This will be part of an ongoing series where we take a look at each individual team we will face this season.
Whie the Super Bowl loss was certainly a let down, the season as a whole was definitely a success for the Indianapolis Colts. The team looks to be an early favorite to win it all again this season (vomits in mouth). Not a whole lot has changed for this team, as they return every key player from last year's Super Bowl run. Expectations are high, and I'd imagine that anything other than a Super Bowl will be a let down for Colts fans.
Follow me through the jump for a look at the Indianapolis Colts 2009 Season, the offseason, and three keys to winning this matchup.
2009 Season (14-2)
|Rushing YPG||PPG||Offensive DVOA||Defensive YPG||D. Passing YPG||D. Rushing YPG||Defensive PPG||Defensive DVOA|
* stats from NFL.com and Footballoutsiders.com
Not much to say here that Titans fans don't know. This team was one of the best teams in football during the regular season. Heading into week 16, the team was undefeated. Controversially, Jim Caldwell pulled his starters against the New York Jets and then the Buffalo Bills in the last two games of the season, possibly costing the Colt's their perfect record.
This team was clearly driven by it's offense. And, they proved that it's possible to be one of the NFL's elite without any semblance of balance. The Peyton Manning passing game carried this offense that ranked 32nd in the league in rushing. Still, the team was top ten in scoring and YPG.
The defense wasn't nearly as exciting. I would say that average probably best describes the defensive unit. Again, Bob Sanders was injured. To no one's surprise, he was sorely missed in both the run and pass game. However, despite being average against the run and the pass, the team did step up when it mattered and managed to keep opponents off the scoreboard and finish in the top 10 in scoring defense.
The Offseason: Free Agency and The Draft
There were hardly any acquisitions for the Colts during the offseason. You can view their three pickups here, which look to fill mostly back up positions.
The Colts selected one of my favorite players in the draft in Jerry Hughes (DE). Football Outsiders latest regressive model has him as the best DE in the draft. I've seen a lot of this kid in his time at TCU. While undersized, I think he'll fit in nicely as another edge rusher in Indy's system. I'm not familiar with the rest of the Colts picks, but they did appear to fill their needs in the draft. You can check out the rest of the picks here.
Three keys to winning
2. Attack the quarterback. Pressure will be crucial, but you've got to do it with the front four. Hopefully Washburn will have Morgan, and even Babin ready by this time of the year.
3.Keep the majority of run plays inside. The bookends of the Indy line are both excellent, but undersized. Attack that mismatch by keeping runs inside and letting Roos and Stewart go to work.
These games always seem to be close. Still, though, with all our issues in the secondary, there's no way I can predict a victory. Titans lose at home 20-10.
Looking ahead: Week 15 we'll play the Texanss again, this time in Tennessee. You can check out that preview here. Titans win that one 28-20. Heading into week 16 against the Chiefs, the predictions thus far have us at 9-5.