2012 Season Preview: Indianapolis Colts

Last year was a disappointment for the Indianapolis Colts to say the least. On September 7, the Colts announced that Peyton Manning would not play the season opener against the Houston Texans. They went on to name veteran QB Kerry Collins interim starting quarterback. On that same day, Peyton Manning decided to have a third surgery on his neck that would keep him out for a minimum of two to three months. Manning made it clear it was his intention to play, but he would not “fight”  the front office if they decided to put him on injury reserve.

At the time, the Colts were happy letting Kerry Collins handle the reigns as starting quarterback for the Colts, but things did not go as expected. The Colts lost the season opener against the Houston Texans and then lost the second game against the Cleveland Browns. To make it even worse, in the third game against the Pittsburgh Steelers, Kerry Collins received a concussion after a brutal hit by James Farrior. The Colts were going to have to start Curtis Painter for the time being.

Curtis Painter was not impressive. During his nine games as the Colts QB, Painter recorded a 54% completion percentage, 1541 yards, 6 TDs, 9 Ints, and a brutal QB Rating of 66.6. To make matters worse, the Colts were forced to put Kerry Collins on injury reserve on October 25, after it was clear he would not be able to play another game during the course of the season.

On November 29, the Colts decided to switch quarterbacks and start former Detroit Lions QB Dan Orlovsky. Contrary to popular belief, Orlovsky was a decent QB for the Colts. He led the winless Colts to 2 wins to end the season with a 2-14 record. The Colts would go on to hire Chuck Pagano as Head Coach of the Colts in January.

The big question for the Colts going into the offseason was if the Colts were going to keep Peyton Manning. Manning was scheduled to make $28 million in 2012, but was it worth it for a QB that didn’t play the year before? The Colts decided it wasn’t and released Peyton Manning in March. Manning would go on to sign with the Denver Broncos.

Offseason Additions:

QB Drew Stanton, RB Mewelde Moore, WR Donnie Avery, OT Winston Justice, C Samson Satele, DE/DT Cory Redding, NT Brandon McKinney, CB Justin King, SS Tom Zbikowski.

Draft Picks: 

QB Andrew Luck, TE Coby Fleener, TE Dwayne Allen, WR T.Y. Hilton, NT Josh Chapman, RB Vick Ballard, QB Chandler Harnish

Offseason Losses: 

QB Peyton Manning, QB Dan Orlovsky, RB Joseph Addai, WR Pierre Garcon, TE Dallas Clark, TE Jacob Tamme, G Ryan Diem, C Jeff Saturday, C/G Mike Pollak, DE Tyler Brayton, DE Jamaal Anderson, DT Eric Foster, OLB Philip Wheeler, OLB Ernie Sims, ILB Gary Brackett, CB Jacob Lacey, S Melvin Bullitt.

The Indianapolis Colts drafted Andrew Luck as the first overall pick in the 2012 NFL Draft hoping he can lead the team into a new era. He is the most NFL-ready QB we have seen in a long time, and he should play very well. Draft picks Coby Fleener and Dwayne Allen will serve as a lethal TE duo for Andrew Luck to use for years to come, so the offense should look much better compared to last year. With the addition of Vontae Davis to the cornerback depth, the Colts should look more competitive in games and will give Luck a chance to win games this upcoming season. I’m not expecting much from the Colts this season, but they are going to take a giant step towards building a championship team.

Projected Record: 6-10

Written By – James Carter – AFC South Writer – @JamesCarterTV

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