The Indianapolis Colts fell just short of winning the AFC South title this season. They showed to still have firepower on offense, considering they were ranked 10th in the NFL in total yards per game. The Colts have always had a strong offense when looking back at their production. They’re desperately needing to improve at 4 positions though if they ever are going to be real threats to make a super bowl run. The question is, what offseason moves and which positions most desperately need to be upgraded?
The Indianapolis Colts defense has been absolutely terrible for the last 20 years and there is no real debate there. Which leads us to the position that is their biggest problem. Linebackers! The Colts linebacking core was absolutely dreadful this season. They were completely incapable of creating consistent pressure, they can’t stop the run, and are terrible in pass coverage. With Robert Mathis retiring and Erik Walden becoming an aging free agent this offseason, it’s time the Colts really commit to finding the replacements to fill the massive holes at outside linebacker. The Colts have reverted back to their old ways with looking north of the border to find help. They recently signed CFL star outside linebacker Alex Bazzie. This 26-year-old out of the University of Marshall had 11 sacks last year in 18 games. They still need to do a lot more though if they want a reliable linebacking core.
Now when looking at the Indianapolis Colts offense it is obvious that Andrew Luck needs more protection if he is going to be able to march his offense downfield. The Colts definitely need to add another piece to their offensive line which would finally be complete in my mind. Mewhort was playing outstanding football before suffering a knee injury. Rookies Kelly and Haeg looked solid and show they are moving in the right direction. The one spot that desperately needs to be improved though is the most important lineman on the field, their left tackle. Anthony Castanzo was on roller skates the majority of every game. He is supposed to be the best lineman they have and after looking back, he was certainly one of the worst this last season. They will not be able to consistently protect Luck, establish a rushing attack, or become the offense from 2014 until they sure up that spot. Castonzo needs to start producing or they must find someone who will.
Let’s look at a position that many analysts are overlooking as a key factor behind the Indianapolis Colts struggles. Wide Receiver! The Colts were fourth in the NFL in dropped passes at 25. This is something that led to multiple drives stalling and even possibly costing them a couple of games. Phillip Dorsett is a player built much like a young Mike Wallace but this former 1st round pick is underperforming. He has to show that he can consistently make catches that keep drives alive. The receiving core is built for downfield throws but that is what causes Luck to hold the ball for 4 to 5 seconds which then leads to multiple sacks. It is time for the Colts to focus on finding another big body receiver to give them more size and play a more possession style receiver role. This must happen to help consistently move the chains and keep drives alive and rest the defense.
This is a position the Colts haven’t had success with since 2007. Running back. It is a position that has to be addressed for the future. Frank Gore finally broke the thousand yard mark in rushing this season, which hasn’t happened for the Colts since 2007, where Joseph Addai ran 1,072 yards. Frank Gore ran for 1,025 yards this season at the age of 33. This is remarkable considering it’s something that hasn’t happened since 1984. However, the Colts need to plan for the future and give Andrew Luck a reliable running game which could take pressure off of him having to carry the team with his arm. Adding a franchise back would open up things for Luck and make the Colts offense an opposing defense’s worst nightmare once again.
The Indianapolis Colts are not far from being a dominant force once again in, not only, their division but the AFC as a whole. Ryan Grigson is under immense pressure and has to know that if he and Chuck Pagano can’t get the Colts back to playoffs for a third consecutive season, they will surely be on the unemployed list. The Colts have a rare talent in Andrew Luck and know that the time is now to sure up the holes in their team. Their quarterback is in his prime and if they want to bring super bowls back to Indy, they better improve these positions immediately. Hopefully, after addressing the positions I have mentioned, the fans will see their Indianapolis Colts back in the playoff picture for 2017.