Rushing: 18th (106.6)
Passing: 6th (252.1)
Total Offense: 5th (358.7)
Run Defense: 15th (106.9)
Pass Defense: 2nd (172.8)
Total Defense: 3rd (279.7)
What was the Colts’ best move during the offseason?
The Indianapolis Colts weren’t active at all in the free-agent market, choosing instead to go with the core of players already in place. So perhaps their best move of the offseason was convincing head coach Tony Dungy to stick around for one more season. His steady hand and calm demeanor has guided the Colts to the point where they have become the model of consistency in the NFL. Of course, it doesn’t hurt that he has future Hall of Famers at quarterback and wide receiver, as well as a Pro Bowl running back and one of the league’s better defenses.
What needs to go right for the Colts to succeed this season?
As long as future Hall of Famer Peyton Manning is under center for the Colts, they will be legitimate playoff contenders. Despite being one of the league’s iron men at the quarterback position, however, there are concerns that Manning may not be ready for the season opener against the Chicago Bears. He had an infected bursa sac removed from his knee earlier in the offseason, and it shouldn’t be a huge concern deep into the season. But if Manning were to be lost for a significant length of time, the Colts could see their six-year run as AFC South division champs come to an end.
Other than that, it should be business as usual for the Colts, who should continue to have one of the more explosive offenses in the league and a speedy defense that reacts quickly, flying to the ball and creating turnovers just about as well as anyone in the league.
Where will the Colts finish the 2008 NFL season?
The Colts may face their toughest challenge yet for the division crown with the Jacksonville Jaguars appearing to be among the better teams in the NFL this year. They are also up against one of the toughest schedules in the league. But there’s no reason to think this team is suddenly going to suffer a significant drop-off in production or in the win-loss column. They are still loaded with talent at most of the key positions and once again have the potential to go all the way to Super Bowl XLIII and win it.
The key, as always, will be keeping those players healthy and on the field. If they do, there’s no reason to think this team won’t, at the least, qualify for yet another post-season appearance.
Prediction: 11-5 and first in the AFC South.