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NFL Lines –Indianapolis Colts 2011 Preview

Posted by Ashley Carmichael on 7/19/2011 10:01:42 AM

The Indianapolis Colts will be looking to set an NFL Lines record and reach the playoffs for the 10th consecutive time.

2010-2011 Season
Indianapolis Colts vs. NFL: 10-6
Indianapolis Colts vs. AFC South: 4-2

NorthBet Numbers: The Indianapolis Colts were 8-7-1 ATS this season.

The 2011 NFL lines edition of the Indianapolis Colts will not be shy of experience, containing nine players who have combined for 34 Pro Bowls. The Colts have enough talent and experience to make some noise in this year’s playoffs, and possibly be the first team to play and/or win the Super Bowl in their own home.

Offense: A

Quarterbacks: A+
Peyton Manning started last season amidst much criticism concerning his age and whether it would be a factor in his decreasing production. Well, Manning came out on top, passing for a career-best 4,700 yards in his 13th NFL lines season. For this reason alone, I would not be against him having another monster season. Manning is the consummate professional athlete, showing no signs of buckling under pressure or the wear and tear of age.

Manning has now gone five straight seasons without throwing less than 4,000 yards, and has never thrown for less than 3,739 in any year of his career.

Running Backs: B
Donald Brown will be looking to fulfill the high expectations that arose when he was drafted in the NFL lines 2009 Draft in the first round. He has shown flashes of brilliance including a 129–yard game against Jacksonville last season, but has too often been invisible in games. As with most struggling young stars, Brown must find a way to consistently play at a high level.

The return of veteran Joseph Addai should also provide a significant boost to Indianapolis’ running game. When healthy, Addai is as solid a rusher as they come. Pummeled by injuries, the 28-year-old back only played in 8 games last season. Although, he did average 4.3 yards per carry, totaling 495 yards and had 4 touchdowns in that time span.

The Colts also acquired Syracuse running back Delone West in this year’s Draft, should anything go eerie with Brown and Addai.

Wide Receivers: A
The Colts are very fortunate in that they have large depth in skill receivers. With everyone healthy, Manning will not be short on options. With their full arsenal at hand, there’s no reason why Indy shouldn’t have one of the best passing teams this NFL lines season. All-Pro wideout Reggie Wayne has had at least 1,000 yards and averaged 92 receptions the past 7 seasons. Young Pierre Garcon is another quick receiver who can make a play when called upon.

Austin Collie, Anthony Gonzalez and Dalls Clark should each prove added depth when they return to full health; they missed a combined 32 games last season.

The emergence of tight end Jacob Tamme (67 receptions for 631 yards and 4 touchdowns) and rookie Blair White (36 receptions for 355 yards and 5 touchdowns) last season now round out the Colts’ receiver corps.

Offensive Line: B-
Indianapolis’ offensive line during the 2010 season was old, slow, and clearly the area of needed improvement for the Colts’ offense. Sure Peyton Manning was only sacked 16 times all of last season, but I ascribe that to the quarterback’s high football IQ.
Hopefully, this issue will be addressed with the addition of the Colts’ top two 2011 NFL lines Draft picks Anthony Castonzo and Ben Ijalana. First round pick Castonzo should be an immediate starter, as he will probably replace 32-year-old offensive tackle Ryan Diem. Ijalana is a more versatile player who might be used in different situations in head coach Jim Caldwell’s playbook.

Defense: B-

Defensive Line: B-
The cogs of the Colts’ defensive line are Dwight Freeney and Robert Mathis. Since 2003, they have combined for 155 sacks and 68 forced fumbles, forming a formidable defensive tandem. 2009 first round pick Jerry Hughes should improve from his first NFL lines season, after finishing his rookie season with six tackles and zero sacks. Youngsters Fili Moala and Drake Nevis should also provide solid performances as well as give the Colts depth should any injuries occur.

Linebackers: C+
Defensive captain Gary Brackett will be returning for his 9th NFL lines season and should once again lead his defense to a solid year. 2009 draft picks Pat Angerer and Kavell Conner will be looking at an increased playing time, having earned larger roles and quite possibly starting positions as outside linebackers.

Defensive Backs: B+
The Colts should be very solid in their third line of defense this year. They retain elite safeties in Antoine Bethea and returning All-Pro Bob Sanders.
Their cornerbacks Kelvin Hayden and Jerraud Powers are also quite solid. Hayden returned 2 interceptions for touchdowns last season, and Jacob Lacey is a 24-year-old rising star. Justin Tryon was acquired last fall and should fit in reserve spot, effectively adding fresh legs when needed on the field.

Overall: B+
The Indianapolis Colts will continue to be relevant in the NFL lines post-season as long as Peyton Manning continues to perform at his elite level. He will have a fantastic supporting cast, with a receiver corps deep in talent. The defense, led by Gary Brackett, should be solid enough –a though the Colts’ offense will steal the show… as usual.


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