The Indianapolis Colts will enter the final week of the regular season in a different state than they were in a year ago. Last season, the Colts were 10-6 and were preparing themselves for the postseason with Andrew Luck leading the offense.
Fast forward to now and Indianapolis is facing the sudden reality of possibly missing the playoffs. Along with the team’s record, Jacoby Brissett is the captain of the offense instead of Luck.
At 7-8 entering Week 17, Indianapolis can still label this season as a success considering the circumstances they dealt with. Even if the Colts miss the playoffs, here are three reasons for optimism entering the offseason in 2020.
3. The Colts are still one of the youngest teams in the NFL
Before the season began, the Colts entered as one of the youngest teams in the NFL. Following the roster cuts in training camp, the average age on the roster sat at 25.6-years-old (seventh-youngest in the NFL).
Of course, the average age on the roster was subject to change with the number of roster moves made during the season. With that being said, Indianapolis is still littered with young talent on both sides of the ball.
On offense, Marlon Mack, Parris Campbell, Nyheim Hines, and Quenton Nelson will be 25-years-old or younger next season. As for the defense, Darius Leonard, Malik Hooker, and Kenny Moore will be under 25 years of age.
2. Indianapolis has drafted well under Chris Ballard
Back in 2017, the Colts made a change at general manager and hired Chris Ballard. Ballard spent four seasons in the Kansas City Chiefs front office before arriving in Indianapolis.
But ever since his arrival, the Colts have had plenty of success building their roster through the draft. During his short time with the organization, Indianapolis has selected the likes of Nelson, Leonard, Hooker, and Rock Ya-Sin in the early rounds.
Along with the early rounds, the Colts have found Mack, Hines, and Anthony Walker in the later rounds. As long as Ballard is involved in the draft process, it’s safe to bet that the Colts will have success in the drafts moving forward.
1. Frank Reich remains as the head coach
While many believed that the Colts would finish in last place in the AFC South due to Luck’s retirement, Frank Reich kept the Colts afloat. The offensive-minded coach was able to rally his team and make them into a possible playoff team.
To begin the season, the Colts were actually 5-2 and were first place in the division. Injuries and narrow losses ended up derailing what could have been a spectacular season for Indianapolis.
Nevertheless, Reich has a combined record of 17-14 in his first two seasons in the NFL and continues to get better at his job. With Reich leading the franchise, the Colts are in great hands for years to come.