The Indianapolis Colts don’t have their sights set on the Super Bowl this year more so than just making the playoffs. ESPN’s Bill Barnwell made his case for every NFL team’s Super Bowl 51 chances.
in 2015, the Indianapolis Colts were many expert’s picks to make an appearance in Super Bowl 50. Fast forward to now, and the Colts finished 2015 with an 8-8 record.
Not only did the Colts win just eight games, but quarterback Andrew Luck missed over half of the season with an assortment of injuries.
The 2016 season doesn’t kick off for the Colts until Sunday, but things are not looking so bright on the defensive side of the ball — a unit that has arguably held the team back from being a serious contender in recent years.
With Vontae Davis, Arthur Jones and Henry Anderson being some of the notable defensive players that will likely miss an extended amount of time, the pressure is on Luck and the offense to carry the weight of the team until key players return.
ESPN’s Bill Barnwell released “Building a Super Bowl case for all 32 teams” on Thursday. Here’s what he had to say about the Colts’ chances of making it to the big game this season:
"Probability of Super Bowl win: 3.1 percentThe path: Remember when the Colts were everybody’s hot pick to win the Super Bowl this time last year? Things change. They aren’t one of the favorites this year, obviously, but many of the arguments in their favor from last year are still around. They still have Andrew Luck, who should be healthier this year, and they’re still in the relatively friendly confines of the AFC South. Remember that Indy doesn’t have to be great; they finished 13th in DVOA in 2014 and made it to the conference championship game. Their path isn’t difficult to tread.The comparable champion: 1991 Washington. Gibbs’ third and final Super Bowl winner was better in 1990 than the Colts were in 2015, but they weren’t great. Washington went 10-6 and finished third in the NFC East, albeit with a fifth-place finish in DVOA and a wild-card round victory. It didn’t help that starting quarterback Mark Rypien missed six games and was mediocre in the 10 games he played, producing a disappointing 78.4 passer rating in his third season after making the Pro Bowl in 1989. In 1991, Rypien returned to form with (what was for the time) a monster campaign, averaging a league-high 8.34 adjusted net yards per attempt while throwing 28 touchdowns against 11 picks. Washington started 11-0 and finished 14-2 before outscoring its opposition 105-41 in the playoffs."
Of course, the Colts’ odds of a Super Bowl win this year are slim-to-none. Unlike last year, you would have to think that head coach Chuck Pagano and the rest of the bunch are more concerned about keeping Luck upright throughout the season than they are of winning it all.
Don’t expect the Colts to make a serious run at the super bowl this year, but a playoff berth is never out of the question as long as Luck can remain healthy throughout the season.
In many instances, the team with the best quarterback usually wins the division. While the Jaguars, Titans and Texans have all improved, the division still should be for the Colts’ taking if they have their guy under center.
The Colts take on the Detroit Lions this Sunday at 4:25 p.m. ET.
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