There have been zero playoff appearances by the Indianapolis Colts the past three seasons. What five issues need to be solved if that is to change in ’18?
It’s safe to say that over these last few months, you could make a case that all five burning questions for the Indianapolis Colts this year could certainly be focused on its still-young quarterback. But as will be discussed later in this piece, Andrew Luck is all set to go this year after missing all of 2017 with a shoulder issue.
Of course, this is a team that finished 11-5 in each of Luck’s first three seasons with the club and went to the playoffs every year during that span. They fell to the eventual Super Bowl champion Baltimore Ravens in the 2012 AFC Wild Card Game and then humbled in consecutive playoff appearances by the New England Patriots – first in the 2013 AFC Divisional round (43-22) and a year later in the ‘14 conference title game (45-7).
The last three seasons have resulted in a combined 20-28 record and the start quarterback missing a total of 26 contests. But it’s do-over time in Indianapolis as Frank Reich takes over for head coach Chuck Pagano. There is a lot of work to do following a 4-12 season. So what are the five most relevant issues when it comes to the Colts these days?
5. Who is the starter opposite WR T.Y. Hilton?
This is an area that still seems to have more questions than answers. When it comes to the wide receiver position, the Indianapolis Colts have a headliner and little else these days.
Donte Moncrief was one of Andrew Luck’s favorite touchdown targets but he left via free agency to join the Jacksonville Jaguars. The club did sign free agent Ryan Grant, who began his career with the Washington Redskins. He comes off the season which he set career highs for starts (7), catches (45), receiving yards (573) and scores (4). He figures to line up opposite Hilton, who’s been named to four consecutive Pro Bowls and owns a strong 15.8 career yards per reception numbers thanks to his 431 catches (34 for scores).
Still, there’s not an abundance of proven talent here anymore. The Colts did use fifth- and sixth-round draft choices in April on Daurice Fountain (Northern Iowa) and Deon Cain (Clemson), respectively. Chester Rogers caught 23 passes this past season, one for a score. But you could make a very strong case that with Jack Doyle and newcomer Eric Ebron, the Colts are more set at tight end and they are at wide receiver.