But with the regular season quickly approaching NFL analysts and experts at The Athletic and NFL.com released their final projections for the 2022 season. About three-quarters of the experts at The Athletic predicted the Colts to win the AFC South.
Furthermore, the Colts were one of just eight teams picked to win the Super Bowl by analysts at NFL.com.
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Colts Predicted to Win AFC South
A total of 43 experts from The Athletic predicted the winner of all eight NFL divisions. Of those 43 experts, 32 of them (74.4%) picked the Colts to win the AFC South.
“Our experts are big believers in Matt Ryan and Indianapolis’ ability to revive itself after losing to the Jaguars in the last game of the regular season and missing out on a playoff spot,” The Athletic NFL staff wrote. “The Colts were one of the most unlucky teams last year in the NFL. They had the seventh-best point differential but somehow only won nine games. That could be explained by losing five of their seven one-score games in 2021.”
The other 11 experts all picked the Tennessee Titans to win the division. The Jacksonville Jaguars and Houston Texans did not receive any votes.
“Tennessee went 6-2 in one-score games last year, and that’s after finishing 7-2 in one-score games in 2020. That’s an impressive record, but will it keep up? Teams usually regress to the mean in one-score games, and this might be the year the Titans’ luck runs out.
“The Athletic’s NFL model gives the Colts a 64.1% chance to win the division while the Titans sit at 30.1. The Jaguars and Texans combine for less than a 6% chance.”
In the NFC, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers were also a unanimous choice to win their division. Other than the Bills and Buccaneers, only the Green Bay Packers and Los Angeles Rams received more votes to win their division than the Colts.
Colts Among Teams Picked to Win Super Bowl
The experts at The Athletic and analysts at NFL.com are in near agreement. Of the 25 NFL.com analysts who picked a Super Bowl winner, 12 of them selected the Bills and three of them chose the Buccaneers.
The Los Angeles Chargers were the only other team with multiple NFL.com analysts picking them to win the Super Bowl. The Chargers received five votes, which was second only to the Bills.
While Indianapolis didn’t get multiple votes like those three teams, the Colts were one of five teams to receive one vote to win the Super Bowl.
“Matt Ryan breathes life into Indy’s passing game and exorcises Super Bowl demons while the Colts’ defensive front swarms the Rams for a convincing title triumph,” wrote NFL analyst Lance Zierlein.