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Indianapolis Colts 2012 NFL Preview

Previously: Tampa Bay Bucs 2012 Preview.

Andrew Luck will have a rookie year that rivals what Cam Newton did in 2011.

Despite having mediocre receivers and running backs at Stanford – he did have a star tight end in Coby Fleener, whom the Colts wisely drafted – Luck was a Heisman Trophy finalist. Twice. In three years, Luck completed 67 percent of his passes and tossed 82 TDs against just 22 interceptions.

Even though the Colts have an undistinguished offensive line, unimpressive running backs, and no receiver depth after Reggie Wayne, I’ll be surprised if Luck doesn’t complete 60 percent of his passes, have a YPA in the 7.5 range, and throw for about 3,000 yards and 25 TDs. (Don’t tell anyone, but my fantasy football plan this year – for one team, at least – is to pass on taking a QB until about the 7th round, where I snap up Luck to guide my team all season.)

Luck has legend written all over him. Brains, arm strength, mobility … what’s not to like?

No, I’m not gushing because of Luck’s 2 TDs in his preseason debut. Or his impressive bounce-back Sunday night against Pittsburgh after throwing a pick-six. It reminded me of this moment during Luck’s final year at Stanford.

That was even more impressive – late in the 4th quarter, no room for error, on the road in a game that mattered, and Luck was in total control. Stanford prevailed (freakily) in overtime.

Having watched him for a few years at Stanford, he’s NFL-ready. There are no discernible flaws in his game. I hate the fact that the Colts just locked up a QB for the next decade, at least.

I’m not going to waste time focusing on anything else the Colts have. The defense? Garbage. Near the bottom of the league in rush yards allowed, sacks, and PPG. You wouldn’t know their head coach if he delivered you a pizza for lunch. (Another fantasy aside: Bad defense = lots of deficits, meaning lots of passing.)

Back to Andrew Luck. How fortunate is he to have these first four games? At Chicago (tough defense), vs. Minnesota (weak defense), vs. Jacksonville (bad defense), vs. Green Bay (bad defense). It’ll all be preparation for an Oct. 14 showdown with Rex Ryan and the Jets on the road. That’ll be a much bigger game for the Jets, who will probably be 1-4 or 2-3 at the time, and if they’re 1-4 and lose to Andrew Luck, I’m on record as saying Tim Tebow will start the following week against the Patriots in a 4:30 nationally-televised game on CBS.

Sunday
09/09/12
at Chicago Bears
Soldier Field, Chicago, IL
1:00 p.m. ET
CBS
LOSS
Sunday
09/16/12
Minnesota Vikings
Lucas Oil Stadium, Indianapolis, IN
1:00 p.m. ET
FOX
WIN
Sunday
09/23/12
Jacksonville Jaguars
Lucas Oil Stadium, Indianapolis, IN
1:00 p.m. ET
CBS
WIN
Sunday
09/30/12
BYE
Sunday
10/07/12
Green Bay Packers
Lucas Oil Stadium, Indianapolis, IN
1:00 p.m. ET
FOX
LOSS
Sunday
10/14/12
at New York Jets
MetLife Stadium, East Rutherford, NJ
1:00 p.m. ET
CBS
WIN
Sunday
10/21/12
Cleveland Browns
Lucas Oil Stadium, Indianapolis, IN
1:00 p.m. ET
CBS
WIN
Sunday
10/28/12
at Tennessee Titans
LP Field, Nashville, TN
1:00 p.m. ET
CBS
LOSS
Sunday
11/04/12
Miami Dolphins
Lucas Oil Stadium, Indianapolis, IN
1:00 p.m. ET
CBS
WIN
Thursday
11/08/12
at Jacksonville Jaguars
EverBank Field, Jacksonville, FL
8:20 p.m. ET
NFLN
LOSS
Sunday
11/18/12
at New England Patriots
Gillette Stadium, Foxborough, MA
1:00 p.m. ET
CBS
LOSS
Sunday
11/25/12
Buffalo Bills
Lucas Oil Stadium, Indianapolis, IN
1:00 p.m. ET
CBS
LOSS
Sunday
12/02/12
at Detroit Lions
Ford Field, Detroit, MI
1:00 p.m. ET
CBS
LOSS
Sunday
12/09/12
Tennessee Titans
Lucas Oil Stadium, Indianapolis, IN
1:00 p.m. ET
CBS
WIN
Sunday
12/16/12
at Houston Texans
Reliant Stadium, Houston, TX
1:00 p.m. ET
CBS
LOSS
Sunday
12/23/12
at Kansas City Chiefs
Arrowhead Stadium, Kansas City, MO
1:00 p.m. ET
CBS
LOSS
Sunday
12/30/12
Houston Texans
Lucas Oil Stadium, Indianapolis, IN
1:00 p.m. ET
CBS

Arg. This chart is ugly, and it wouldn’t even let me fit the Texans prediction in (loss). Put me down for 6-10 for the Colts in Luck’s rookie season.

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