After an amazing 12-0 start the Colts would lose 3 out of their 4 games (In their defense two of those 3 losses were to eventual NFL Champion Seattle
and eventual Super Bowl
Steelers) to close out the season . Coming into this season they don’t have Edgarin James but they’ve upgraded in kicking. On paper this Colts team isn’t quite as good as last year’s team and given their schedule a 13-3 record would be very impressive. I still believe however that this is Indianapolis’s year to get to the Super Bowl…why? Look no further than last year’s Pittsburgh Steelers.
2006 NFL Draft Overview
30th pick – Joseph Addai (RB, LSU)
30th pick (62nd overall) – Tim Jennings (CB, Georgia)
30th pick (94th overall) – Freddie Keiaho (LB, San Diego St)
30th pick (162nd overall) – Michael Toudouze (OT, TCU)
30th pick (199th overall) – Charlie Johnson (OT, Oklahoma State)
38th pick (207th overall) – Antoine Bethea (S, Howard)
30th pick (238th overall) – T.J. Rushing (CB, Stanford)
Picking up Joseph Addai out of LSU was definitely a smart move as was drafting picks to add depth to their offensive line but many analysts had 2nd round pick Tim Jennings and 3rd round pick Freddie Keiaho going much lower and it makes one question how well they’ll hold up in the NFL.
Adam Vinatieri – K
The Colts upgraded by getting Vinatieri which is made even sweeter from the fact that they got him from their arch rivals the New England Patriots. Vinatieri has made more clutch field goals than anyone else has in football and is an excellent signing.
Edgarin James – RB
Losing Edgarin James to the Arizona Cardinals was huge. Dominic Rhodes is a decent running back but James is one of the best in the league. His abilities took a lot of pressure away from Peyton Manning. It forces Dominic Rhodes and possibly other backup running backs to play better than they have been.
James Mungro – FB
Starting fullback James Mungro was injured in the preseason with a season ending knee injury. He was a short yard player who was the Colts also used on special teams.
Colts Offense 2006
Dominic Rhodes is a decent running back but he’s simply not as good as Edgarin James was. They do however still have Peyton Manning, a decent offensive line to say the least, and that Pro Bowl Wide Reciever Martin Harrison. This isn’t mentioning the fact they upgraded from having a really good kicker in Mike Vanderjagt to having a probable Hall of Fame kicker in Adam Vinatieri. While not quite as good as last year this is still one of the top offenses in the NFL.
Colts Defense 2006
Little by little since Tony Dungy arrived in Indianapolis he’s tried improving the defense and its starting to pay off. The Colts don’t need to score 35 or 41 points to win games but they won’t be winning any games 9-6 or 7-3. They failed to make any major moves on defense and are still for the most part an offensive team
9/10 – at NY Giants
9/17 – Houston
9/24 – Jacksonville
10/1 – at NY Jets
10/8 – Tennessee
10/15 – bye
10/22 – Washington
10/29 – at Denver
11/5 – at New England
11/12 – Buffalo
11/19 – at Dallas
11/26 – Philadelphia
12/3 – at Tennessee
12/10 – at Jacksonville
12/18 – Cincinnati
12/24 – at Houston
12/31 – Miami
Prediction: 11-5, AFC Champs
Despite losing Edgarin James this is the year I think the Colts win the AFC. They’ll definitely loose some games along the year but I think they’ll be able to slip under the radar more than they did last year. Without James the pressure for a 15-1 or 16-0 season is severely lessened. For Indianapoli’s five losses I have them as follows: at Denver, at New England, at Dallas, home against the Bengals, and home against the Dolphins.
I think unlike the usual times that New England blows out the Colts at Foxboro that this will actually be a very good game. I still have to give the advantage to Tom Brady and the Patriots. They have a lot to prove this year too and I think they’ll be ready for it.
I think this will be a situation much like the Pittsburgh Steelers last year where Indianapolis will be much more unnoticed coming into the playoffs. The Colts usually have a tendency to win a lot of games during the regular season and then lose in the playoffs thus becoming the periennial team that was great but couldn’t get over the hump. I think this year will be just the opposite. They will do poorly in the regular season (by their recent standards) but surprise teams in the postseason enough to get to the Super Bowl. .