson to catch some touchdowns again. Johnson has had 14 touchdowns in the last four seasons.
I don’t think seven touchdowns for Johnson is a stretch at all seeing as Wayne and Nicks combined for 6, but I think he can easily set a career high with nine-plus touchdowns this season.