Could the Colts Begin the Season 5-0?
This morning, Jeff Smith of Sports Cheat Sheet (and formerly Pro Football Spot) released a list of five teams that he believes could begin the 2016 season 5-0, and among the group is the Indianapolis Colts. Also listed as possibilities are the Dallas Cowboys, Oakland Raiders, Arizona Cardinals and Seattle Seahawks.
The Colts' first five games are home vs. the Detroit Lions, at the Denver Broncos, home vs. the San Diego Chargers, "home" in London vs. the Jacksonville Jaguars and home vs. the Chicago Bears. Of the five matchups, only one team broke .500 last year, averaging a .425 winning percentage overall as a group. Aside from the Jaguars, none of the five made major strides in improvements this offseason either.
In Week 1, the Colts get the benefit of not having to cover Calvin Johnson, having retired following the 2015 season. Detroit has made some small improvements from last year despite the Johnson retirement, but Indianapolis should still be the better team.
In Denver, the Broncos don't quite have their quarterback situation settled, whether that is Mark Sanchez or Trevor Siemian. The Broncos still have that incredible defense, but the quarterback situation is definitely something to worry about.
Regardless of whether the Colts should beat the Chargers or not, the two teams have history. San Diego has consistently found ways to needle the Colts, but with the two teams being almost completely different than they were a handful of years ago, how will this one turn out?
Next, the Jaguars. Where are these two teams now within the division? Jacksonville might be the most improved team in the league on paper, but the Colts own the AFC South and all of the teams in it when Andrew Luck is healthy. Jacksonville knows Wembley Stadium in London better than any other team in the league on the other hand, so that may actually be an advantage for them. May the best team win.
After adding Bobby Massie, Jerrell Freeman, Danny Trevathan and Leonard Floyd this offseason, it appears the Bears look to be on the rise, but how hurt will they be after losing offensive coordinator Adam Gase, Matt Forte and Martellus Bennett?
All in all, 5-0 seems rather attainable for the Colts, but that is easy to say sitting here a month before training camp has started.
Jake Arthur is the AFC South Newsdesk Manager, Assistant Director of NFL Content and a Featured Analyst for Pro Football Spot. He is also a member of the Professional Football Writers of America. Follow @JakeArthurPFS on Twitter as well as on Facebook,Google+ and FanCred.
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