Indianapolis Colts: Schedule, record prediction, X-factors for 2021 NFL season

NFL Power Rankings. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports
NFL Power Rankings. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports /
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Indianapolis Colts
Indianapolis Colts, Carson Wentz. Mandatory Credit: USA Today Sports/The Indianapolis Star /

The Indianapolis Colts took a gamble at quarterback and, with their roster-building, are looking to challenge for the AFC South in the 2021 season again.

The Indianapolis Colts played the Carson Wentz trade interest perfectly. General manager Chris Ballard wasn’t willing to part with more capital than he was comfortable with. His ending in Philadelphia was unceremonious but the Colts embraced him with open arms on Feb. 18 after watching Philip Rivers retire following his one year with the team.

Elsewhere in the 2021 offseason, the Colts retained T.Y. Hilton but, unfortunately, he’s dealing with a neck/back injury that will sideline him early in the year indefinitely. Outside of that, the Colts were relatively quiet in free agency, focusing more on the draft.

They put a focus on defense there, landing Kwity Paye in the first round and double-dipping with Dayo Odeyingbo in the second.

What else did the Indianapolis Colts accomplish in the 2021 offseason?

What’s more, Indianapolis aimed to keep their offensive line strong. They replaced retiring left tackle Anthony Castonzo with veteran Eric Fisher, who’s returning from a torn Achilles. They also bolstered the line with the acquisition of guard Matt Pryor from the Eagles.

The Colts also extended star linebacker Darius Leonard, right tackle Braden Smith and pass-catching running back Nyheim Hines.

So where does that leave the Indianapolis Colts for the 2021 season? We’re previewing the year with game-by-game predictions for their schedule and a look at the X-factors on the roster.