14-2 (10-5-1 ATS), 1st Place AFC South in 2009
Last year was supposed to be the season that the Indianapolis Colts started to fall back to the rest of the pack in the AFC South. Does starting off 14-0 and eventually making it to the Super Bowl sound like the Colts took any steps in the wrong direction to you? With every passing season, it feels like the window of opportunity for the Colts closes a tad bit more, as QB Peyton Manning is now 34 years old and clearly won't be on the top of his game forever. Will this be the season of decline?
2010 Draft: There probably aren't any starters in the bunch amongst the men that Indy drafted this season, but DE Jerry Hughes out of TCU is going to be a solid addition. This is clearly the heir apparent to DE Dwight Freeney right now, as Hughes is built in the exact same type of mold as Freeney. Expect to see the rookie rotate in with Freeney and DE Robert Mathis, and if things are really going well, Mathis' job could be in danger.
Offensive Outlook: We already know that Peyton Manning is amazing. What we aren't so sure of is how amazing new OC Clyde Christensen really is. However, if Manning survived the head coaching change from Tony Dungy to Jim Caldwell, we can't imagine that he will have any problems with a new coordinator in the post-Tom Moore era. Manning also gets back yet another weapon to throw into his passing arsenal, as WR Anthony Gonzalez is back from his season ending injury that stopped his '09 campaign before it ever started. Both WR Reggie Wayne and TE Dallas Clark are coming off of 100 catch seasons as well. The biggest problem was running the football in 2009. RB Joseph Addai only had 828 yards on the ground all season long. As Manning ages, his rushing game is going to become more and more important, and ranking dead last amongst the 32 teams in the league in rushing won't cut it again in 2010.
Defensive Outlook: Between Hughes, Freeney, and Mathis, rest assured that the Colts are going to be able to get to opposing quarterbacks. S Antoine Bethea was a Pro Bowler a year ago. DB Marlin Jackson only played in four games, but he was supposed to be one of the cog safeties that helped build this team's 'D'. Now, he's a Philadelphia Eagle. Stopping the run was a major problem at times in '09, particularly when the Miami Dolphins introduced that crazy Wildcat offense to the Colts in primetime and dominated time of possession. Indianapolis allowed 126.5 YPG last season to opposing rushers and will be sure to focus in on that again in 2010.
2010 Betting Outlook: When you start at 14-0 SU, it is very easy to cover spreads left and right. The Colts started the season 10-3-1 ATS before dropping their L/2 meaningless games against the Jets and Bills both SU and ATS. It is so hard to place pro football betting lines on a team that has so many weapons offensively, as Indy can score from anywhere on the field regardless of what the situation is in the game. Once again this year, it seems as though the Colts are being undervalued, as they are projected at 10.5 wins by the oddsmakers. We aren't ones to stop betting on Manning, though.
All Odds for 2010 NFL betting season can be found at Diamond Sportsbook. Indianapolis Colts Predictions: 12-4, 1st Place in AFC South 2010 Indianapolis Colts Schedule
Indianapolis Colts Odds To Win AFC South: -150
Indianapolis Colts Odds To Win AFC: +450
Indianapolis Colts Odds To Win Super Bowl XLV: +900
Indianapolis Colts Regular Season Win Total: 10.5 over -120
Even though the Colts are the favorites to win Super Bowl XLV, you just know that once this team reaches the playoffs that it is going to be in better shape than this. You'll never see 9-1 odds on Indy again. Though the Houston Texans are gaining on the Colts in a hurry, they just aren't there yet. The AFC South title should once again be in blue and white, as Indianapolis marches towards yet another deep playoff run.
Week 1 - Away @ Texans
Week 2 - Home vs. Giants
Week 3 - Away @ Broncos
Week 4 - Away @ Jaguars
Week 5 - Home vs. Chiefs
Week 6 - Away @ Redskins
Week 7 - Bye
Week 8 - Home vs. Texans
Week 9 - Away @ Eagles
Week 10 - Home vs. Bengals
Week 11 - Away @ Patriots
Week 12 - Home vs. Chargers
Week 13 - Home vs. Cowboys
Week 14 - Away @ Titans
Week 15 - Home vs. Jaguars
Week 16 - Away @ Raiders
Week 17 - Home vs. Titans
Indianapolis Colts Predictions: 12-4, 1st Place in AFC South
2010 Indianapolis Colts Schedule