Last year the Colts were a playoff team and should have beaten the Buffalo Bills in the playoffs but let that opportunity slip away. QB Phillip Rivers has since retired, and the Colts replaced him with Carson Wentz. Does that make the team better or worse? If you would have asked me that before last season my initial answer would have been that YES, Wentz is a man that could put the Colts over the top, but after last year when Wentz was historically bad, I am not so sure. You also, as always, have the biggest question with Wentz? That, of course, is can he play a full 17 game season. If the past is any indication, the answer to that question would be probably not. But, let’s face it, that has not happened yet in Wentz’s career. So let’s take a closer look at the Colts as they head into the 2021 season.

Early Super Bowl odds have been out for a while now, but they haven’t changed much. Depending on the site, the Colts’ odds to win varies from +2400 to +2800. As training camp starts, we could be seeing those odds change, so it might be a good time to start getting those bets in before it changes. For Colts fans who reside in Indiana, here are a few options for online sports betting. You should be able to find Super Bowl odds on all the sites. Shop around to find one that offers the best value.

AFC South

This looks to be a two-horse race between the Colts and the Tennessee Titans. The Jaguars are young with an untested Head Coach at the Professional level in Urban Meyer. You have a rookie Quarterback in Trevor Lawrence, so even though they have a young talented roster, they are still far away from contention. Should we even mention the Houston Texans? They have a new head coach who is not qualified for the job, and the roster has been depleted over the past few years, so that leaves the Colts and Titans to battle it out.

Schedule

The Colts have the ninth easiest schedule in the NFL heading into the 2021 season. The Colts have a very favorable schedule situation this season with a relatively easier path to the NFL postseason as either a division winner or even a wild card.

The Colts are a well-balanced team.

The Colts ranking in the top half of the league in all measurables, the offense ranked 10th in total yards, 9th in points scored, 11th in passing yards, and 11th in rushing yards. Their defense ranked 8th in yards allowed, 10th in points allowed, 5th in turnovers forced, and 12th in sacks. In all reality, on paper, they match up well with any roster in the NFL.

The Quarterback issue

The roster makes this team look like a Super Bowl contender, so why am I even asking if the Colts are a Super Bowl contender? That’s easy; the answer is Carson Wentz. The best version we have seen of Wentz was back in 2017 where he was well on his way to winning MVP before getting hurt. Through 11 games that season, Wentz threw for 3296 yards with 33 touchdowns against only 7 interceptions and an excellent 78.5 QBR. That’s a big difference from his 2020 season, where he eventually lost his starting job to rookie Jalen Hurts. Last year in the 12 games he played, Wentz threw 2620 yards with just 16 touchdowns against an alarming 15 interceptions and a very disappointing 49.6 QBR.

Last year the Colts got solid play from Phillip Rivers at the Quarterback position, and his stats bear that out as he threw for 4196 yards with 24 touchdowns against 11 interceptions and a 62.5 QBR. Also, in comparison to Wentz, Rivers played every game. Now, if you can get the Wentz back from 2017 and those stats, the Colts are a Super Bowl contender, but he needs those stats and can play a complete season, something he has yet to do.

Are the Colts a Super Bowl Contender

For me, the answer to that question is a resounding NO; you need a rejuvenated Carson Wentz that doesn’t get hurt. I have no reason to believe he stays healthy for the entire year. Reuniting with Head Coach Frank Reich helps him immeasurably, but the injury factor is still looming and that combined with the way Wentz played last year makes it hard for me to believe all of these factors will work out for the Colts. With that being said I expect they will be a Wild Card team, but no Super Bowl this year.

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