News & Analysis

Indianapolis Colts 2018 Season Recap

By PFF Analysis Team
Mar 4, 2019

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Nov 25, 2018; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Indianapolis Colts quarterback Andrew Luck (12) makes hand signals at the line of scrimmage against the Miami Dolphins during the third quarter at Lucas Oil Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

During the NFL season, our team of 300-plus staff spend around 20,000 man-hours grading and analyzing every play of the NFL season, from the kickoff in the Hall of Fame game to the final play of the Super Bowl.

Now that the 2018 season is officially in the books, we can now take a look back at the season through the eyes of each NFL team and using the grades and statistics that we have compiled, we and detail what went right, what went wrong, and explain what that team has to look forward to.

Below is the 2018 season recap for the Indianapolis Colts.

Overview

The Indianapolis Colts returned to the playoffs with a wild-card berth and a win against their division rival Houston Texans before losing to the Kansas City Chiefs in the divisional round.

What went right?
  • Andrew Luck earned the PFF comeback player of the year award finishing with a career-high 91.0 overall grade. It marks the second straight healthy season for Luck that saw him finish at No. 3 in the regular-season grading, as he graded at 90.4 in 2016.

  • T.Y. Hilton proved once again to be not only a deep threat but also one of the league’s top all-around wide receivers, finishing with the No. 10 grade in the league during the regular season at 86.6 overall.
  • Rookie linebacker Darius Leonard‘s play was spectacular, leading the team with his 82.0 overall grade and above-average grades in every facet of play for a linebacker.
  • The offensive line made a massive improvement, as Quenton Nelson and Braden Smith performed well and left tackle Anthony Castonzo posted a strong 80.7 pass-blocking grade. The offensive line improvement was certainly aided by the quickest time to throw of Andrew Luck’s career (2.44 seconds). 

What went wrong?
  • The pass rush did little, posting the fourth-worst grade in the league at only 64.0. Rookie edge defender Kemoko Turay had the highest pass-rush grade in the front-seven at only 67.3.

  • CB Nate Hairston struggled in his 10 games, allowing a passer rating of 139.2 into his coverage.

  • The No. 2 wide receiver spot opposite Hilton was an issue, as four receivers saw at least 350 snaps during the regular season with Dontrelle Inman posting the top grade at only 67.8.

Highest-graded offensive player

QB Andrew Luck – 91.0

Luck was the highest-graded player on the offensive side of the ball, and he finished with the eighth-best grade in the league from a clean pocket, No. 9 when under pressure, and No. 3 on third down.

Highest-graded Defensive player

LB Darius Leonard – 82.0

Leonard posted the top defensive grade, and he doubles as the team’s breakout player, ranking third among NFL linebackers with 56 stops to go with seven sacks, two interceptions, and six pass breakups as he lit up the stat sheet as a rookie.

Key rookie

The other key rookie was first-round guard Quenton Nelson, who finished with the No. 6 overall grade among guards. After a slow start, he allowed just 10 pressures over the last 11 games of the season.

In conclusion

The Colts earned a wild-card spot due to Andrew Luck’s return and a strong early return on their 2018 draft class. The first year under Head Coach Frank Reich was a success, and it should bring hope back to Colts fans moving forward.

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