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Everyone expected the Indianapolis Colts to repeat as AFC South Champions in 2014, and they did. Indy finished the regular season with a record of 11-5. They played well for the most part. The team finished the season with five wins in their last six games. But none of those five wins were against playoff teams. The teams they beat have a combined record of 25-54, for a win percentage a little above .300. That one other game the Colts lost, was a blowout against the Dallas Cowboys. The Cowboys jumped out to an early lead, resulting in Luck being pulled. The final score was 42-7. After this game, many began doubting the Colts’ capability. But they have proved everyone wrong so far.

The Indianapolis Colts played the Cincinnati Bengals in the Wildcard Round of the playoffs. These two teams faced off earlier in the season and the Colts dominated. Not much changed the second time around. They won 26-10. The score was not indicative of how one-sided this game actually was. The Colts were forced to settle for four field goals. If Indy was able to actually score touchdowns instead of taking field goals, the score would’ve actually be an accurate representation of the game.

The Colts went into Denver as major underdogs as they took on Andrew Luck’s predecessor in Indianapolis, Peyton Manning. These teams have faced off multiple times since Manning went to Denver and Indy drafted Luck. Each team has beaten the other, with Denver winning at home to open the 2014 season. When this game started, the Broncos forced a three-and-out and then drove down the field easily, with the drive ending in a touchdown. Indianapolis then went on a 21-3 run. They took control of the game. Their mediocre defense stepped up. The Broncos offense went stagnant. The final score ended up being 24-13, but the game wasn’t that close. The Colts dominated the second half and Andrew Luck carried the team, like always.

 

The Indianapolis Colts are an offensive oriented team. They put points on the board. Indy is only averaging 25 points a game in the playoffs, about four points less than their average during the regular season. Their offensive production rests entirely on the shoulders of quarterback Andrew Luck because their run game is essentially nonexistent. The team has often abandoned the run, putting even more pressure on Luck. Indy is essentially a one-dimensional offense and opposing defenses still can’t stop them.

Indy doesn’t have great receivers or tight ends, or any special weapons in general, but they still get the results. The Colts starting receivers are Reggie Wayne and T.Y. Hilton. Wayne is a six time Pro-Bowler but his production has dropped significantly in recent years and his role has been minimized. On the other hand, Hilton has proven to be one of the best deep-ball threats, but he’s not a number one receiver, similarly to Redskins’ receiver DeSean Jackson. Luck’s favorite endzone targets are Dwayne Allen and Coby Fleener. Between the two of them, they have good hands and size, but they’re not top tier.


The Colts’ defense gave up an average of 23.1 points per game during the regular season, which was nineteenth in the league. But the defense has made drastic improvements in the past month and a half. In Indy’s last five wins, excluding that blowout loss to Dallas, the team gave up an average of 14.9 points a game. In comparison, Seattle’s defense allowed 15.9 points a game, the lowest in the league. The Colts defense has only gotten better in the playoffs. In the playoffs, Indy has given up an average of 12.5 points.

Their suddenly good defense will have their hands full on Sunday. The Colts hardest challenge will be shutting down tight end Rob Gronkowski. Gronk is without a doubt the most dangerous weapon on the Pats and is also the best tight end in the league. He’s just a truck. He will run faster than Indy’s linebackers and run through their secondary. Gronkowski has nine touchdown receptions in the last nine games and in that span he’s accumulated over 70 receiving yards in all but one of those games. If the Colts can stop Gronk, they will be in good shape to win the game.

 

Very few people expected the Indianapolis Colts to beat the Denver Broncos. But they did. Even fewer analysts anticipant Indy winning in New England on Sunday. For them to pull this upset off, they will need to do a couple things. Luck needs to keep up his play and not turn the ball over. The defense must limit Rob Gronkowski’s production. They also will need to pressure Tom Brady. The Colts are currently underdogs by over a touchdown, but don’t be shocked if Andrew Luck is getting ready for his first Super Bowl this time next week.

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