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Are the Colts a Darkhorse to Win Super Bowl LIV Next February?

The Colts made it to the Divisional round of the postseason in 2018, and look like they are once again on the verge of being contenders in the AFC.

NumberFire today came out with an interesting piece entitled “3 Value Bets to Win Super Bowl LIV,” and along with the Browns and Bucs, the Colts are on the list.

Here’s what they had to say about Indy and their chances to win the big game next year.

Indianapolis Colts +1500

Andrew Luck and the Indianapolis Colts were one of the many feel-good stories of the 2018 season. There was a ton of uncertainty surrounding Luck and his shoulder, but those were put to rest when the Pro Bowl quarterback put up arguably his best statistical season, which included a career high in completion percentage (67.3%) and second place finish in passing touchdowns (39).

The biggest improvement for the Colts was the offensive line play. It was heavily addressed by the front office in last year’s draft when they snatched both Quenton Nelson (sixth overall) and Braden Smith (37th). The big boys up front helped Luck stay upright basically all season long. He was sacked only 18 times all year, the second-fewest amongst quarterbacks who played 10 or more games. That had the O-line ranked ranked second in pass protection, according to Football Outsiders’ DVOA. The starting offensive line is young, with an average age of 25, and supremely talented by draft capital alone (an average draft pick of 43.4). Baring injury, this line should continue to be one of the better units in the NFL.

With the quarterback spot and offensive line all set for the foreseeable future, Indianapolis can focus their league-high cap space ($109 million) on addressing a few glaring needs. A complimentary wide receiver to pair with T.Y. Hilton and tight end Eric Ebron should be a top priority. Outside of those two, no pass catcher topped 500 receiving yards or had more than three scores.

Other than adding some more skill position players around Luck, look for the Colts to spend most of the cap space on improving the defense, specifically the pass rush. On the surface, the numbers look solid with 38 total sacks for the Colts, but half of those occurred in the first six games.

Another key factor in the value of the Colts is the fact that they play in the AFC South division, a division in which Luck has dominated in his career to the tune of a 24-7 record, including an absurd 11-0 mark against the Tennessee Titans. Both the Titans and Jaguars have issues at the quarterback position, and have unproven commodities at head coach, while the Houston Texans, the Colts’ stiffest competition, seem to be stuck in quicksand under head coach Bill O’Brien, who has a record of 42-38 over his five-year stint.

The Colts will certainly need the division wins, as their schedule should prove much tougher this next season. After drawing the NFC South, along with games against the Cincinnati Bengals and Oakland Raiders, they get the more competitive NFC East on top of matchups versus the Steelers and Chargers.

The Colts are primed to take another leap forward in 2019 with key positions all set, all the available cap space at their disposal, and an opportunity to capitalize on a weaker division. At 15/1 odds, the Colts look like a solid value seven months out.


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