This article is part of our Team Previews series.
By Justin Mertes-Mistretta
STATE OF THE FRANCHISE
Injuries struck the Colts big-time in 2010, especially at the skill positions. Joseph Addai, Dallas Clark and Austin Collie each missed at least seven games over the course of the season. With no running back really stepping up in place of Addai, Peyton Manning was forced to throw the ball a career-high 679 times. Jacob Tamme filled in admirably for Dallas Clark, catching 67 balls for 631 yards and four touchdowns. Reggie Wayne also hauled in a career-high in receptions (111) for the second-highest yardage total of his career (1,355).
On the other side of the ball, defensive ends Dwight Freeney and Robert Mathis wreaked havoc on opposing quarterbacks, producing 21 of the teams' 30 sacks. With a lack of playmakers surrounding the two defensive ends, the Colts finished tied for the second-fewest interceptions in the NFL. With the inability to create turnovers and the lack of an effective run defense, teams were able to manage the clock and keep Manning off the field, which is exactly what the New York Jets did to eliminate the Colts in the first round of the 2010 playoffs.
Despite losing Clint Session, the Colts addressed their defensive line needs, signing Tommie Harris, Jamaal Anderson and Tyler Brayton. They also have a pair of young, talented cornerbacks in Jarraud Powers and Jacob Lacey, but they rely more on their defensive line, mainly Freeney and Mathis, to apply pressure and