Relatively weak AFC
The advantage for the Colts here is that they are in a great position to dominate their division.
At this point, who challenges them?
The Houston Texans are the most likely candidates, but until they find a quarterback there’s only so much they can do. Make no mistake, the Texans will be an issue the moment they get their signal caller sorted out, but given that their current choices are an unproven Ryan Mallett, a raw Tom Savage or a mediocre Brian Hoyer, this is probably not the year.
They do have a first-rate defense though, and they keep adding talent to it. That’s always going to be an issue for the Colts, but offensively Indianapolis has found a way to win more often than not. In fact the Colts have beaten the Texans five out of the last six times they have met.
The Jacksonville Jaguars have some talent on both sides of the ball and what could be a solid franchise quarterback in Blake Bortles, but right now the team is in the middle of rebuilding and really aren’t too much of a threat. Last year the Colts swept the series with Jacksonville, outscoring the Jaguars 67-20. Even if the Jaguars steal a game, it shouldn’t hurt the Colts.
Last but not least—or maybe last and least—are the Tennessee Titans. While the Jaguars at least have a core to build around, Tennessee has seemed adrift for a while. They have some pieces here and there, especially after grabbing Brian Orakpo in free agency, but the offensive line was terrible last season and we’re not sure what to make of Zach Mettenberger this year. They might draft or trade for another quarterback, but that won’t make a huge difference. Tennessee is not a contender.
Because of the Colts’ lackluster division, Zak Keefer of the Indy Star says that their schedule is one of the easiest in the NFL. That means they are likely to win the division and, if they can sweep the division as they did last season, they’ll look very good for a total of 10 or 11 wins and perhaps a first round bye or home field advantage.
As the AFC East looks tougher, the AFC North remains tough and the AFC West will beat itself up, this is a huge advantage for the Colts and would put them in great position to head to the Super Bowl.
Next: Added Wide Receiver talent in Andre Johnson