Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports

Indianapolis Colts: What went right, what went wrong

— The Sports Xchange —

The Indianapolis Colts couldn’t seem to get out of their own way during the 2017 regular season.

Indianapolis finished with a 4-12 record and wound up with a third-place finish in the AFC South thanks to sweeping the series with division-rival Houston.

It was the Colts’ worst record since 2011, when the team finished with a 2-14 mark. Indianapolis will now have the third overall pick in the 2018 draft.

Injuries once again played havoc with the Colts roster as the team wound up with 17 players on the reserved/injured list by the end of the season.

That list included quite a few key starters, including quarterback Andrew Luck, running back Robert Turbin, rookie safety (and first-round pick) Malik Hooker, cornerback Pierre Desir, outside linebacker John Simon, inside linebacker Jon Bostic, guard Jack Mewhort, center Ryan Kelly and defensive end Henry Anderson.

Other starters, like wide receiver Donte Moncrief, cornerback Rashaan Melvin and tackle Denzelle Good, missed significant playing time.

Still, despite the health issues and the uncertainty of who was going to be able to play each week, the Colts were able to be competitive most of the season.

Indianapolis certainly had its chances to win games. But the Colts failed to hold the lead in five games during the 2017 regular season. That was two more than any other team in the league.

Consistency of effort was good for the most part. Finishing out games was the biggest on-field problem.

WHAT WENT RIGHT: The Colts’ defensive line finally started to take shape in 2017, thanks largely to the addition of a pair of free agents – defensive tackle Johnathan Hankins and nose tackle Al Woods – along with the return of defensive end Henry Anderson. Throw in the continued development of defensive tackle Hassan Ridgeway and the addition of rookie defensive tackle Grover Stewart and Indianapolis has some nice building blocks to work with.

WHAT WENT WRONG: Not having quarterback Andrew Luck available for the entire season. Team officials had hoped that backup quarterback Scott Tolzien could hold down the fort until Luck returned at some point. But Tolzien struggled badly in his only start of the season and Luck never made it back to the practice field on a regular basis. Quarterback Jacoby Brissett arrived just before the start of the regular season in a trade from the New England Patriots and was forced to play catch-up the rest of the way.