Ultimate Standings: Playoff runs, bang for the buck boost Colts

AP Photo/Michael Conroy

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Indianapolis Colts

Overall: 11
Title track: 13
Ownership: 57
Coaching: 36
Players: 15
Fan relations: 24
Affordability: 44
Stadium experience: 17
Bang for the buck: 6
Change from last year: +2

The Colts are considered a small-market franchise, but here they sit 11th overall (up from 13th in 2014), well ahead of heavyweight franchises such as the Cowboys (67th) and the Lakers (101st). Not bad for a flyover state, eh?

What's good

Indianapolis features one of the top quarterbacks in the NFL in Andrew Luck. The 26-year-old is surrounded by talented players -- hence the sustained No. 15 players ranking -- such as receiver T.Y. Hilton and tight ends Dwayne Allen and Coby Fleener, who, like Luck, were all part of the Colts' 2012 draft class. All the Colts have done with that group is, well, win. Three straight seasons with 11 victories. Three straight playoff appearances. And back-to-back undefeated seasons in the AFC South.

What's bad

Colts coach Chuck Pagano (No. 36, down 15 spots from 2014) arrived in Indianapolis in 2012 with a reputation for producing stout defenses. Three years later, everybody is still waiting for the Colts to put an elite defense on the field. The Colts finished 11th in the league in overall defense last season, but the glaring struggle is stopping teams from running against them -- Indy was just 18th in rush defense. The only way the Colts will improve upon their already high title track ranking (No. 13) is to figure out a way to put together a defense that's on par with their offense. The Colts' lowest showing came in ownership: Jim Irsay ranked 57th for the second straight year, perhaps staying stagnant due to his legal troubles and suspension last year.

What's new

The Colts' biggest improvement this year came in bang for the buck, where a No. 6 ranking (up 13 places) is their best showing. Ticket prices didn't increase at all this year despite the team's continued success, and the prices still hover right around the league average -- not bad for a franchise that will almost certainly make a fourth straight playoff run as long as Luck is taking the snaps from center. (It doesn't hurt that they play in the AFC South, the division many consider the worst in the NFL.) After acquiring veterans Frank Gore and Andre Johnson, Irsay said this is the most talented roster the Colts have had since selecting Luck in 2012 and that he couldn't remember a more anticipated season than this one.

Next: Baltimore Ravens | Full rankings