Ever since Andrew Luck shockingly retired, the Colts have had a hard time finding his replacement. The Colts are on their third QB since Luck's retirement. They believe they have their QB1 in Carson Wentz.
Wentz is coming off the worst season of his career. His last season in Philly was an absolute mess, leading to him getting benched for Jalen Hurts at the end of the season. He enters a new situation with a familiar face. Colts head coach Frank Reich was his offensive coordinator the year Wentz was an MVP candidate. Many believe Reich can tap into Wentz's potential. If that's the case, the Indianapolis Colts should be making a deep run into the playoffs.
Our team preview of the Indianapolis Colts.
The Colts defense is coming off a strong year. They ranked 8th in total yards and 10th in points allowed. I expect the Colts defense to be solid again this year.
Upfront, they are led by Deforest Buckner. Buckner is one of the best interior defensive linemen in the league. He had a great season last year coming off the trade from San Francisco. He will be joined by the first-round rookie, Kwity Paye. Paye has looked good in the preseason, and the Colts will definitely be relying on him to make an impact on day one.
Darius Leonard got paid this offseason. He is now one of the highest-paid defensive players in the league. Leonard is one of my favorite players to watch in this league. He plays balls to the wall on every snap and plays with so much energy and emotion.
The Colts secondary is a solid group. Kenny Moore II has come a long way since he went undrafted to the Patriots. Moore had a career season last year with four interceptions. He probably had the catch of the year on this interception.
Moore is paired with Xavier Rhodes and Rock Ya-Sin as the starting cornerbacks of the team. A solid cornerback group that doesn't get much attention.
Carson Wentz is obviously going to be the talk of this offense. We all know what Wentz is capable of doing. I'm just not sure if he will ever make it back to being an MVP-caliber QB. He's already been out of practice because of a foot injury that required him to get surgery. He was also out because of COVID. I don't know why, but there's always a dark cloud over Wentz. If there's anyone to get him out of this slump, it's Frank Reich.
The receivers group is interesting. TY Hilton comes back on a one-year deal but will miss some time with a neck injury. That means the three starting receivers are going to be Parris Campbell, Michael Pittman Jr., and Zach Pascal. Out of those three, I like Pittman to emerge. the second-round pick from USC showed some flashes last season, while he was also battling injuries. Pittman is 6'4" and most likely line up on the perimeter. Expect him to take over as that "WR1" role while Hilton is out.
Jonathan Taylor showed the NFL he's capable of being one the best running backs in the league late last season. Taylor is joined in the backfield by Nyheim Hines and Marlon Mack. Expect Hines to be the 3rd down pass-catching back, with Mack getting some work too. I expect Taylor to lead the way for this running back group.
Even though they lost Anthony Costanza due to his retirement, the Colts still have one of the best offensive lines in football. It appears Quenton Nelson is set to play week one after getting the same foot surgery that Carson Wentz got. If this line can get Eric Fisher back playing close to 100%, this line should be fine, paving the way for Jonathan Taylor to score many touchdowns.
BEST VALUE FANTASY PLAYER
I think Parris Campbell can carve out a nice role in this offense. With TY Hilton out for the first few weeks, expect to see Campbell have an increased role out of the slot.
TOTAL WIN PREDICTION
I'm going to go with over 10 wins. I think this team is headed back to the playoffs. Wentz should be an upgrade over Rivers, and they did a good job of keeping the core of this team together.
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