The Indianapolis Colts hope to build on a (10-6) season which ended on a 4 game win streak. QB Andrew Luck finally looks healthy again, ending the season with the 5th highest QBR in the league. This offense was able to score 21.5 points per game good for 10th in the league. The defense was able to hold its own ranking 11th in the league in total yards allowed. The Colts have not lost many weapons and have added 2 in first round draft pick WR Parris Campbell and DE Justin Houston. This looks to be a scary Colts team as they hit the road in week 1 at the Los Angeles Chargers.
Week 1 at Los Angeles Chargers
This will be a tough task for the Colts as they will be facing QB Phillip Rivers off of one of his better seasons of late. His 7th total QBR for the 2018 season and the offense averaging 26.8ppg, higher than the Colts makes this shape up for a shootout. I like the Chargers to win their first game at home as Rivers puts up big numbers.
Week 2 at Tennessee Titans
An Andrew Luck led Colts team have owned the Tennessee Titans in the past and I do not see this changing anytime soon as both teams are headed in opposite directions. The Colts are going to be hard to stop on offense and Andrew Luck will outduel the questionable Marcus Mariota on the road for a win.
Week 3 vs Atlanta Falcons
This is an intriguing matchup as you have two high flying improved offenses looking to put up a lot of points. The difference in this one will be defense as the Falcons ranked 28th in total yards allowed during the 2018 season compared to the Colts ranking 11th. The Colts defense gets a few key stops in a win.
Week 4 at Oakland Raiders
The Oakland Raiders are returning a team that finished with the fourth worst record in the league. In the offseason new GM Mike Mayock and company tried to improve a defense that that ranked 26th in total yards allowed and the worst in points allowed per game through the draft. The problem is that this high flying offense will be nothing these rookies have seen before; therefore this will be an easy win for the Colts.
Week 5 at Kansas City Chiefs
Although the Colts are an up and coming team this season, the Chiefs are poised for a Super Bowl Championship. Patrick Mahomes and the number one points per game and total yards offense are very hard to beat at Arrowhead and I do not see the Colts able to pull away in this one. Chiefs win in a shootout.
Week 6 Bye
Week 7 vs Houston Texans
In this matchup the Colts and Texans square off for the first of two meetings on the year. Although the Texans have a very stout defense, coach Reich will be able to keep DeAndre Hopkins in check and keep Deshaun Watson within the pocket. I like this Colts offense to surprise the Texans in this one in a win at home.
Week 8 vs Denver Broncos
This is a questionable Denver Broncos team coming into this year as they replaced the 29th worst QBR quarterback in Case Keenum with the below average Joe Flacco. I am not sold in Joe Flacco and believe that the Broncos will finish as one of the worst 5 teams in the league. The Colts are just more talented on both sides of the ball. This is an easy win.
Week 9 at Pittsburgh Steelers
Although this game will be at Heinz Field, the Steelers will be a different team this season. The Colts defense should be able to neutralize top target Ju Ju Smith Shuster and keep James Connor in check. This Steelers defense was also not good in 2018 and didn’t do much to improve other than draft Devin Bush with their first round pick. I like the Colts to win a high scoring game on the road.
Week 10 vs Miami Dolphins
I will keep this game simple. The Dolphins are in rebuilding mode and have less talent on both sides of the ball. This game will not be competitive as the Colts win with ease.
Week 11 vs Jacksonville Jaguars
The Jaguars are a team that could be interesting this coming season, but I am just not confident in Nick Foles as the franchise quarterback. The loss of Telvin Smith and Tashaun Gipson will hurt them this year on defense and I see the Colts outscoring them in a win at home.
Week 12 at Houston Texans
Coach Bill O’Brien and company will have been able to have seen this Colts offense once on the season and come up with a solid game plan on defense to keep them in this game. Deshaun Watson will prove why he was a Pro Bowl QB in 2018, coming through in the clutch in a last possession win at home.
Week 13 vs Tennessee Titans
This will be a mirror image of their week 2 matchup as the Colts win again.
Week 14 at Tampa Bay Buccaneers
I agree that new Head Coach Bruce Arians is a major upgrade at over Dirk Koetter, but they still have the same turnover prone QB under center in Jameis Winston. I do not think Jameis will progress this upcoming season and I see him making a few mistakes down the stretch for the Colts to win on the road.
Week 15 at New Orleans Saints
The New Orleans Saints will have a ton to prove this season as a Super Bowl berth was stolen away on a missed pass interference call. Drew Brees and the Saints offense had the 3rd highest points per game offense in 2018 and will be hard to stop. The Saints outscore the Colts in this one as they are unable to keep up.
Week 16 vs Carolina Panthers
The Carolina Panthers are coming off of a struggling season for QB Cam Newton as he was one of the most inaccurate passers in the game. I see the Colts defense able to put pressure on Newton and force him to make a few mistakes as the offense has its way with this defense.
Week 17 at Jacksonville Jaguars
This will be a repeat of their week 11 matchup as the Colts win the season finale.
This line seems low for a team that has added pieces that will just enhance a team that finished (10-6) the previous season. With some rebuilding and middling teams on their schedule finishing fewer than 10 wins would be a major underachievement. Give me the over.