Indianapolis Colts 2009 NFL Projection:
Last season we projected the Colts to go (12-4),
and that's exactly what they did. In fact,
when the Colts were (5-4), we said in our week 10 power rankings they'd
probably lose no more than one game the rest of the way.
They did us one better.
Sadly for the Colts, in the wild card round they had to go on the road
to face a team with a four less wins... The (8-8) San Diego Chargers!
Indianapolis dropped the game in overtime.
The NFL's playoff system isn't perfect. But at least Indy
wasn't left to watch the postseason from home like the (11-5)
New England Patriots, a team which figures to be
Indianapolis' top competition in the AFC this season.
Coming into 2009, Jim Caldwell takes over as head coach
with Tony Dungy's retirement.
No need to panic, Caldwell has been with the Colts for seven seasons.
The outlook for the Colts on offense is bright.
Not only is Peyton Manning coming off an MVP season,
but the Colts are likely to be much healthier on their offensive line
compared to '09 when center Jeff Saturday missed one quarter of the season.
Marvin Harrison is gone, but Anthony Gonzalez has proven his worth.
Keep an eye on Pierre Garcon at the #3 spot.
Plagued by Joseph Addai's injury woes, Indianapolis
used their first round draft pick on running back Donald Brown of Connecticut.
They really had no choice with the departure of Dominic Rhodes
On defense the Colts are strong at end
with sack machines Dwight Freeney and Robert Mathis.
In an effort to improve their run defense, the Colts drafted
tackle Fili Moala from USC in the second round.
As always it's imperative that strong safety Bob Sanders can stay healthy.
Sanders is the kind of player that can put the Indy
defense into another category. Last season
Sanders only started six games,
yet the Colts' pass defense finished sixth in the league.
If he plays the full season,
opposing teams will have fits.
Indianapolis' 2009 schedule isn't exactly the toughest schedule
drawn by a returning playoff team.
As you can see, the handful of moderately difficult games to very difficult games
are mostly on the road;
And only about half of these games
qualify as exceptionally stiff competition on paper by our measures.
Stars on offense, stars on defense, and a light schedule--
surprise, surprise, it's looking like another double digit win season
for the Indianapolis Colts at (11-5), a small downgrade from our opening preseason outlook.
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Free 2009 NFL Predictions Note:
Remember these now archived 2009 NFL forecasts were made
during the 2009 preseason.
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