Since the Indianapolis Colts took Peyton Manning with the No. 1 overall pick in the 1998 NFL Draft, the team transformed into one of the most successful franchises in the NFL. In 2012, when Manning left for the Denver Broncos, the Colts took quarterback Andrew Luck with the top selection.
Heading into the 2019 NFL season, with Luck under center, the Colts were a trendy pick to come out alive as Super Bowl champions, but prior to the start of the season, Luck shocked the football world and retired in his prime after dealing with a handful of serious injuries. Backup quarterback Jacoby Brissett was thrown into the fire, and the Colts finished with a 7-9 record and in third place in the AFC South.
Here we are now a year later, and the Colts are once again a team to be reckoned with in the AFC. Since general manager Chris Ballard took over in 2017, the Colts have hit on some young talent, and they are now back in the thick of things heading into 2020.
Indianapolis brought in veteran quarterback Philip Rivers to run the show behind one of the best offensive lines in all of football. And after Ballard selected running back Jonathan Taylor and wide receiver Michael Pittman Jr. in the 2020 NFL Draft, they will join wide receiver T.Y. Hilton and tight end Jack Doyle to make up a terrific arsenal of weapons for Rivers.
All-Pro linebacker Darius Leonard, who is entering his third NFL season, will anchor the defense with newly acquired defensive tackle DeForest Buckner, cornerbacks Rock Ya-Sin and Kenny Moore as well as safeties Khari Willis and Malik Hooker.
Here's what else you need to know about the Colts this year.
5 THINGS YOU MAY HAVE MISSED
NEW ADDITION HIGHLIGHT: JONATHAN TAYLOR
The Colts selected running back Jonathan Taylor with the No. 41 pick of the 2020 NFL Draft.
Taylor was one of the better collegiate running backs at Wisconsin. He became the seventh player in college football history to rush for 6,000 yards and he was the first to ever do so in just three seasons. He also finished No. 6 all time among players in rushing (6,174 yards) and No. 2 all time among Big Ten players.
The Colts traded up with the Cleveland Browns to get Taylor. With fellow running back Marlon Mack in a contract year, Taylor is expected to take the reins as the lead back as early as this year. Running behind one of the best offensive lines in all of football, Taylor is in a perfect place to put together a successful NFL career.
Offense: Philip Rivers (QB), Marlon Mack (RB), T.Y. Hilton (WR), Michael Pittman (WR), Parris Campbell (WR), Jack Doyle (TE), Anthony Castonzo (OT), Quenton Nelson (OG), Ryan Kelly (C), Mark Glowinski (OG), Braden Smith (OT)
Defense: Justin Houston (DE), DeForest Buckner (DT), Denico Autry (DT), Al-Quadin Muhammad (DE), Darius Leonard (LB), Anthony Walker (LB), Bobby Okereke (LB), Rock Ya-Sin (CB), Khari Willis (S), Malik Hooker (S), Kenny Moore II (CB)
Special Teams: Rodrigo Blankenship (K), Rigoberto Sanchez (P)
2020 COLTS SCHEDULE (all times Eastern)
Week 1: @ Jaguars (9/13, 1 pm)
Week 2: Vikings (9/20, 1 pm)
Week 3: Jets (9/27, 1 pm)
Week 4: @ Bears (10/4, 1 pm)
Week 5: @ Browns (10/11, 4:25 pm)
Week 6: Bengals (10/18, 1 pm)
Week 7: BYE
Week 8: @ Lions (11/1, 1 pm)
Week 9: Ravens, (11/8, 1 pm)
Week 10: @ Titans (11/12, 8:25 pm)
Week 11: Packers (11/22, 1 pm)
Week 12: Titans (11/29, 1 pm)
Week 13: @ Texans (12/6, 1 pm)
Week 14: @ Raiders (12/13, 4:05 pm)
Week 15: Texans (12/20, TBD)
Week 16: @ Steelers (12/27, 1 pm)
Week 17: Jaguars (1/3, 1 pm)
To win the Super Bowl: +2200
Odds courtesy of Vegas Insider.