The Colts made it into the second round of the playoffs this year, which is an improvement over last year. They can clearly build their future around Andrew Luck at this point, but this post season proved that they have issues to address if they want to get over the hump. What might some of those be?
This seems like a strange thing to say, but I think the defense is a secondary concern to Indianapolis at this point. Sure, they aren’t great, but they aren’t as bad as they’ve been. Besides, with a conference that features the Texans, Titans and Jaguars, they probably have a little bit of time to work on their D. Besides, as I have noted in the past, in the regular season they seemed tougher to run against and not as susceptible to the short passing game. They were more physical. Stronger.
They were in trouble, however, when the offense turned over the ball frequently, like they did in the post season. Indianapolis wasn’t turnover prone through the regular season. That started when they started facing some more aggressive defenses and more importantly, after they lost Reggie Wayne. I think this year, they can take some serious strides by working on the offense, while letting the defense develop more slowly.
First and foremost, the Colts should look at adding to their interior offensive line. They lost some valuable free agents in the last few years, and they haven’t developed the guys to replace them yet. If Luck has a little more time in the pocket, perhaps he can complete some more passes — to the correct team. Like I said, this wasn’t an issue for most of the season, but the inferiority was evident when they started playing better competition.
Almost as important, however, is finding Andrew Luck another person to throw to. Bad routes and dropped passes hurt Luck almost more than anything. If he can have a bit more confidence in his playmakers, then I think the team stands to improve dramatically. I would really like it if they could add a big possession receiver to go along with a burner like T.Y. Hilton. A security blanket for Andrew Luck, as it were.
The defense will be addressed to. There is room for improvement everywhere on that side of the ball, but the Colts have proven they can win with an inferior defense. No team can win while they are turning over the ball.