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Indianapolis Colts: 3 major needs for the NFL offseason

The Indianapolis Colts entered the preseason as one of the favorites to be in serious Super Bowl contention. That all changed pretty quickly.

Superstar quarterback Andrew Luck decided to retire before the start of the season. Suddenly a Super Bowl contender was an afterthought. They were expected to be one of the lower-tier teams in the entire NFL.

However, Jacoby Brissett stepped in, and the quarterback was strong all season long. He helped keep the Colts afloat, and led them to a 7-9 record. It’s not great, but it meant they were in the playoff hunt until the very end, making their season a lot more exciting to watch than anyone could have expected.

There are still some glaring issues though. Here are three major needs for the Colts this NFL offseason.

Targets

Colts, T.Y. Hilton

CP

The Colts have T.Y. Hilton. He’s one of the better wide receivers in the NFL. That’s about it though. They don’t really have any above-average targets after that.

Jack Doyle and Eric Ebron are both good tight ends, but not going to give you anything special. Ebron has too many “nothing” games and his hands are not reliable.

Meanwhile, Zach Pascal is solid but not an elite target. That’s the issue though. Hilton appeared in 10 games and led the team with 45 receptions. Pascal had the second most receptions amongst receivers with 41.

After that, no other receiver had even 20 receptions. That’s a serious problem. If the Colts want to compete, they need to get some weapons. Teams can focus on Hilton right now. If anyone else beats them, they can live with that.

The good news is, this draft is pretty heavy with talented wide receivers. Indianapolis can definitely make a splash in that area without even having to dip into free agency.

Quarterback

Brissett was really solid in 2019. Especially considering the Colts don’t have the greatest weapons.

That being said, he still wasn’t anything spectacular. He should be able to keep them above water, but nothing much more than that. Brissett completed 60.8% for 2,942 yards and 18 touchdown passes. Those numbers aren’t that great.

He only threw six interceptions and managed 228 rushing yards and four touchdowns. Those are all solid.

Looking at the numbers though, nothing jumps out at you. He didn’t throw for a lot of yards at all, and wasn’t really getting into the end zone all that much. This led to the Indianapolis offense stalling a lot.

You could argue that this could get better once the Colts give him more weapons, but he even with a little more help, the numbers would likely not jump that significantly.

Brissett is solid. Which is why the Colts can draft a quarterback and use Brissett as the bridge QB for a year while the rookie learns. However, they could also dip into free agency and go after a big name. This is a need either way though.

Pass Rush

Justin Houston, Colts

ClutchPoints

The Colts gave up 248.9 passing yards per game. That was 22nd in the NFL. So Indianapolis was one of the worst pass defenses in the entire league.

They have some promising players in the pass rush, but still have a lot of work to do in that field. If you need any further proof, just look at their sacks

Indianapolis finished with 41 sacks. That’s decent, but nothing spectacular. It was tied for 15th in the NFL.

11 of those sacks came from Justin Houston, and five more came from Darius Leonard. No one else had five-plus.

They had contributions from a lot of players, but outside of Houston, no one was a serious constant threat. If the Colts want to seriously improve in this area, that’s what they need. Someone else that defenses need to truly worry about getting to the quarterback.

If they can find someone, this defense could take a serious step forward. Just a name to throw out there, Ryan Kerrigan might be available and is a consistent force.