June 17, 2024
The Indianapolis Colts Surprised Many People In The 2023 Season, But There Are Three Players Who Need To Improve In 2024.

The Indianapolis Colts finished the 2023 season at 9-8. For a team that was projected to win six games, they vastly overachieved expectations and almost won their division. The hope is that Indy will improve upon last season and make a push in the playoffs in 2024. For this feat to come to fruition, three players need to improve from their lackluster 2023 performance and step up for the Indianapolis Colts.

After a Disappointing 2023 Season, These Three Players Must Improve for the Indianapolis Colts

Defensive End, Kwity Paye

The Colts drafted Kwity Paye in the first round of the 2021 NFL Draft. After completing his third year in the league, Paye has put up a total of 18.5 sacks, 77 QB pressures, and 80 solo tackles. The hope for Paye is that he could be a prolific pass rusher. Unfortunately, he has not played up to that level since being drafted. The good news for Paye is that he has improved his numbers and productivity every season. The only thing left to see is if Paye can explode and get into the 10+ sack range each season.

Paye will be at the end of his rookie deal in 2024. If he wants an extension, the Indianapolis Colts will need him to improve quicker than how he’s been improving. Robert Mathis was the last prolific pass rusher that the Colts had on their roster, and he retired in 2016. This is not to say that Paye needs to be the next Mathis, but having less than 10 sacks each season for three years is not the kind of production the Colts need.

Wide Receiver, Alec Pierce

Second-year wide receiver Alec Pierce underperformed in the 2023 season. The expectation for Pierce was that he would be a complimentary piece to Michael Pittman Jr. Unfortunately, he did not accomplish that and struggled with productivity. Pierce finished with only 32 receptions on 65 targets. However, a case could be made that his lackluster season was due to Gardner Minshew at quarterback. Anthony Richardson will be back healthy for the team in 2024, so Pierce will have a chance to showcase his big-play ability with a prolific down-the-field passer. Regardless of if the Colts pick up a big-name free agent at wide receiver, Pierce will be called upon to step up. He has all the traits to be a down-the-field threat and is primed for a breakout season.

Safety, Rodney Thomas II

Alec Pierce, Colts wide receiver

Rodney Thomas came into this league as a gem that the Colts stole in the seventh round of the 2022 NFL Draft. In his rookie year, he had four interceptions, four pass breakups, 33 solo tackles, and only 10 receptions allowed. Entering year two as the starter, Thomas’s numbers dipped quite a bit. He was also benched during a game of huge playoff implications against the Las Vegas Raiders. The secondary had many issues in 2023, so having a promising young safety take a step back made things worse. Thomas will get another opportunity to be a starting safety in 2024. However, he must improve and be the player the Indianapolis Colts had in 2022.

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