Indianapolis passed more than any team last season, which not only inflated Andrew Luck’s numbers a little bit, but they had to rely on the promising talent to literally, shoulder the load. They won football games, again winning the AFC South division, while knocking out the predecessor at quarterback in the AFC Divisional Round. That guy would be the one and only, Peyton Manning, and the Denver Broncos that lost their only playoff game to the visiting Colts.
You may have known the Colts were a top offense in 2014. They ranked 3rd overall and 1st in passing, no thanks to the lack of a ground game that placed 22nd when all was said and done. Indy also scored the 6th most points in the NFL with an average of 28.6, in a season where they were either 1st and 2nd until the last month. Luck actually tied for the most rushing touchdowns on the Colts, scoring three along with the underwhelming Trent Richardson. Luck’s scrambling has often been a back-breaker to defenses, whether they expect it or not. While Richardson may be a candidate for release, free agent Ahmad Bradshaw’s impact in the offense was vital and missing when he was lost for the season to injury. Bradshaw enters free agency, but Indy should be able to retain him on the cheap if they didn’t seek a healthier alternative. Bradshaw gave them more than they even realized on the ground, and he was a key receiver out of the backfield, better than the usual check-down option because he would break loose into the open field with regularity.
T.Y. Hilton has emerged as an explosive playmaker at receiver, taking the torch from Reggie Wayne and running with it. Hilton is an elite speed receiver in the league already, with Wayne likely to hang up his cleats after another injury last season. That void may very well be filled by someone that has torched the Colts’ secondary for the past dozen years, that man is Andre Johnson. Johnson has only played for the rival Houston Texans for the duration of his career, but that page is turning and the two parties have agreed to move on. It has been reported that Johnson and the Colts have mutual interest. We’re talking about an elite offense that was one-dimensional, missing contributors at running back and wide receiver, yet it was the tight ends that quietly got the job done within the offense. Dwayne Allen returned from a knee injury, he and Coby Fleener are the first teammates at the position to each grab 8 touchdowns i the same season. This is offense was already loaded, imagine if they can bring Johnson on board. Imagine if they could pry away DeMarco Murray, or find some other upgrade over Richardson and Dan Herron this offseason.
Heck, if Wayne comes back and gives the Colts limited snaps out of the slot and can still contribute, there’s just too much for a defense too defend and getting to Luck is a tall task in itself. If not, as expected, Johnson is still a playmaker capable of putting up 100 yards and multiple scores. Johnson has been affected by poor quarterback play in recent seasons, and Wayne has had trouble staying on the field, so anything Johnson can do will be an immediate upgrade. But together, with all the other weapons in Luck’s supporting cast, the AFC South champs could soon seek revenge against at the hands of the New England Patriots to become the AFC champs. Then again, having the best offense doesn’t necessarily translate into winning Super Bowls because defense still win championships, whether you want to hear that or not.