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8 minutes ago, Coltscrazy said:

Every year, people say it is the best roster we have had in years and predict massive success.  I certainly would love a 12 win season and a shot at the Chiefs, but I wanted to list a few concerns.

 

Offense - I'm not worried about Rivers at all.  I think behind our OL, he will be a better than average signal caller.  What does worry me is our wide receivers.  Parris Campbell has yet to show anything, and Hilton has been injured a lot.  We are putting a lot on rookie Pittman to fix a lot of problems.  The running game will be vicious, and Rivers should be fine, but I see us settling for a lot of field goals.

 

Defense - Buckner is an amazing addition.  He and Houston give us two proven studs.  The front seven is really good, but what about our corners.  Our best cover guy is our nickel, and he is coming off his worst year.  Then we have Rock and Xavier Rhodes who got cut by the Vikings.  I don't see any depth at all.  I think our safeties could be pretty good, but the corners scare me.  The D has a lot of strengths, but it is an air raid league, and I'm worried about how we match up outside. 

 

Like I said, I want a 12 win year, but I just wanted to voice some concerns.

Yes those are probably the biggest questions for the year.

Sometimes you just gotta believe.

:lombardi:

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Like most teams with a decent all round roster, injuries is the difference maker. In general terms, our trenches on both sides of the ball can counter those potential weaknesses which you rightly mention. Possibly more so than you think. Some fair concerns though. Nice post.

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To say Paris Campbell is yet to show anything is a bit dishonest. Most of us have seen him make enough plays to know he can play. Now we need to see him do it more. He cant help that he got injured. Im not that worried about the WR corps because we have a 16 yr vet QB back there. Vets like Rivers learn to play and be productive with a variety of different pieces and scenarios. I think our WR corps has talented pieces although not really deep on name recognition. If anyone has learned how to play with missing pieces its Rivers. The Chargers offense was quite often littered with injuries.

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I think Rhodes will do fine in this scheme as long as hes healthy. The colts coaches all seem to have this quiet confidence in the group they have in place so i will go along with that. Im just going to have to trust that Yasin has taken the next step.

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Agree on unknown of WRs.  But i like the potential ALOT.  I think Pittman getting up to speed fast would take pressure off the loss of the TE as well.  But between Pitt, Campbell, Pascal i think we are fine.  Hilton staying healthy and Pittman stepping up are big imo.  I like the Dulin/Patmon/Fountain combo too... they just need some reps.

  On D is my biggest concern.  The backend of our D.  Cornerback primarily.

 

  Looking ahead to next draft.....

Cornerback and edge rush early.

Also keep QB, OL depth , and TE in mind.

 

  After next draft, its quite possible for us to have a very strong roster across the board with pretty good depth.

  It seems the last 3 drafts we pretty much knew what areas Ballard would address.  I like how he “doubles up” and focuses on a position.  He did it at LB, OL, and DL pretty dramatically. It seems to work for him.

  I remember the days of the draft when (except usually QB) we had no idea what position might be drafted.  We were bad everywhere, lol.

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1 hour ago, Coltscrazy said:

Every year, people say it is the best roster we have had in years and predict massive success.  I certainly would love a 12 win season and a shot at the Chiefs, but I wanted to list a few concerns.

 

Offense - I'm not worried about Rivers at all.  I think behind our OL, he will be a better than average signal caller.  What does worry me is our wide receivers.  Parris Campbell has yet to show anything, and Hilton has been injured a lot.  We are putting a lot on rookie Pittman to fix a lot of problems.  The running game will be vicious, and Rivers should be fine, but I see us settling for a lot of field goals.

 

Defense - Buckner is an amazing addition.  He and Houston give us two proven studs.  The front seven is really good, but what about our corners.  Our best cover guy is our nickel, and he is coming off his worst year.  Then we have Rock and Xavier Rhodes who got cut by the Vikings.  I don't see any depth at all.  I think our safeties could be pretty good, but the corners scare me.  The D has a lot of strengths, but it is an air raid league, and I'm worried about how we match up outside. 

 

Like I said, I want a 12 win year, but I just wanted to voice some concerns.

Agree with everything about your analysis. I think if our run game and Buckner are as advertised, we can pretty much chalk up 7 wins there. So our floor is 7-9. If Rivers is above average, the receivers stay healthy, and our corners aren't horrible and above all NO MAJOR INJURIES, our ceiling is 12 wins.

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I think our strength in the trenches will win us the division.  I've always been an inside out guy.  I agree with those who say the running game and the veteran QB will mitigate any problem at WR.  The corners on defense however are just scary.  I guess it isn't devil's advocate, however, I'm positive we can have a great year despite these concerns.  I just wanted to have an honest look at things in the midst of the pre-season feel good bubble.  I know there are a lot of high hopes this year, and with a running game and big uglies, I hope we get there. Our defense got torched badly for the entire second half of the season last year, but they were on the field all the time because of offensive problems, and they often had to defend short fields.  Buckner and less three and outs should help a lot. 

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Yasin doesnt have all of my trust yet. Rhodes has my trust as long as hes healthy. From what i can tell his training camp was lockdown. Obviously did more than enough to earn his spot on the roster. I dont know much at all about TJ Carrie other than watching a few highlight films. Seemed solid from what i could see but who knows. It appears they feel pretty good about Isaiah Rogers. Nice athlete from what i could see in his college film. Im also wondering if they have any plans to use Blackmon at corner? I know he can play S and Corner. I think wed be a lot les concerned if there was a real Preseason this year and we saw the games.

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Im excited about Pittman and Patmon. Think Rivers can make good use of their size. Especially if they are on the field simultaneously like Cam Newton did with Funchess and the big boy from Florida State. Dulin i have absolutely no clue if he can play but hes got a nice athletic profile, very fast and bigger than what i thought. I thought he was a little guy until i looked him up and saw 6 foot 2. So another big guy who can run.

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7 hours ago, Coltscrazy said:

Every year, people say it is the best roster we have had in years and predict massive success.  I certainly would love a 12 win season and a shot at the Chiefs, but I wanted to list a few concerns.

 

Offense - I'm not worried about Rivers at all.  I think behind our OL, he will be a better than average signal caller.  What does worry me is our wide receivers.  Parris Campbell has yet to show anything, and Hilton has been injured a lot.  We are putting a lot on rookie Pittman to fix a lot of problems.  The running game will be vicious, and Rivers should be fine, but I see us settling for a lot of field goals.

 

Defense - Buckner is an amazing addition.  He and Houston give us two proven studs.  The front seven is really good, but what about our corners.  Our best cover guy is our nickel, and he is coming off his worst year.  Then we have Rock and Xavier Rhodes who got cut by the Vikings.  I don't see any depth at all.  I think our safeties could be pretty good, but the corners scare me.  The D has a lot of strengths, but it is an air raid league, and I'm worried about how we match up outside. 

 

Like I said, I want a 12 win year, but I just wanted to voice some concerns.

 

The 'Perfect Roster' does not exists IMO., but I agree with your concerns. 

 

I think after years (2 decades) of Manning/Luck at QB, we should embrace a 'run-first' Colts.

 

Our CBs are suspicious over past few years, it would be OK if our D won't let big plays every game.

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Fair post OP, it’s all faith until they actually play real football.  Like others have said, injuries (and now the virus) can turn a decent team into...a team that we saw play the Saints last year.  
 

On paper, this team is better able to handle injuries.  Ballard has done a great job planning it out.

 

But as the saying goes, Man plans and God laughs.  

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Every team has its strengths and weaknesses.  But there are also not-unlikely solutions to each of your concerns.  Campbell kills it from the slot position.  Or Patmon has a surprisingly productive rookie season.  Ya-Sin steps it up...Rhodes bounces back from his surprisingly poor 2019.  We shall see, but EVERY team has concerns, even KC, SF, Baltimore, etc...

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I'm also concerned about the WR's. Young guys could step up, but they could also flop. It's a 50/50 proposition. We have seen what happens when Hilton gets injured, the Colts don't win. I would have liked to see Ballard purchase a WR2, but he seems dead set on finding this player through the draft instead. Allen Robinson is unhappy in Chicago, and I would take a hard look at trading for him. 

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13 hours ago, Coltscrazy said:

Every year, people say it is the best roster we have had in years and predict massive success.  I certainly would love a 12 win season and a shot at the Chiefs, but I wanted to list a few concerns.

 

Offense - I'm not worried about Rivers at all.  I think behind our OL, he will be a better than average signal caller.  What does worry me is our wide receivers.  Parris Campbell has yet to show anything, and Hilton has been injured a lot.  We are putting a lot on rookie Pittman to fix a lot of problems.  The running game will be vicious, and Rivers should be fine, but I see us settling for a lot of field goals.

 

Defense - Buckner is an amazing addition.  He and Houston give us two proven studs.  The front seven is really good, but what about our corners.  Our best cover guy is our nickel, and he is coming off his worst year.  Then we have Rock and Xavier Rhodes who got cut by the Vikings.  I don't see any depth at all.  I think our safeties could be pretty good, but the corners scare me.  The D has a lot of strengths, but it is an air raid league, and I'm worried about how we match up outside. 

 

Like I said, I want a 12 win year, but I just wanted to voice some concerns.

 

I agree that these are valid concerns.

 

To the bolded on the offense...if that is the case...then we could be looking at a fair share of coin flip games...and it's very difficult to win a huge majority of those...which is what would need to happen to win 11-12 games.

 

On D, Buckner will definitely help the DL...but there are still questions about LDE. Let's hope the DL can get after the QB...because the secondary is a big question mark after last year (Colts allowed the second-highest completion % in the NFL). The safeties have depth now...but they were not good in pass coverage last year...and the CBs have little depth to overcome injury.

 

So if the offense is settling for FGs...and the defense is bending too often...this team will somewhat look like the 2nd half of last season. But that is the worst case scenario...and I think we will see a much improved team.

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6 minutes ago, shasta519 said:

 

I agree that these are valid concerns.

 

To the bolded on the offense...if that is the case...then we could be looking at a fair share of coin flip games...and it's very difficult to win a huge majority of those...which is what would need to happen to win 11-12 games.

 

On D, Buckner will definitely help the DL...but there are still questions about LDE. Let's hope the DL can get after the QB...because the secondary is a big question mark after last year (Colts allowed the second-highest completion % in the NFL). The safeties have depth now...but they were not good in pass coverage last year...and the CBs have little depth to overcome injury.

 

So if the offense is settling for FGs...and the defense is bending too often...this team will somewhat look like the 2nd half of last season. But that is the worst case scenario...and I think we will see a much improved team.

Secondary struggled so badly due to Dline not getting any QB pressure. Having 6+ seconds most snaps to throw the ball, and any secondary will get burned.

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6 hours ago, HungarianColtsFan said:

 

The 'Perfect Roster' does not exists IMO., but I agree with your concerns. 

 

I think after years (2 decades) of Manning/Luck at QB, we should embrace a 'run-first' Colts.

 

Our CBs are suspicious over past few years, it would be OK if our D won't let big plays every game.

Not ready to embrace a run-first Colts team...this is a passing league.

If you want to be a contender, you have to throw the ball a lot.

Running gets us to 9-7 or 8-8...like if Brissett has to play.

 

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13 hours ago, braveheartcolt said:

Like most teams with a decent all round roster, injuries is the difference maker. In general terms, our trenches on both sides of the ball can counter those potential weaknesses which you rightly mention. Possibly more so than you think. Some fair concerns though. Nice post.

word... look at the Broncos...just last Von Miller for the season ..

 

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17 minutes ago, Indyfan4life said:

Secondary struggled so badly due to Dline not getting any QB pressure. Having 6+ seconds most snaps to throw the ball, and any secondary will get burned.

 

That's the hope anyways...that the DL getting more pressure will equal better pass coverage. But it's hard to consistently get good pressure from game to game.

 

Regardless...good NFL QBs can pick apart this scheme...which is a concern that is separate of the talent in the secondary.

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20 minutes ago, CanuckColt said:

Not ready to embrace a run-first Colts team...this is a passing league.

If you want to be a contender, you have to throw the ball a lot.

Running gets us to 9-7 or 8-8...like if Brissett has to play.

 

 

Yeah...no thanks to embracing a "run-first" mentality. Passing offense is huge. Colts need to be able start fast and build leads...then they can lean on the ground game.

 

When Luck was here...they threw ~62% of the time. They had a top 10 offense.

 

Also...Rivers-led offenses have thrown 59-64% of the time since 2014 (including two years that Reich was the OC).

 

IND ran the ball so much because teams adjusted to JB and he wasn't able to execute the passing offense that Reich wanted. That won't be the case with Rivers.

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We'll be fine. I'm a skeptical guy who isn't afraid to be critical if warranted. The roster is stronger than it's been in a long long time.

 

To the OP

 

The WRs are young but have high potential. Nobody is putting pressure on Pittman. Pascal is a suitable X until either Pittman or Patmon emerges. The only thing we need to worry about is the health of Z and slot (Hilton and Campbell). The talent and potential is there, and I think Rivers will help them develop just fine.

 

Not worried about CB at this point either. Ya-Sin was playing at a top 10 level the second half of the season at CB1. Moore is a top 10 NB. The only concern is Rhodes, and all reports out of camp are that he's playing well. Keep in mind he's coming from a man-D scheme, to our heavy zone, which will make his life easier. Not saying he'll be a stud, but if reports are correct, we're fine. Carrie is also quality depth and is probably the 4th man in if one of the top 3 go down. 

 

The biggest things to worry about to me are:

1. Offense - OL health. If we're healthy, we're golden. 

2. Defense - SS play. Willis got picked on last year, and he's our weak link vs the pass this year. Given our assumed pass rush improvement, he'll likely get picked on even more this year. He an Moore are going to get a lot of targets IMO.

 

 

The only other thing that is a small concern is Hilton's health. I think we'll be a lot better this year should he go down, but if we want to be a legit contender in the playoffs, we need him healthy at Z. If not, Campbell needs to move to Z and breakout.

 

 

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Every team has it's concerns.  There isn't a team in this league that has depth at EVERY position on it's roster.  The wrong injury would be problematic for ANY team.  With that said, this is the first year I can remember thinking our roster concerns aren't really worse than anybody else.  Most of that has to do with the fact that we aren't as reliant on one position (QB) like we have been for the last 20 years or so.

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7 minutes ago, AZColt11 said:

Every team has it's concerns.  There isn't a team in this league that has depth at EVERY position on it's roster.  The wrong injury would be problematic for ANY team.  With that said, this is the first year I can remember thinking our roster concerns aren't really worse than anybody else.  Most of that has to do with the fact that we aren't as reliant on one position (QB) like we have been for the last 20 years or so.

Yep, every fan of every team has some concerns. Even KC is beatable if you can control the TOP with your O.Line and run it down their throat. We did that last year even with JB at QB.

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1 minute ago, 2006Coltsbestever said:

Yep, every fan of every team has some concerns we. Even KC is beatable if you can control the TOP with your O.Line and run it down their throat. We did that last year even with JB at QB.

KC lost their identity that game, so it's a great example of injuries killing a team, Controlling ToP is always good against any team, so it goes without saying IMO.

 

If KC has not lost their identity, the key to beating them is a good pass D plus an offense that can keep up. Baltimore is the best match up, and SF is good minus the lack of passing O. If their passing O takes a step forward, they can do it. 

 

If our pass D improves like I think it will, and Eberflus graduates from his Charmin soft D and plays more man, I like our chances too.

 

And I think folks are going to be very surprised how well we match up vs Baltimore later this year.

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2 minutes ago, EastStreet said:

KC lost their identity that game, so it's a great example of injuries killing a team, Controlling ToP is always good against any team, so it goes without saying IMO.

 

If KC has not lost their identity, the key to beating them is a good pass D plus an offense that can keep up. Baltimore is the best match up, and SF is good minus the lack of passing O. If their passing O takes a step forward, they can do it. 

 

If our pass D improves like I think it will, and Eberflus graduates from his Charmin soft D and plays more man, I like our chances too.

 

And I think folks are going to be very surprised how well we match up vs Baltimore later this year.

Seattle could possibly beat them too. Wilson is dangerous. Their D wasn't what it was years ago but it is still good.

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11 minutes ago, 2006Coltsbestever said:

Seattle could possibly beat them too. Wilson is dangerous. Their D wasn't what it was years ago but it is still good.

I like Seattle, but their passing D was bottom 10 last year. It would take a lot of luck IMO. 

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17 hours ago, Indyfan4life said:

Secondary struggled so badly due to Dline not getting any QB pressure. Having 6+ seconds most snaps to throw the ball, and any secondary will get burned.

  ^This. The other issue in the secondary last year was poor communication, (seemed like there were a ton of broken coverages, near the end of the year).
  There will always be question marks (injuries, etc), with any team but they could be pretty decent with added pressure up front.

   The same could be said for our WRs: there’s some talent with that group but can they get seperation? Will there be drops? Will they be able to beat press coverage?

     I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again; this may be the deepest Colts team I can remember in my 50+ years of watching them!

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19 hours ago, CanuckColt said:

Not ready to embrace a run-first Colts team...this is a passing league.

If you want to be a contender, you have to throw the ball a lot.

Running gets us to 9-7 or 8-8...like if Brissett has to play.

 

The top 3 rushing teams last season were the  Ravens, 49'rs and Titans.  Each team went far in the playoffs.   I'd take that.

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13 hours ago, CantBeStopped said:

I don't get the Hilton is injury prone train. He has missed less games than julio jones aj green ect. Those guys aren't referred to as injury prone. Is it just because hes smaller? Anyone can get injured. It happens in this sport

I don't know if "injury prone" is correct, but he has missed 8 games the past 2 seasons.   His size is certainly a factor.  At 5'10" and 180 lbs, he could be injured easier than a larger man.   

I'll assume he'll stay healthy this season as he has been in most seasons prior to 2018.

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22 minutes ago, Myles said:

The top 3 rushing teams last season were the  Ravens, 49'rs and Titans.  Each team went far in the playoffs.   I'd take that.

Agreed.  I'll embrace it.  But I'd like to make a point.  It's not the passing game that propels a team in this era, it's the *threat* of the passing game that keeps defenses honest.  And if you have a strong screen game, it's even better.  What you have to do is slow defenses down, make them pause for a second.  Run both passing and running plays out of the exact same formations.  And of course you have to demonstrate some passing proficiency.  The problem with the Colts last year was Brissett rarely went downfield.  Defenses keyed on that after a few weeks and kept more players near the LOS.  I don't think you have to throw it all over the yard if you have a strong OL/RB's and have demonstrated a competent passing game.  I think the Colts will.  Should be fun to watch.

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10 minutes ago, AZColt11 said:

Agreed.  I'll embrace it.  But I'd like to make a point.  It's not the passing game that propels a team in this era, it's the *threat* of the passing game that keeps defenses honest.  And if you have a strong screen game, it's even better.  What you have to do is slow defenses down, make them pause for a second.  Run both passing and running plays out of the exact same formations.  And of course you have to demonstrate some passing proficiency.  The problem with the Colts last year was Brissett rarely went downfield.  Defenses keyed on that after a few weeks and kept more players near the LOS.  I don't think you have to throw it all over the yard if you have a strong OL/RB's and have demonstrated a competent passing game.  I think the Colts will.  Should be fun to watch.

I agree.  I think Hines is going to be like Ekeler was with the Chargers last year.   As long as the Colts don't only have him in the play when he gets the ball, it should leave the defense guessing.

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3 minutes ago, Myles said:

I agree.  I think Hines is going to be like Ekeler was with the Chargers last year.   As long as the Colts don't only have him in the play when he gets the ball, it should leave the defense guessing.

Agree completely.  Hines should be THAT guy.  And I can't wait to watch him in the open field.  Ekeler is a 4.4 guy, which is pretty good.  But Hines is in the 4.3's.

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2 hours ago, Myles said:

The top 3 rushing teams last season were the  Ravens, 49'rs and Titans.  Each team went far in the playoffs.   I'd take that.

 

But they were also top passing offenses. According to DVOA...they were #1 (BAL), #6 (TEN) and #8 (SF). 

 

Looking at the Divisional round of the playoffs last year...being a top 10 passing offense was basically a requisite.  

 

Granted, those teams can also run the ball...but I just think you pass to run the ball...not the other way around.

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13 minutes ago, shasta519 said:

 

But they were also top passing offenses. According to DVOA...they were #1 (BAL), #6 (TEN) and #8 (SF). 

 

Looking at the Divisional round of the playoffs last year...being a top 10 passing offense was basically a requisite.  

 

Granted, those teams can also run the ball...but I just think you pass to run the ball...not the other way around.

I think it could work either way.  Baltimore is a good example of running to pass the ball.  The threat of Jackson running certainly opened up the passing game.   I think Mack, Taylor and Hines will do that for the Colts.    

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3 hours ago, Myles said:

I agree.  I think Hines is going to be like Ekeler was with the Chargers last year.   As long as the Colts don't only have him in the play when he gets the ball, it should leave the defense guessing.

 

Hines was given plenty of runs between the tackles last year too, which was a part of Reich keeping the Ds guessing. More than Mack and Taylor, Hines has the potential to keep Ds guessing more, IMO.

 

To me, it is important to retain your strengths first before diminishing your weaknesses. Our OL as a strength needs to continue its ways, and OL quality depth is a concern. Our DL run defense has finished Top 10 both the last 2 years, and with our DL coach leaving for the Panthers, our run D is something to keep an eye on again. 

 

More than anything else, the pass D is where Buckner's presence will be felt, IMO. But our run D and OL performances should hit the ground running for us to get double digit wins. Given lack of pre-season games, tackling could be shoddy, and if we remember against Ekeler, our LBs and safeties missed a lot of tackles in game 1 last year. The fundamentals in our trench play will be the one that will set the tone for the rest of the year. It is definitely a good opponent to start with, the Jaguars.

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3 hours ago, AZColt11 said:

Agreed.  I'll embrace it.  But I'd like to make a point.  It's not the passing game that propels a team in this era, it's the *threat* of the passing game that keeps defenses honest.  And if you have a strong screen game, it's even better.  What you have to do is slow defenses down, make them pause for a second.  Run both passing and running plays out of the exact same formations.  And of course you have to demonstrate some passing proficiency.  The problem with the Colts last year was Brissett rarely went downfield.  Defenses keyed on that after a few weeks and kept more players near the LOS.  I don't think you have to throw it all over the yard if you have a strong OL/RB's and have demonstrated a competent passing game.  I think the Colts will.  Should be fun to watch.

 

Disagree...it is definitely the passing offense that propel teams. To say otherwise...you have to ignore the recent historical data.

 

A top 10 passing offense is am must...but ideally a team has a top 5 passing offense.

 

Here is how the past decade of Super Bowl teams have ranked in passing offense...according to DVOA (winners in bold):

 

2010 - #4 GB, #2 PIT

2011 - #2 NE, #4 NYG

2012 - #4 SF, #14 BAL

2013 - #1 DEN, #6 SEA

2014 - #8 SEA, #5 NE

2015 - #8 CAR, #28 DEN

2016 - #1 ATL, #2 NE

2017 - #4 PHI, #1 NE

2018 - #5 LAR, #4 NE

2019 - #2 KC, #8 SF

 

The 2015 DEN team is an outlier...because they had one of the best defenses of all time...and they did so in a pass-happy era.

 

BAL wasn't a top 10 passing offense in 2012...but they went on their Super Bowl run because Flacco had the greatest playoff passing performance of all time (highest passer rating and highest adjusted yards per pass).

 

Even with DEN and BAL's rankings as outliers...the mean passing offense rank for these Super Bowl teams is still 5.65.

 

And without DEN...the mean pass offense ranking of the Super Bowl winners jumps up to 4.47...or a top 5 passing offense.

 

For a team to get to and win a Super Bowl...they have to do a lot more than demonstrate some passing proficiency. 

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23 minutes ago, Myles said:

I think it could work either way.  Baltimore is a good example of running to pass the ball.  The threat of Jackson running certainly opened up the passing game.   I think Mack, Taylor and Hines will do that for the Colts.    

 

That's different though. The entire offense revolves around Lamar's ability to run the ball.

 

The Colts don't have a QB like that...and given the current depth chart...won't for a pretty long time. So imo...they should be passing more than running.

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