Indianapolis Colts 2020 Team Overview
Colts 2020 Team Overview
Jim Irsay is essentially and NFL trust fund baby. His father, Robert Irsay bought the Baltimore Colts.
After graduating from SMU, Jim Irsay joined his dad in the front office of the Colts in Indianapolis.
Jim Irsay became the youngest Owner in the NFL at age 37 when his father had a stroke in 1995.
Irsay was suspended by the NFL for 6 games and fined a lot of money for being caught with drugs and for having a DUI.
The drug use was probably due to his marital problems that ended up with a divorce in 2013. Irsay is a prominent Owner in the NFL and passionately loves his Colts.
Chris Ballard was a scout for the Bears and in control of the Kansas City Chiefs player personnel until 2017 when he got the job offer to be the Colts GM.
As a GM he has hit on a couple draft picks in o-lineman Quenton Nelson and LB Darius Leonard but is now building the team back into contention after Andrew Luck’s sudden retirement.
Ballard has now signed Philip Rivers and Xavier Rhodes for the 2020 season and traded a 1st round pick for defensive lineman Deforest Buckner.
He then drafted RB Jonathan Taylor and WR Michael Pittman Jr. with his 1st two draft picks. This will definitely be an exciting year to see if his moves paid off for the Colts.
Frank Reich. Reich was a QB in the NFL and played for 13 seasons. He then ironically started his coaching career in Indianapolis as an offensive assistant.
He then moved around a bit and got his first Offensive Coordinator job with the San Diego Chargers.
There in San Diego he worked with Philip Rivers who is now the new Colts QB. While in San Diego, Reich helped Rivers have nearly 5,000 yards passing and almost 30 passing TD’s. Reich then Joined Philadelphia and helped them win a superbowl.
Reich then became the HC of the Colts in 2018 and has done a pretty good job so far with what he has had for talent.
He has always gotten the most out of what he has had. In San Diego he was known as a passing coordinator and then in Philly he liked to run the ball a lot.
He has now decided to run the ball a lot in Indianapolis after Luck’s sudden retirement. With Philip Rivers as QB, it will be interesting to see if they start to throw more in 2020.
Fantasy Outlook for the Colts
QB: Philip Rivers
Philip Rivers still threw for 4,600 passing yards last season. I still think he has a lot in the tank. I think that this reunion with Reich and Sirianni is a great fit.
Reich is a guy who really understands players strengths and weaknesses and has gotten the best out of every player he has coached.
With a great offensive line and talented young receivers and a big tight end in Jack Doyle, I expect Philip to have a really good year.
He also has Hines the RB to throw too and we all know Philip loved throwing to Austin Eckler last year.
I still think that the Colts will run the ball a lot behind this amazing offensive line but Philip should have more passing touchdowns this year.
I think the Colts will be a very good team this year and be ahead in a lot of games and will rely on the run to run the clock out.
With all of this said, I think Rivers will throw for 4,100 yards and 28 touchdowns this season. Still respectable numbers and worthy of a backup QB on your fantasy team.
RB: Marlon Mack
Marlon Mack rushed the ball 240 times last season. That was the most any 1 back has rushed the ball under Frank Reich.
Of Course a lot of that was due to Jacoby Brisset not being trusted as a passer. The Colts now used their first draft pick on a RB, Jonathan Taylor out of Wisconsin.
Taylor is special and proved he could catch the ball out of the back field more his senior year. This all bodes really bad for Mack this season.
Mack has never been used as a pass catching RB. Mack and Taylor probably look to be in a true 50/50 split in rush attempts this year.
That will probably give both Mack and Taylor around 160 rushing attempts each.
Taylor could even take more from Mack if Taylor truly becomes special. I am staying completely away from Mack this fantasy season.
RB: Jonathan Taylor
Jonathan Taylor was drafted by Colts with their first pick in the 2020 draft. Taylor shined at Wisconsin the past 2 seasons.
He rushed for 2,000 yards in back to back seasons and had a 6.5 yards per carry. He looked incredible.
He fumbled the ball quite a bit but other then that there isn’t much worry about his game. He also proved to catch the ball more with 26 receptions in his senior year.
He is definitely going to get half of the carries in Indianoplis this year. You don’t draft a guy this high to have him not get half or most of the rushing attempts this season.
He is also a bigger back the Mack and could get a lot of the goalline carries. He is also a better pass catcher then Mack.
The only thing that scares me is that with an equal timeshare between him and Mack, you are really rolling the dice every week you play Taylor.
If Taylor gets around 10 to 15 touches a week for around 5 yards then that is only around 60 yards.
You are basically praying for a touchdown at that point to make him of any value. Or you are really banking on that Taylor is going to get the Lion’s share of rushing attempts midway through the season.
This could all happen but there is definitely some risk there. One of my longtime sayings is that you don’t want to draft waiver wire players.
Meaning that, halfway through the season you could become frustrated with Taylor being in a timeshare with Mack and wind up dropping him off of your team onto the waiver wire.
You can roll the dice if you want with Taylor eventually getting more rushing attempts then Mack but I am going to draft better RB’s earlier in the draft so I don’t have to worry about drafting players like Taylor in the 5th round.
WR: TY Hilton
TY Hilton is 30 years old and turns 31 in November. He has missed 8 games the past 2 seasons.
It’s hard to really believe that he is able to stay healthy the entire season. It always feels like he misses a game or is on the injury report.
He plays injured most of all his seasons in the league. TY has also never scored more than 7 touchdowns in the NFL.
I think Philip Rivers throws 28 touchdowns this year and I think TY gets 6 of those 28. I also think that TY misses at least 3 games this season and will only end up with around 70 catches for 900 yards.
I think Rivers shares the ball with all of the receivers on the team.
I am going to stay away from TY this year as well because people are drafting him in the 4th round of fantasy drafts right now. This is WAY too high to be taking a chance on TY Hilton.
TE: Jack Doyle
Philip Rivers loves throwing to Tight ends. He obviously had a great connection with Antonio Gates.
Rivers also had a good connection with Hunter Henry too. I really like Jack Doyle to have a good season for the Colts.
I think it is definitely worthy of a back up fantasy Tight End pick. He is going in the 14th to 15th round of all fantasy drafts.
I think that is a perfect time to pick him up as your backup tight end. He will have really good matchups some week.
Colts Offensive Preview 2020
Offensive: Nick Sirianni is the Offensive Coordinator but Frank Reich is the play caller. Reich has said that it is a collaborative group effort between him and Sirianni.
He says that they go back and forth between certain plays being called for games all throughout the week.
From everything that I have been reading, it looks like Sirianni designs most of the plays and then Reich checks them over and ultimately decides which ones he will keep and call come gameday.
However, that doesn’t mean that Sirianni doesn’t have any influence over Reich. It appears that Reich is very trusting in the schemes that Sirianni comes up with.
Philip Rivers enjoys both Reich and Sirianni. Sirianni worked with Philip in San Diego when Reich was there too. So the 3 of them have had a lot of football passing success.
I still believe that they will rely heavily on running the ball with there great offensive line and veteran running back, Marlon Mack.
They also drafted a rookie running back as there first draft pick in 2020. His name is Jonathon Taylor and he will likely get a lot of carries too.
Philip Rivers should really enjoy this offensive group too. There is a lot of maturity with the colts and this offensive unit.
Reich has very little drama on this team and it reflects in the Colts business like attitude. They drafted Michael Pittman Jr. who was the son of Tampa Bay’s former Running Back, Michael Pittman Sr.
Paris campbell is the other young WR from last years draft in 2019 but came from Urban Myers program at Ohio State.
Rivers has always liked throwing to Tight Ends and Jack Doyle has always been a great security blanket for Andrew Luck in the past.
With an amazing offensive line, mature and talented WR’s, stable of running backs and a coaching familiarity, the Colts and Philip Rivers could have a really good season.
Colts Defensive Preview 2020
Matt Eberflus. Eberflus was the Missouri defensive coordinator for 8 seasons in the early 2000’s before coming a linebacker coach for primarily the Dallas Cowboys.
Then in 2018, Ballard and Josh Mcdaniels named him defensive coordinator. AFter Mcdaniels withdrew the head coaching opportunity, Ballard convinced Reich to keep Eberflus on the team.
This was Eberflus’ first time as an NFL DC and has done a pretty nice job so far. It isn’t perfect but with the talent that he has had, he has done a nice job.
Eberflus has pushed his philosophy of hustle, teamwork and discipline to this colt’s defense. And it has shown.
You can tell by watching the Colt’s that they are a no nonsense kind of team. Eberflus had such an incredible impact on the defense that he took them from 26th against the run in 2017 to 8th best in the NFL in 2018.
They also didn’t allow a 100 yard rusher in 2018 too. Quite the impressive turn around. In 2019, they regressed a little bit but were also on the field a lot more due to an offense that had trouble moving the ball and scoring.
However, they couldn’t find an excuse all the time and gave up on average over 30 points in there last 4 losses of the season.
Eberflus used the excuse of inexperience and still playing a lot of young players. He also used the excuse of players still adjusting to the 4-3 defense that he installed in 2018.
It will now be year 3 for him and a lot of the players on his defense and he has no excuse for there performance this year.
Eberflus has one of the best up and coming linbacking corps in the NFL. Anthony Walker, Darius Leonard and Last years 3rd round draft pick from Stanford, Bobby Okereke.
These 3 players are fast and great tacklers. This helped the Colts retain a great run defense in the NFL and only allowed 8 rushing touchdowns all year and 97 rushing yards per game.
They were 14th in the NFL with 41 sacks so there is also still room to improve on there.
They are hoping Deforest Buckner can help improve that number as well as having 2018 2nd round draft pick Kemoko Turay, who before got hurt in week 5 was very hard to block and caused a lot of havoc.
The real concern now lies with the pass coverage.
The Colts hold a record in the NFL and it isn’t a good one. They have allowed 70% completion percentage in back to back seasons.
They are the epitome of bend but don’t break mentality on defense.
Yes, it’s good that they don’t allow a lot of rushing touchdowns but opposing QB’s are getting into nice rhythms that last the entire game.
A lot of the problem with the passing secondary was communication. They added veteran CB’s TJ Carrie and Xavier Rhodes so the communication should be a lot better.
The Colts declined the 5th year option on Safety Malik Hooker.
So Hooker will definitely have a chip on his shoulder and will need to have a huge year to prove he is worthy of the big money.
Their best CB is Kenny Moore II was injured late in the season and they had very little depth. The Colts defense should be a very solid unit in 2020 but the secondary will definitely get tested and I am not sure how that will fare.
Fun Facts About Coaches
Nothing much to mention here other then the OC and HC having worked with Philip Rivers in San Diego. The rest of the coaching staff has a lot of NFL coaching experience.
Contract year players (Notable):
QB: Philip RIvers
QB: Jacobi Brissett
WR: T. Y. Hilton
DE: Justin Houston
S: Malik Hooker
CB: Xavier Rhodes
C: Ryan Kelly
Colts Offensive Line Preview
A lot of pundits have this O-line as the best in football. They are definitely the best run blocking O-line in football. They have attitude and love out physically beating their opponents up.
Anthony Castanzo is the Left Tackle and the Left Guard is Quenton Nelson. It is most likely the best left side of any O-line in the NFL.
The Center is Ryan Kelly and he is arguably a top 5 center in the game. The Right Tackle is Braden Smith who was the 2nd round pick in 2018 for the Colts.
He is a good run blocker but allowed 7 sacks last season. He is progressing nicely and the Colts are high on him entering his 3rd year. The Right Guard is Mark Glowinski.
Glowinski allowed 43 pressures last season but they only resulted in 3 sacks. He is definitely the weak link in this line.
However, all of these 5 offensive lineman played all 16 games with each other last season and are all returning this year.
With 2020 having a lot of unfamiliarity due to Covid-19, this unit will have the same OC, HC and starting 5 lineman coming back in 2020.