The success of the Indianapolis Colts in 2012 will rely on rookie quarterback Andrew Luck. Luck is expected to be a very good player but fans will expect success out of him quickly. The following five factors can lead to a successful season.
Emergence of a Third and Fourth receiver
After Reggie Wayne and Austin Collie, the rest are relatively unknown. The team would certainly like Donnie Avery and rookie T.Y. Hilton to emerge as the next receiving threats. At least one of them will need to have a strong season to keep opposing defenses honest.
Develop chemistry with Reggie Wayne
Wayne is the number one receiver and by far the best and most experienced offensive player on the team. He had a subpar season in 2011, but I think that can be contributed to awful quarterback play. If Luck and Wayne can develop chemistry before the start of the season, Andrew can have his top option early on.
Utilize the tight ends
The team spent two early draft picks this year on tight ends. Coby Fleener and Dwayne Allen should play major roles in the offense and will need to get involved early in the season. Fleener has familiarity with Luck already and should have no problem adapting to the NFL.
Indianapolis fans know the importance of having a healthy quarterback. Luck has no injury history but this should always worry fans to a certain extent. Luck will need to be healthy for the team to be successful this year. Drew Stanton is an adequate back up, but the team will not win games with a backup quarterback.
Strong offensive line play
I'm not as worried about the offensive line as some, but it certainly is a concern. The group will need to vibe quickly to protect the new franchise quarterback. I like the way general manager Ryan Grigson built the line with a veteran presence in free agency. Samson Satele, Winston Justice and Mike McGlynn could all be capable starters for the team this year. Anthony Castonzo and Ben Ijalana will need to have strong second seasons and develop into the players the team hopes they will be.
Kyle Rapoza is a Featured Contributor for the Yahoo! Contributor Network and has been a lifelong fan of the Indianapolis Colts. He attended Super Bowl XLIV in Miami and follows the team closely. He also runs the blog www.coltsfansonline.com that covers the team. Follow him on Twitter @kyler11.