The Indianapolis Colts have gone through a rough past couple seasons, but they are hoping to put that behind them in 2017. After losing to the New England Patriots in the AFC Championship Game in 2014, the Colts were viewed as a serious contender in the AFC. Unfortunately, injuries to Andrew Luck and a poor defense and offensive line have derailed the Colts.
Jim Irsay has seen his team go from a potential powerhouse to a laughable football team over the past couple years. One of the biggest reasons for their shortcomings was general manager Ryan Grigson. He was fired this past offseason and replaced with former Kansas City Chiefs’ front office mind Chris Ballard, who has already done a solid job in his first offseason with the Colts.
Looking ahead at the upcoming season, there are quite a few reasons to be excited about the Colts. Despite the rumblings that Luck could miss the first six games, it is a bit premature to believe that just yet.
Indianapolis made it an obvious point to improve the offensive line and defense. Drafting defensive back Malik Hooker in the first round of the 2017 NFL Draft was a huge step in the right direction. There are still some question marks on the defensive side of the football, but they should take a leap forward in 2017.
All of that being said, what bold predictions can be made for the Indianapolis Colts heading into the 2017 NFL season?
Indianapolis Will Take Back the AFC South Division
Chuck Pagano and the Colts are looking to prove that they are once again the best team in the AFC South. They will have to compete with much-improved teams, especially the Houston Texans and Tennessee Titans. While the South has improved around them, the Colts will take back the division title this season.
Malik Hooker Wins Defensive Player of the Year
Finding help in the secondary was a priority for Ballard, and he did just that by selecting Ohio State star safety Malik Hooker in the first round of the 2017 NFL Draft. Hooker has excellent instincts and is known as a playmaker in the defensive backfield. He will live up to the hype as a rookie and win the Defensive Rookie of the Year Award.
Andrew Luck Wins the NFL MVP Award
Sticking with the award aspect of predictions, Andrew Luck will prove that he is indeed an elite superstar. Luck will come through with a massive season and will cap it off by winning the MVP award. He has gone through a lot of criticism over the past couple of years, but that will not phase him in 2017.
The Colts Make It Back to the AFC Championship Game
We aren’t going to go as far as to say that the Colts will overtake the Patriots this season, but they will make it back to the AFC Championship Game. Led by Luck, the Colts are going to be a darkhorse contender this season. Indianapolis will likely have to face New England, but getting back to being a top-two team in the AFC is exactly where they want to be.
Do you think the Indianapolis Colts will make it to the AFC Championship Game? Will Andrew Luck have an MVP-caliber season? Let us know your thoughts in the comment box below!
[Featured Image by AJ Mast/AP Images]