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3 areas of concern for the Colts heading into 2019

The Indianapolis Colts could be the best team in the AFC South as the 2019 offseason continues to unfold. However, the Colts will have their hands full with the Jacksonville Jaguars, Houston Texans and Tennessee Titans each reaching the playoffs at least once in the last two seasons.

Luckily for the Colts, quarterback Andrew Luck returned to form last season while Indianapolis also trotted out a surprisingly talented defense each and every week in 2018. Thanks to head coach Frank Reich’s well-rounded approach in Indianapolis, the Colts once again remain in prime position to reach the postseason in 2019. Nonetheless, the road back to the playoffs won’t be easy for the Colts; this franchise certainly won’t be able to take anyone by surprise this time around.

Who will be the Indianapolis Colts’ No. 3 wide receiver?

With No. 1 wideout T.Y. Hilton still in place for Andrew Luck, the Indianapolis Colts doubled down earlier in the offseason by signing former Carolina Panthers wide receiver Devin Funchess. With Hilton atop the depth chart, Funchess can immediately become a solid No. 2 option for Luck in addition to complementing Hilton all over the field against various coverages.

However, it remains to be seen as to who will be the Colts’ No. 3 wideout at the start of the 2019 regular season. As it stands today, the Colts have Chester Rogers, Parris Campbell, Zach Pascal and Deon Cain — among a few others — behind the tandem of Hilton and Funchess, none of which have proven themselves to be a viable option for Luck in pivotal situations.

Luckily for the Colts, the current offseason remains in its earliest stages. Indianapolis can surely find additional help at the wide receiver position if none of the up-and-comers mentioned above ultimately pan out.

Although talented, the Indianapolis Colts’ secondary remains unproven.

The Indianapolis Colts could turn out a potent offense in 2019 with Andrew Luck, Pro Bowl wide receiver T.Y. Hilton, former Detroit Lions tight end Eric Ebron, and potential breakout running back Marlon Mack leading the way. However, it could be the team’s defense that doesn’t hold up its end of the bargain during the upcoming campaign.

Last season, rookie linebacker Darius Leonard quickly became one of the best defensive players in the entire league while also becoming the leader of the Indianapolis defense. Can Leonard keep it up during his second season atop the highest level, though? While Leonard’s future is bright, the same may not be said for the rest of the Colts’ defense, especially the team’s secondary.

In addition to starting free safety Malik Hooker, who will more than likely perform well once again in 2019, Indianapolis does not currently have anyone on the team’s roster who truly stands out in terms of safeties or cornerbacks. Slated to suit up alongside Hooker, the Colts have Quincy Wilson, Pierre Desir, Clayton Geathers, Matthias Farley and rookie Rock Ya-Sin — in addition to a few others — on the depth chart. While each of these players can provide a formidable presence, can this group regularly do enough to keep the team’s defense afloat for an entire season?

The element of surprise is now gone for the Indianapolis Colts…

Indianapolis Colts head coach Frank Reich delivered a successful first season for the surging AFC South franchise. However, Reich and his players, who were initially supposed to finish last in the divisional standings in 2018, managed to catch just about everybody by surprise by snatching one of the two AFC wild card spots. Sneaking into the postseason by beating the Tennessee Titans in Week 17 of the regular season, the Colts then beat another divisional foe, the Houston Texans, in the playoffs. Unfortunately, Indianapolis was then ousted from Super Bowl contention by the Kansas City Chiefs in the divisional round.

Nonetheless, Reich and company certainly won’t be able to take anyone by surprise in 2019; each and every NFL franchise now knows what this team is capable of. Although Reich and the Colts will remain dangerous throughout the 2019 campaign, Indianapolis won’t have an easy road to the playoffs.