Indianapolis Colts: NFL Writers Make Predictions About Team

Jan 3, 2016; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Indianapolis Colts coach Chuck Pagano on the sidelines against the Tennessee Titans at Lucas Oil Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports
Jan 3, 2016; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Indianapolis Colts coach Chuck Pagano on the sidelines against the Tennessee Titans at Lucas Oil Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports /

ESPN’s NFL Writers made 100 predictions about the upcoming NFL season, and five involved the Indianapolis Colts.

Tuesday marked 100 days until the start of the 2016 NFL season. As a result, ESPN celebrated the mark by compiling 100 predictions for the 2016 season from all of their NFL writers.

The Indianapolis Colts were certainly a hot topic on this list for obvious reasons. They have a lot of roster holes to fill during offseason workouts and they are working on a large contract extension with quarterback Andrew Luck.

More from Andrew Luck

In fact, the first prediction about the Colts involved Luck’s contract extension. NFL senior writer John Clayton predicted how much Luck’s contract was going to be worth.

"“Colts QB Andrew Luck will sign a contract extension worth between $23 million to $23.5 million per year sometime before the start of training camp. Luck is the franchise and the team needs to lock him up sooner than later.”"

Clayton is right. Luck is everything to the Colts. A contract extension worth at least $23 million per year sounds about right for Luck. He has proven he is a franchise quarterback, and aside from the 2015 season, he has improved every year since his rookie 2012 season.

Hopefully, the Colts and Luck agree to a deal around Clayton’s prediction. There is really no reason to go higher. A larger deal would make things more financially difficult for the Colts, and at $23 million per year deal, Luck would be the highest-paid NFL player.

The next trio of predictions came from Indianapolis Colts’ beat reporter Mike Wells. Obviously, he follows this team very closely and had some interesting predictions for the upcoming 2016.

Indianapolis Colts
Dec 27, 2015; Miami Gardens, FL, USA; Indianapolis Colts running back Frank Gore (23) carries the ball against the Miami Dolphins at Sun Life Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Andrew Innerarity-USA TODAY Sports /

"“Colts offensive line coach Joe Philbin is back in his comfort zone and will produce immediate results in Indy, revamping what has been the team’s weakest link.”"

"“A year after failing to top 1,000 yards for the first time since 2010, Frank Gore will surprise some with his play. He’s trying to become the first 33-plus-year-old RB to rush for 1,000 yards since 1984. The Colts will scream “Finally!” if Gore does because he’d be their first rusher to eclipse that mark since 2007.”"

"“Who needs a baseball instructor to teach you how to slide? Not QB Andrew Luck. Luck will finally stop being stubborn and realize it’s OK to slide instead of taking unnecessary hits (see early fourth quarter of Week 9 last season).”"

Wells sounds optimistic about the Colts’ offense with his predictions and is very confident Philbin will fix the Colts’ offensive line woes. Philbin is a good coach, but people will always have doubts about the offensive line until the players prove themselves.

People should also temper their expectations about Gore. It is hard to see him eclipsing 1,000 rushing yards in 2016.

It is great he wants to be the first 33-plus-year-old running back to rush over 1,000 yards since 1984.” However, there is a reason no one done it for 32 years. Running backs break down sooner rather than later after turning 30.

Lastly, Wells’ last prediction about Luck sliding is spot on. After missing nine games in 2015 due to injury, Luck acknowledged he needs to take care of himself better. Getting hurt taught him a valuable lesson about throwing the ball away and sliding to protect himself from hard hits.

Finally, the last Colts’ prediction came from ESPN Fantasy Football Analyst Mike Clay, who thinks a Colts’ undrafted rookie will be a popular draft pick in fantasy football.

"“Colts rookie RB Josh Ferguson will be drafted in nearly every fantasy league that takes place in August. Indianapolis made little effort to add depth behind Gore, opening the door for the undersized but explosive scat back out of Illinois to emerge as a coveted handcuff.”"

This is a fun prediction, and Ferguson is definitely a player to keep an eye on in training camp. He has an opportunity to be a key contributor for the Colts this season.

Ferguson is small, fast and quick, which are traits the Colts desperately need in the backfield. If he has a good training camp and preseason, Clay’s prediction will end up coming true.

Next: Indianapolis Colts: Peyton Manning Was Almost a Tennessee Titan

The start of the NFL season is still far away, but these predictions should have your Colts’ fever running pretty high. The Indianapolis Colts finish OTAs this week and then will have their mandatory three-day minicamp next week (June 7-9).