Indianapolis Colts

AFC South

2017 Schedule

  • Week 1

    IND @ LAR


    4:00 pm

PYRO Fantasy Depth Chart

The PYRO Fantasy Football Depth Chart is a rundown of where Team PYRO projects the fantasy production for each team at each position. It is NOT an attempt to inform you of the current starters for each team. For example, we are well aware that Brandon Manumaleuna is currently the starting TE for the Chicago Bears, but if you look at the Bears Team Page, we have Greg Olsen listed at TE. Why? We’re projecting that Greg Olsen will be the most Fantasy Football relevant TE for the Bears this season. Since Olsen will be the Bears leading FF point scorer at TE, it’s his name at the top of the TE column on our PYRO Fantasy Depth Chart.

Indianapolis Colts - 2014 Preseason #FF Preview

indianapolis colts header graphic for 2014 season previeww



Indianapolis Colts - 2014 Preseason #FF Preview 



Last year nine teams had three or more fantasy starters in the top 60 and it is likely that it’ll continue to be that way in 2014. This series: Dressed for Success, will look at NFL teams going into 2014 that have assembled the right players to be a treasure trove of fantasy studs.


We have to talk about the team with the easiest strength of schedule going into the 2014 season, the Indianapolis Colts. The whole AFC South received the top 4 easiest strength of schedule for 2014; drawing the NFC East and AFC South. Undoubtedly this schedule is deflated by the 2-14 Texans, 3-13 Redskins, 4-12 Browns, and 4-12 Jaguars (they don’t even have 16 wins combined!). Fortunately for the Colts, they appear to the only team in a position to take advantage of this schedule as the only team in the division that has a settled QB.


If history is any indicator, the team with the easiest SOS has almost always produced bountiful amounts of fantasy points; unless you’re the 2011 Arizona Cardinals and started Kevin Kolb as your QB. In 2012, the New England Patriots’ Tom Brady finished as the 3rd best QB in standard fantasy scoring, Stevan Ridley finished 10th at RB,  Wes Welker finished 12th at WR, and Rob Gronkowski finished 2nd at TE. The 2013 Broncos, needlessly to say, also ran away with the lead. But can the 2014 Colts make the cups of fantasy owners everywhere overflowth with fantasy points?


Andrew Luck hasn’t produced a great number of high passing games. Luck in 2013 had 3 games of 300 or more passing yards. By comparison, Carson Palmer had 5 games of 300 or more, Tom Brady had 6 such games, Drew Brees had 11, and Peyton had 12. Despite the low production, Luck still finished 7th at QB in standard fantasy scoring (345.2 FF Points), with a stat line of 3830 passing yards, 23 passing TDs, 9 INTs, 377 rushing yards and 4 rushing TDs.


Andrew Luck underachieved in 2013 compared to 2012, when he scored 368.2 FF Points. That would have been good for 4th in 2013. In his last year at Stanford, Luck threw for only 313 less yards than he did in 2013. Some of that might be attributed to the lack of talent without Reggie Wayne.


reggie wayne with luck, and luck without him


Without Reggie, Luck still produced near similar Fantasy stats. With that kind of consistency, a full complement of WRs and TEs going into 2014, plus the easiest schedule in the league, one has to believe that he has a fighter’s chance to break into the top three of QBs. This season is Luck’s chance to break into NFL’s elite echelon of QBs. As a fantasy owner, you should probably jump on this gravy train. The ranks of Aaron Rodgers, Drew Brees, and Peyton Manning should best prepare itself for its uncouth compatriot.




awesome andrew luck gif animation


Luck is already the champion of GIF-able moments.  


Behind Andrew Luck, the skill positions for the Colts are quite a conundrum. Not for lack of talent, but because there is more talent on the team than in the past two years. All of the top three receivers have 1000 yard seasons.


With WRs, the initial question to ask is who will step into the number one, two, or three receiver positions on the team? The positioning of these receivers have played huge part in targets received. In 2013 TY Hilton received 138 targets, Coby Fleener received 88 targets, DHB received 62 targets. In 2012, Reggie Wayne received 194 Targets, Donnie Avery received 125, and TY Hilton received 91 targets. In years past the highest receiving target received about twice as many targets as the third best receiver, and the second receiver got about 30% more targets than the third best receiver. With a crowded WR group in 2014, TY Hilton, Reggie Wayne, Hakeem Nicks and back-ups LaVon Brazill, Da’Rick Rogers, it’s hard to tell who will fall into what roles.


Adding to the complexity is Pagano’s stated preference to run a two TE scheme, which typically would only field two WRs at a time. The statistics show that Pagano in 2013 only ran two TEs about 158 times compared to one TE 499 times. Whether these stats hold water in 2014 is up in the air since starting TE Dwayne Allen was injured for most of the season.


TY Hilton is undoubtedly the future of the Colts at WR. Hilton did a good job stepping in as a second year receiver, but didn’t tremendously exceed his rookie year campaign. While TY had 33 more receptions in 2013, he produced a number of duds – 7 games of 6 points or less in standard. He also produced a similar amount of explosive games in 2012 as in 2013. He already h ad five 100+ yard receiving games in 2012 and only matched that number in 2013. In a worst case scenario, Hilton could stay at this level of production; in 2012 he was still second fiddle to Wayne and as a starter he maintained this level of production. But he has developmental upside and a better repertoire with Luck than either Nicks or Wayne now. The best case scenario is that he takes over as WR and with the plethora of offensive weapons, has more space to make big plays.

It is rare to see a 5’10” receiver be the number one receiver (ask Julian Edelman) and still be fantasy relevant in standard scoring, but Hilton showed flashes of success on the outside and between the numbers. As the number-two receiver in a two TE system, Hilton could shine, especially in a PPR league. If I draft a WR out of the three it would be TY. 


awesome play


His name is pretty much Thank You Hilton now right? 

When to pick up Wayne or Nicks is a tough question because a variety of reasons. Wayne is old and coming off an ACL tear meanwhile Nicks has never played a full regular season and is coming off a year where he failed to score any touchdowns. Am I convinced that the Colts offense can score enough points to support all three of them? Last year the Colts finished 14th in scoring, with 15 rushing TDs and 23 receiving TDs. Those numbers aren’t exactly bountiful amounts of TDs; if somehow all receiving TDs were split evenly by three people that would be about 8 TDs a person. Undoubtedly however, those TDs will be split amongst RBs and TEs as well, further diminishing the amount of fantasy points that Wayne and Nicks can score.

Going into next season, I think Nicks has significantly more upside than Wayne; he is playing for a contract, is playing against a weak division, is playing in a whole new conference, and is actually better than his stats have made him out to be. Former head coach Coughlin even suggested that Nicks needed a change. If you are feeling bold, pick him up to be a WR2 in the fifth round. I can’t say Wayne is done for, but I would’t pick him up.


I would avoid drafting any of the TEs on Indianapolis out of concern that there are too many receiving options. Coby Fleener, being the second best option on the team in 2013, mustered only 52 catches, ranking only 14th. Given a chance to shine, Fleener just didn’t seem to impress. While Dwayne Allen could emerge to be a good tight end, with this many receiving options, it’s hard to imagine Dwayne Allen emerging into a consistent fantasy starter.


Finally, there’s the curious case of Trent Richardson, who was atrocious last year. Running backs Rashad Jennings and Joique Bell both got 20 less carries than Trent, but both ran for nearly 200 more yards than Trent. Even with Donald Brown gone, Ahmad Bradshaw and Vick Ballard (That diving football player on the NFL mobile app loading screen) still remain and could easily out compete Trent for the starting job. Sure Trent might be the Colt’s 2014 first round pick, but that doesn’t mean he isn’t a bust. If you end up drafting Trent let’s hope that Pagano does actually run the ball more and that Trent can take advantage of the soft schedule. Last year, even against favorable matchups, Trent failed to produce, perhaps an indicator that he is missing the natural talent to succeed at the next level. He’s not the greatest catcher and doesn’t have tremendous breakaway speed, but is really elevated by being the biggest name back in the Indy backfield. All Indy running backs also run a risk of having TDs vultured by Luck.

The snap counts certainly suggest that the team was trying hard with Trent. Since being acquired by the Colts, he only rushed 20 times once, averaging about 11 carries a game. In his rookie season, Trent was nearly averaging 20 carries a game. This suggests that a lot of his 2013 draft stock could have been driven by volume. But if you consider that he can play all the downs, his potential for more attempts is higher than a lot of the two down backs in the league.

Trent is certainly no sure-fire back, so don’t overpay for Trent; the earliest I would pick him up is in the fourth round, but if I see some promise with the offensive line during the off-season, I would pick Trent in the third.


WTF andrew luck!


Andrew is ready for the 2014 Season. Get Lucky!






Philadelphia Eagles - 2014 Preseason #FF Preview




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The Great Don Shula

the great don shula with the baltimore colts

The greatness that is Don Shula and his relationship with the Baltimore Colts started in a most unusual way. His first stint with the team began when he was traded from the Cleveland Browns in a 15 player deal.  There he started as the Colts corner back in 1953. He played four season in Baltimore, and in an era where passing was not readily used, Shula came away with three interceptions, but Baltimore finished with only a 3-9 record.  The following season, Shula had five interceptions, but again the Colts finished 3-9. In 1955, Shula again had five picks, and Baltimore finished with just a 5-6-1 record.  Don Shula missed the final three games due to a broken jaw. In 1956, was a low point in Don's career as he had just one interception, and was waived prior to the start of the 1957 season.  The Colts also finished the '56 season with another losing record.  It would not be long before Shula ended up being part of the Baltimore franchise once again, this time not as a player.

In 1963, Don Shula began his head coaching career in Baltimore.  The signing made him the youngest head coach ever in the NFL at the age of 33. In his first season he had a winning record finishing 8-6 for third place in the NFL West.

In 1964, he guided the team to a 12-2 record that won the NFL West, and put them in the NFL championship game, and even though they lost to Cleveland 27-0, Don Shula was named the NFL's Coach of the Year Award.

In 1965, the Colts finished tied with the Green Bay Packers (10-3-1), forcing a one game playoff to determine which team would be playing for the championship.  Baltimore ended up losing 13-10 in an overtime battle.

In the 1966 and 1967 seasons the Colts found themselves out of contention for a playoff spot, even though they finished 11-1-2 in 1967. Their only loss was a blow out to the Los Angeles Rams, which ended up being the tie-breaker to get into the playoffs.

In 1968, the Colts finished the season again with just one loss (13-1).  The Colts defeated the Vikings in the Divisional match-up, and eliminated the Browns in the conference championship the following week to get into the Super Bowl to face the New York Jets.  Even though Baltimore were large favorites, they ended up losing to Joe Namath and his guarantee stated victory.

Shula finished his coaching career in Baltimore in the 1969 season. The Colts finished with an 8-5 record and did not compete in the playoffs.  He finished with a 71-23-4 record, but only 2-3 in the postseason, including two losses where Baltimore was a heavy favorite.

another don shula coaching for colts picture

In February of 1970, Don Shula was lured away from the Baltimore Colts by Joe Robbie of the Miami Dolphins.  Shula received a long-term contract, a percentage of the ownership, and named Vice-President. Pete Rozelle the NFL Commissioner at the time, took this to be tampering and found the Dolphins guilty. The consequence was a forfeiture of their first round draft choice to the Baltimore Colts, where they selected running back Don McCauley out of North Carolina with the 22nd pick. McCauley had a solid career with the Colts, playing from 1971 to 1981. He finished with 770 carries for 2627 yards and 40 touchdowns, he also added 333 receptions for 3026 yards and 17 touchdowns, and was the Colts kickoff and punt returner for 10 of the 11 years he played.

Don Shula retired as Dolphins head coach at the conclusion of the 1995 season.  He led Miami into the playoffs with a 9-7 record, but was eliminated in their first game to the Buffalo Bills.  Shula finished his coaching career with 347 wins only 173 defeats and six tie games (.678 winning percentage). Only he and George Halas have 300 wins under their belt, and Don has coached in six Super Bowls, winning back-to-back in Super Bowl VII and VIII. He won the NFL Head Coach of the Year six times. Winning it from 1964-1968 and then again from 1970-1972.  In 1997, he was inducted into the Pro-Football Hall of Fame as a head coach of the Miami Dolphins.

don shula young - awesome shula picture

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The Mayflower Move

the mayflower move collage baltimore colts become the indianapolis colts

On the night of March 29, 1984 in the sleet of snow, a slew of Mayflower trucks, with the Mayflower emblem floated away from home of Baltimore Maryland to arrive in their new port of Indianapolis Indiana. Even though people of Maryland had heard complaints from owner Robert Irsay, nobody would believe that a professional team would deceive all fans, and leave in a stealth like move in the dead of night. Even if it was a deceitful move, was it justified? Could have it been halted?

Irsay never thought he was wrong for the move.  He believed that the mayor and city let him down. He wanted a new stadium, from his stand point the 1953 Memorial Stadium could no longer fill his needs for renovation. Carroll Rosenbloom who eventually sold the rights of the Colts to Irsay, called Memorial Stadium "Antiquated." Rightfully so, Rosenbloom had to share the stadium with the Baltimore Orioles, and when Baltimore mayor William Schaefer and state governor Marvin Mandel investigated the complaints in 1971, they found a messy situation. 

Some of the problems mentioned: 10,000 of the stadium's seats had views that were "less than desirable"; 20,000 seats were out-dated bench seats that had no back support; 7,000 so called seats were actually poorly constructed temporary bleachers that were installed for football games only.

There was not enough office space for the Orioles or Colts, much less both teams combined. Both teams had to share locker rooms, the upper deck of Memorial Stadium did not circle the field, ending instead at the 50-yard line.

Maryland decided to pull together to save the team in Baltimore, by creating a facility near the inner harbor and call it Camden Yards. The $78 million dollar project would keep all sides happy and keep the teams in Baltimore. Unfortunately, the proposal did not pass Maryland legislature.

Rosenbloom was tired of having to deal with the ultra financial conservative of the city of Baltimore and the rejection of the state to refuse to create bonds to invest in making Memorial Stadium a better place to be. In July of 1972, Rosenbloom decided to make a change of his own.  He decided to agree to let someone else inherit the mess, and made arrangements with Jim Irsay to sell the club.  The agreed deal would be: Irsay would buy the Los Angeles Rams for $19 million then trade the Rams and along with $3 million in cash to Rosenbloom for the Baltimore Colts. The situation never got any better.

In 1974, Irsay still remained patient and believed in the city to get things right. He went on to say "It's not a matter of saying that there will be no stadium. It's a matter of getting the facts together so everybody is happy when they build the stadium. I'm a patient man."

The Colts continued to be successful, as they made the playoffs from 1975-77, even though there was no step forward to making any kind of stadium  improvements. In 1976, Robert Irsay began a trek to shop his team to another location. He visited Arizona and Indianapolis, and also got bids from the Los Angeles Coliseum, and from cities in Tennessee and Florida.

In 1977, Irsay went on to say "I like Baltimore and want to stay there, but when are we going to find out something about our stadium? I'm getting offers from towns like Indianapolis to build me a new stadium and give me other inducements to move there. I don't want to but I'd like to see some action in Baltimore."

Jim Irsay even approached Maryland governor Harry Hughes with a request for $25 million in improvements, which was decreased to $23 million by the legislature. There were improvements in the seats, but the luxury boxes were ignored. The money toward the improvements were based on the Colts and Orioles management signing a long term agreement.  Neither owner decided to sign that long term contract, and as a result the funds never arrived.

Meanwhile, in Indianapolis, the Mayor Richard Lugar and then was proceeded by William Hudnut to make an investment in the city to become a 'Great American City'. The plan was also to attract a major sport team, and in doing so they created the Indiana Sports Corporation in 1979. In 1982, construction of the Hoosier Dome, renamed later to the RCA Dome, began.

In February of 1983, business relationships between Irsay and the city of Baltimore had deteriorated, and Mayor Schaefer asked the Maryland General Assembly to approve renovations, the legislature finally approved a $15 million reconstruction, but half would go towards the Orioles' and at that time the lease had expired on the Colts.

In March of 1983, the NFL owners voted to give Irsay the permission to move where he felt was the best situation for his team. In January of 1984 Mayor Schaefer announced that there would be a new stadium.  Schaefer stated: "We're not going to build a new stadium. We do not have the bonding capacity. We don't have the voters or taxpayer who can support a $60 million stadium. One-third of the people in Baltimore pay taxes. Unless private enterprise builds it, we won't build it."

In March of 1984, the Maryland Senate passed legislation to Baltimore, giving the city the right to seize the Colts through eminent domain.  This move put an extreme amount of pressure on Irsay, and cities such as Phoenix removed their offer. Irsay then called Mayor Hudnut and the city of Indianapolis offered the Colts owner a $12,500,000 loan, a $4,000,000 training complex, and the use of the brand new $77.5 million, 57,980 seat Hoosier Dome. This set a chain of events into motion that would bring about the move.

After the phone call Hudnut called his neighbor and friend, John B. Smith, after the deal was finalized, and Smith happened to be the chief executive officer of Mayflower Transit. Upon direction from Hudnut, Smith sent fifteen Mayflower trucks to Owings Mills, and they arrived at the Colts' facility at 2:00 AM the following morning. The reasoning for the late hour of the move was out of fear that the Maryland House of Delegates would also approve the eminent domain bill the State Senate had, which would have resulted in the team being seized the next morning once Maryland Governor Harry Hughes signed the bill into law. Workers loaded all of the team's belongings and the trucks left for Indianapolis. Within eight hours of the Mayflower trucks' arrival in Owings Mills, the Colts were completely gone from Baltimore. Even though the eminent domain bill got signed by a favor of 103-19, and Governor Hughes signed it into action, it was too late to enforce.

To make it more difficult for Maryland State Police was that each Mayflower van took a different route to Indianapolis, and therefore keeping the state from using their powers to keep the Colts in Baltimore through the newly signed legislation. March 30, 1984 became a proud day for the state of Indiana and the city of Indianapolis as the Colts became an official part of the sports rotation.

In December 1985, a U.S. District Court judge threw out the lawsuit which sought to return the team to Maryland, though the city of Baltimore was allowed to keep the Lombardi trophy for winning Super Bowl V.

The Colts’ final game in Baltimore was played on December 18, 1983 against the Houston Oilers, which they beat Houston 20-10.

Punter Rohn Stark was the last active NFL player who played for the Colts while in Baltimore, retiring after the 1997 season. Stark will also be the only player to play for the Baltimore Colts and against the Baltimore Ravens.



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