So what, no one knew what to expect out of returning ‘franchise’ quarterback Andrew Luck after he missed the entire 2017 season? Who cares the Indianapolis Colts had no idea how former Philadelphia Eagles offensive coordinator head coach Frank Reich would fare after getting the first head coaching job of his career?
After shocking NFL fans, prognosticators, betting enthusiasts and their opponents en route to a surprising 10-win season, the Colts will hit the upcoming 2019 season looking to rise even higher than they did a year ago when they reached the postseason for the first time following a three-year absence.
Whether Indy flies high again to challenge for a berth in the postseason or whether they take a step backwards in Year 2 of the Reich era, there are a bunch of things you need to know about the Colts before they take to the gridiron for the upcoming campaign. Let’s get down to business.
Indianapolis Colts 2019 NFL Season Betting Guide
- ATS: 10-6 (W-L) / 8-7-1 (ATS) / 3-4-1 (Home) / 5-3-0 (Away) / 4-1-0 (Grass) / 4-6-1 (Turf)
- O/U: 8-8-0 (W-L) / 4-4-0 (Home) / 4-4-0 (Away) / 2-3-0 (Grass) / 6-5-0 (Turf) / 48.6 (Total)
The Colts unfurled a fantastic 10-6 mark on the league even though they entered the 2018 campaign coming off a horrific 4-12 season in 2017 that saw franchise signal-caller Andrew Luck sit out the entire campaign. Indianapolis also went a decent 8-7-1 ATS while covering the chalk five times on the road and four of five times they played on grass. The Colts also used their combination of Top scoring 5 offense and Top 10 defense in points allowed to go a dead-even 8-8 ATS that included identical 4-4 ATS marks at home and on the road.
- Total Yards: 386.2 / Rank 7
- Passing Yards: 278.8 / Rank 6
- Rushing Yards: 107.4 /Rank 20
- Points Scored: 27.1 / Rank 5
- Field Goal %: 85.2 / Rank 15
Indianapolis finished seventh in total offense and a stellar sixth in passing as Luck returned from missing the entire 2017 season with an MVP-caliber kind of campaign. The Colts did rank an uninspiring 20t in rushing, but they still managed to finish a stellar fifth in scoring (27.1 ppg). To address their needs on the offensive side of the ball, Indianapolis signed former Panthers wide receiver Devin Funchess while drafting Ohio State wide receiver Parris Campbell with the 27th pick in the second round.
- Total Yards: 339.7 / Rank 11
- Passing Yards: 237.8 / Rank 16
- Rushing Yards: 101.9 /Rank 8
- Points Allowed: 21.5 / Rank 10
- Field Goal %: 84.8 / Rank 16
Defensively, Indianapolis ranked 16th against the pass, eighth against the run and a solid 10th in points allowed (221.5 ppg). To address their needs on the defensive side of the ball, the Colts made a huge free agent pickup by adding former Chiefs Pro Bowl defensive end Justin Houston while re-signing cornerback Pierre Desir and safety Clayton Geathers. Indianapolis also drafted Temple cornerback Rock Ya-Sin with the second pick in the second round before adding TCU linebacker Ben Banogu with the 17th pick in the second round.
- Touchdowns: Erico Ebron (14)
- Rushing: Marlon Mack (908)
- Passing: Andrew Luck (4593)
- Receiving: T.Y. Hilton (1270)
- Sacks: Denico Autry (9.0)
- Interceptions: Kenny Moore II (3)
Veteran tight end Eric Ebron found the end zone early and often last season to lead the Colts in touchdowns scored. Andrew Luck had arguably his best season ever by posting a career-high 98.7 passer rating while completing a blistering 67.3 percent of his passes to set career highs in both categories. Luck also finished second only to Patrick Mahomes in touchdown passes with 39.
In addition to that, Indianapolis found they had a star in second-year running back Marlon Mack who rushed for at least 119 yards in three of Indy’s final five regular season contests. Perennial Pro Bowl wide receiver T.Y. Hilton remained Luck’s favorite target. Fifth-year defensive tackle Denico Autry recorded a team-high nine sacks in his first season with the Colts while second-year cornerback Kenny Moore led the team with three picks.
While I like Indianapolis to be at least as good as they were a year ago, reaching the 10-win mark could be more difficult in 2019 than it was a year ago. First and foremost, the Colts have six tough games against their AFC South division rivals. In addition to that, Indy also has difficult non-division matchups against the Chargers, Falcons, Chiefs, Steelers, Saints and Panthers.
While Andrew Luck played some outstanding football last season and I love Indy’s hiring of former Eagles offensive coordinator Frank Reich as the team’s new head coach, I’m not sure the record will reflect their improvement in 20219. Still, I expect the Colts to challenge for the AFC South division title at the very least.