Welcome to the Colts’ 2018 season predictions. As we all know, the Colts’ season is 100% contingent on the health of Andrew Luck. Since the Colts are confident Luck will throw by training camp, this article is under the assumption that Andrew Luck is healthy. Today, Andrew Luck threw a football for the first time in a while. So, I’m eliminating the section without Luck since I’m confident he’ll be healthy.
Check out part one here.
Week 10: vs Jacksonville Jaguars
29-14 Jaguars, 5-4
Jacksonville established themselves as one of the best teams in the NFL last season and didn’t hold back against the Colts. I don’t think the Colts get 27-0’d this time at home but the Jaguars have a far superior roster to Indianapolis. They improved their offensive line this year with the addition of Andrew Norwell. Leonard Fournette will run all over the NFL this year and the Colts are no different. Featuring a weak interior defensive line, Fournette could net 200-300 yards on the ground against the Colts. Andrew Luck and the offense will be able to get something going but this defense is vicious. Until further notice, Jacksonville owns the AFC South and there isn’t much the Colts can do about that.
Week 11: vs Tennessee Titans
28-27 Titans, 5-5
The Titans had one of the best offseasons of any NFL team, free agency and draft. They added the likes of Malcolm Butler and Dion Lewis in free agency and had one of the best draft classes, taking Rashaan Evans and Harold Landry. Their season is contingent on the development of Marcus Mariots, who hasn’t been able to prove himself fully as of yet. However, this roster has few weaknesses and should win some games this year. I expect the Colts to play Tennessee close but their young, tough defense and developing offense will push them to this win.
Week 12: vs Miami Dolphins
33-16 Colts, 6-5
The Dolphins have one of the worst offenses in the NFL on paper and a solid young defense without an identity. Their lack of a quarterback will hurt them and in turn, lose them quite a few games this year. I don’t expect the Dolphins to finish anywhere but last in the AFC East and I don’t think they give Andrew Luck and the Colts much trouble. This could be a game that the Colts’ defense could establish themselves and build a bit of momentum.
Week 13: @Jacksonville Jaguars
37-10 Jaguars, 6-6
The Jaguars’ let the Colts hang around a bit back in week 10 but I don’t think they let up much at home. This team will be pushing for a Super Bowl and won’t be letting their foot off of the gas pedal anytime soon. They will once again feed Leonard Fournette, netting him three rushing touchdowns and 200+ yards on the ground. Andrew Luck will struggle here on the road, throwing a few picks as the Jags’ secondary blankets the Colts’ receivers.
Week 14: @Houston Texans
30-19 Texans, 6-7
I had the Colts narrowly winning at home against the Texans in week four but I think that Houston splits the series at home, taking their first win over the Colts since 2016-17. DeShaun Watson, if he can remain healthy, has one of the most talented rosters in the NFL around him. I would expect Houston’s offense to put up a lot of points this year and the Colts won’t be able to stop them.
Week 15: vs Dallas Cowboys
17-14 Cowboys, 6-8
The Cowboys are another team who will lean on their running game to wear their opponents down. Ezekiel Elliot and that offensive line will give the Colts’ defensive front nightmares all game. Their defense isn’t anything super special but they have talent up front and will wear down the Colts’ young line. Andrew Luck will be able to throw on the Cowboys’ weaker secondary but he won’t be on the field enough in this game to be a big enough impact to win.
Week 16: vs New York Giants
21-15 Colts, 7-8
The Giants are a team with so much talent but haven’t been able to put it together. Saquon Barkley, Odell Beckham, and Evan Engram put together a very impressive skill position group but I have little faith in Eli Manning. Their defense on paper could be a top unit in the NFL but Andrew Luck will be able to exploit their hole at corner outside of Janoris Jenkins.
Week 17: @Tennessee Titans
33-14 Titans 7-9
Week 17 features matchups between the Colts and Titans and Jaguars and Texans, which could be two games that decide this division. Unfortunately for the Colts, they will be out of playoff contention. The Titans will likely be in the thick of the playoff hunt and will give everything they have in week 17. Combine that with the Colts potentially playing some backups and you have a recipe for a blowout.
I have the Colts finishing 7-9 this year, which is a pretty fair guess. Last year they went 4-12 without Andrew Luck but they led at the half in over half of their games. If everything goes right, the Colts could sneak into the wild card. But as it stands, the Colts’ roster is too young and isn’t good enough top to bottom to eclipse the 7-8 win mark.
Ben Pfeifer is the Managing Editor of the Colts for Full Press Coverage, the AFC South Division Editor, and head NBA editor. Want to continue the discussion? Contact Ben Pfeifer on Twitter @Ben_Pfeifer_, @FPC_NBA and @FPC_Colts.