> SOUTHERN INDIANA —
1. How many games do you think the Colts will win?
Braden Lammers, News Reporter: “The Colts will win four games, because they play in the AFC South and getting to face the Jaguars and Titans twice improves their chances. The Cleveland Browns and Miami Dolphins are also on the Colts’ schedule and even with a rookie quarterback they should come away with wins.”
Chris Morris, Assistant Editor: “People think because they were impressive in their preseason opener that they will have a great year. They have so many new faces and young players. There will be some growing pains. I think, when it’s all said and done, the Colts will finish the year 6-10. I also think Andrew Luck will have a solid rookie season.”
Kelly Wells, Legals: “I think the Colts will be lucky if they win one game. I believe they should have been a bit more patient with Peyton Manning and kept him another year. Luck’s not gonna be what they hoped for. I’m for the Denver Broncos this year.”
Mike Riley, Sports correspondent: “Four. Anything over that with a team facing almost a complete overhaul should be considered a success.”
Jon Reiter: “I’d put the Colts at 5-11. They showed a little more than expected in their preseason game against the Rams on Sunday. They have some pretty winnable games at home and overall the AFC South isn’t exactly a murderer’s row.”
Shea Van Hoy, Editor: “Six, primarily because they play in a weak division.”
2. Which team will be the surprise of the NFC and the AFC?
Reiter: “I’d look out for Tampa Bay. They were awful last season, but Josh Freeman is a good quarterback, and the addition of Vincent Jackson gives him someone to throw the ball to. In the AFC, it’s Buffalo. Love their defense. With the addition of defensive end Mario Williams, it just gets stronger.”
Mike Hutsell, Sales Representative: “Indy in the AFC because everybody has them pegged for being awful. Washington in the NFC because their defense is legit and their offense can take a big step up with a talent like Robert Griffin III.”
Matt Koesters, News Reporter: “On the NFC side, keep an eye on the Bears. Chicago was overshadowed by Green Bay and Detroit last year, but the reunion of Jay Cutler with Brandon Marshall and the addition of Alshon Jeffrey will be a big boost to a team that hasn’t had a legitimate receiving threat in years. In the AFC, watch out for the Bills. Buffalo may be the least sexy team in the AFC East from a media standpoint. But the additions it made on defense during the offseason makes it a team to watch.”
Lammers: “Beware of the Kansas City Chiefs. With a revitalized running game in a weak division, they could be the surprise playoff team coming out of the AFC West. In the NFC, the Chicago Bears could surprise some teams. They finally have a receiver on their roster that doesn’t double as a corner/return specialist. That takes a lot of pressure off an always stout defense and a solid running game.”
3. Which teams do you think are overrated in the NFC and AFC?
Mike Reschke, Copy editor: “In the NFC, the Philadelphia Eagles. I think it’s going to be just like last season. All this talk about all the talent they have and then all this talk about how they’re not winning despite all their talent. In the AFC, the New England Patriots. I don’t think they’ll be bad, but I don’t see them going as far as they did last season. They’ve been good for so long. I just think [and hope] their time has passed.”
Hutsell: “NFC: San Francisco. The defense may be the best in the NFL but Alex Smith is still their quarterback. AFC: Baltimore. The defense is aging, the [offensive line] isn’t the best and that could hamper their best playmaker [Ray Rice]. Joe Flacco does nothing for me and his receivers are either past their prime or not quite at their prime.
Lammers: “The New York Jets are overrated. A lot of hype surrounds the team and there are always high expectations. But the team is like a Jerry Bruckheimer movie. There is a lot of action, but no substance and at the end you’ve wasted more than two hours watching something you wish you had never been forced to see. While they may make the playoffs again, the Dallas Cowboys are also overrated until they win a playoff game.”
Reiter: “NFC: San Francisco. Just look like one-year wonders to me. AFC: the Jets. What a train wreck!”
4. Who will have a more successful rookie season, Indy’s Andrew Luck or Robert Griffin III of the Redskins (and why)?
Van Hoy: “I think both will have very good years, with Griffin III putting up some big stats, but also throwing a lot of picks. I think by week three or four, even Colts fans who lamented the loss of Peyton Manning will realize Jim Irsay made the right move.”
Lammers: “Robert Griffin III will have a better rookie season, because when he gets in trouble and can’t throw, he will be able to use his athletic ability to continue to move the ball down the field.”
Riley: “I think that Luck will put up better numbers. But that necessarily doesn’t translate into more wins.”
Koesters: “It’s a tough call, but I’ll take Luck. Both of them looked good in their first preseason games, but Luck did the little things that it takes to really keep a defense on its heels.”
Hutsell: “They’ll both post great numbers, but I think Griffin could lead his team to a playoff berth.”
Reschke: “It’s a toss-up. I would have said Robert Griffin III, but it seems like Andrew Luck was pretty sharp during the first preseason game. I still think Griffin might have a better rookie season because he has the edge athletically, and I see him making something out of nothing when a play breaks down. But I think that athleticism will be his undoing in the long run as teams learn what to expect from him and the NFL begins to take it’s toll on his body. I think Luck may not have the best rookie season, but I think overall, as his skills develop, he will surpass Griffin.”
> SOUTHERN INDIANA —
1. How many games do you think the Colts will win?
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