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Hawk’s 2014 NFL Preview: AFC South Edition
Led by 3rd year starting QB Andrew Luck, who has passed for more yards in his first two seasons then any other quarterback in history, the Colts should once again be dominant a very poor AFC South. Luck was the first overall pick as a rookie, leading a fantastic QB class that also had Robert Griffin III, Ryan Tannehill and Russell Wilson. I believe it may eventually go down in history as one of the greatest quarterback classes ever.
Luck was missing a huge target in legendary Colt Reggie Wayne last season when he went down with an ACL tear. T.Y Hilton quickly became Luck’s go to guy after Wayne went down, having a breakout 1000 yard season. Wayne somehow managed to be Luck’s 3rd leading receiver despite only playing in 7 games and appears to back and healthy. Indianapolis also picked up Hakeem Nicks from the Giants in the offseason. If Wayne stays healthy; he, Nicks and Hilton are a powerful one, two, three punch for Luck.
With a sub-par running game. They will need it.
Running back Trent Richardson has not lived up to his billing after being drafted 3rd overall in the 2012 draft behind Luck, and Griffin III. Richardson only ran for 458 yards last season, backup Ahmad Bradshaw is coming back from a season ending injury, making this offense incredibly one dimensional.
Defensively the Colts are pretty average, a bend but don’t break kind of unit. They were 9th overall in points allowed, and 13th in passing yards given up, thanks in large part to the pressure of Robert Mathis who led the NFL in sacks. But once again their running defense, which has been bad for years, was near the bottom of the league. Mathis will be suspended for the first 4 games of the year do to a violation of the NFL’s Performance Enhancing Drugs policies. Mathis claims he took a fertility drug he did not know was banned. A huge blow for the team.
One dimensional or not the Colts should have no problem winning this weak division again. But lack of balance will be their downfall come playoffs.
Click on the logo below to see the next team in Hawk’s 2014 NFL Preview: the Jacksonville Jaguars: