2021 record: 9-8
2022 bye week: 14
Most impactful additions: QB Matt Ryan, DE Yannick Ngakoue, DB Stephon Gilmore
Most impactful departures: QB Carson Wentz, TE Jack Doyle, WR Zach Pascal
Easiest part(s) of schedule: The first two weeks and the last two weeks. The Colts open up on the road at division foes Houston and Jacksonville, and they finish at the Giants and home for the Texans.
They absolutely must go 4-0 in these games if they expect to surpass the Caesars’ win total placed on them, and they also must defeat Denver on the road in Week 6, Jacksonville in Week 7, Washington in Week 8 and Pittsburgh in Week 12.
Toughest part(s) of schedule: After opening the season on a two-game road trip against arguably the two easiest teams on their schedule, they go back home to face the top two seeds in the AFC playoffs from this past January – Kansas City and Tennessee.
Indianapolis also has a stretch from Weeks 7 through 10 when they play three of four road games against Tennessee, New England and Las Vegas. Then sandwiched around their extremely late bye week (14), they travel to Dallas and Minnesota and host the Los Angeles Chargers in Week 16 on the night after Christmas on a Monday.
Caesars over/under win total (as of Aug. 29): 10 – Over -115 / Under -105; Odds to win Super Bowl LVII at +2500
Book it: UNDER. There has been no bigger disagreement between myself and our partnering professional handicapper, Adam Chernoff of covers.com, then we have here.
In all reality, it’s not much different than last season in which I was skeptical about this team while the pros and the sharks absolutely adored them. (It’s really because they hate Tennessee WAY more than they love Indianapolis, but more on that in the Titans’ preview.)
I simply don’t get it. Sure, they swap out Carson Wentz for Matt Ryan, but someone really needs to explain to me why that is such the upgrade they claim it to be. Ryan is one of the last active quarterbacks born before I graduated high school, as he turned 37 this past May. (Aaron Rodgers and Tom Brady are the only other two older than Ryan.) … So what I am saying is he’s old.
And as for the rest of the team, there were very few changes of significance. Sure, running back Jonathan Taylor kind of came out of nowhere to become the first pick in many 2022 fantasy football drafts, and Nyheim Hines is a solid No. 2 who is a great change of pace.
But their receiving corps is average at best with Michael Pittman, Parris Campbell and second-round pick Alec Pierce. Their offensive line is ranked anywhere from 10-15, which is point positive why the Colts were ranked 16th in the NFL in yards gained last year. (They also were 16th in yards allowed, which means their defense is just OK.)
If you have watched enough ESPN shows and listened to enough handicapping podcasts, then you likely already have plopped some of your hard-earned money down on this team. Sorry to hear that. Although I don’t normally advise taking my word over the word of a professional, I’ll just say again we’re in the same boat as last year, and it wasn’t them who was right. (And they won’t be right this year, either.)
Projected finish: 9-8
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