Indianapolis Colts 2017 Season Preview

An exciting offense was undone by a dreadful defense, the Colts finished at .500 last year but lost franchise quarterback Andrew Luck to injury at the end of the season. This year fans have to hope a revamped defense is enough to put Luck and head coach Chuck Pagano over the top in a winnable division.

Last season: 8-8

Subtractions: TE Dwayne Allen, DE Erik Walden, LB Robert Mathis, DE Trent Cole, S Mike Adams

Additions: DT Johnathan Hankins, DE Jabaal Sheard, LB John Simon, LB Sean Spence, General Manager Chris Ballard

Notable Rookies: S Malik Hooker, CB Quincy Wilson, DL Grover Stewart, DE Tarell Basham

Analysis:

Any team with Andrew Luck as its starting quarterback has a puncher’s chance to win on Sunday, and with a deep threat like T.Y. Hilton they’ve got the potential to be much better than that. The problem for the Colts in the Andrew Luck Era has been on the defensive side of the ball. Last year they finished 30th in total defense. This offseason the defense underwent a sweeping makeover, replacing several veterans on the wrong side of 30 with younger, cheaper replacements. On offense, 34-year-old Frank Gore is entering his final year under contract with Indy. When he first signed the deal I panned it saying he was too old, but he’s kept right on chugging along, running his way up to eighth all-time rushing. If he has another 1000-yard season it would vault him up to fifth all-time. Luck appears to have recovered from shoulder surgery and he’ll work behind a line that showed improvement in the second half last year. T.Y. Hilton headlines a talented-but-shallow receiving corps. Will a revamped defense be enough to get this team into the playoffs? And if not, does Chuck Pagano get to keep his job?