The Indianapolis Colts have a new quarterback, new weapons and a reasonable belief they can win the AFC South for the first time since 2014.
Winning the division and getting the Divisional Round of the playoffs. After all, Philip Rivers doesn’t exactly have a good postseason track record.
Indianapolis is improved with a fine draft including running back Jonathan Taylor of Wisconsin and receiver Michael Pittman Jr. from USC. Defensively, the addition of DeForest Buckner on the interior should be a game-changer, allowing the defense to get more consistent pressure without blitzing.
If the Colts can get a better year out of Rivers, it’s possible they host a playoff game and at least scare the Kansas City Chiefs or Baltimore Ravens in January.
Missing the playoffs and watching both the Texans and Titans make the postseason. The Jaguars are an afterthought, but Houston and Tennessee still have good rosters and they cannot be overlooked. Since Peyton Manning retired, the AFC South has been a constant battle.
The main concern here is Deshaun Watson finds a way to pull the Texans and head coach Bill O’Brien across the finish line, while Ryan Tannehill shows last season was no fluke. If either of those things happen, Indianapolis has a real chance of finishing second or third in the division.
Biggest offseason move
Rivers, who the Colts signed to a $25 million deal this offseason, will have the biggest impact in terms of Indy’s success. He was signed as a stopgap and must deliver in his lone year with the team. If he can’t make the offense more dynamic, it’ll be a disastrous season.
Rivers struggled in 2019 with the Los Angeles Chargers, throwing 22 touchdowns against 21 interceptions. However, he’s in an offense he already knows under head coach Frank Reich and offensive coordinator Matt Eberflus, and has one of the best offensive lines protecting him. He should bounce back considerably.
Draft pick who makes the big impact
Pittman Jr. will be the draft pick to provide the biggest impact. His size and talent are gifts the Colts haven’t seen at the wide receiver position in years, and he should complement vertical threat T.Y. Hilton perfectly, giving Rivers another scary weapon to work with.
The Colts should win the division, given their dominance over the Texans and Titans (historically and in recent years), and win a playoff game.
They have the best offensive line in football and the 2020 Draft class figures to be one of the most promising in the NFL. Plus, when you consider the Buckner trade, Darius Leonard with another year of experience, and Parris Campbell ready to break out, the Colts have a lot of things going for them.