Colts Taking Care of Turnovers


The Colts are currently tied for 5th in the NFL in defensive turnovers with 12. This number includes 6 interceptions and fumbles a piece respectively. It’s only 2 turnovers less than the team in 1st, the New England Patriots  or “the team that shall not be named” rather, who has 14.

Sep 21, 2014; Jacksonville, FL, USA; Indianapolis Colts cornerback Greg Toler (28) is congratulated by linebacker Josh McNary (57) after returning an interception for a touchdown in the fourth quarter of their game against the Jacksonville Jaguars at EverBank Field. The Colts won 44-17. Mandatory Credit: Phil Sears-USA TODAY Sports

It’s not just so much the turnovers themselves though, as it’s what the Colts have done with them. The team is tied for 8th in the NFL in “takeaway points” or points scored immediately following a turnover. They already have an impressive 40 points scored off turnovers. For comparison purposes, the league leading Green Bay Packers have 53 takeaway points.

On the season, they have 12 defensive turnovers and 10 offensive turnovers, resulting in a net win of +2 in the turnover department.

Unfortunately, it’s not always sunny in Indianapolis; however, at least as it relates to turnovers. While the Colts have scored 40 points on “takeaways”, they’ve also given up 42 points on “giveaways”, or offensive turnovers immediately resulting in an opponent scoring. This means the team is actually at a net loss of -2 points in the turnover war, the equivalent of an NFL defensive safety. It’s not a large number, but worth noting regardless.

Still, it shows that the Colts are creating turnovers at an increased rate this season and have become a Top 5 team in that regard currently. The team is averaging 2.0 forced turnovers a game, effectively placing them at 5th (tied) in the NFL. This is a significant improvement from 2013, where they averaged 1.6 forced turnovers a game and ranked 16th in the NFL.

The Colts have 3 defensive players tied with a team high of 2 interceptions: safety Mike Adams and cornerbacks Vontae Davis and Greg Toler. Somewhat surprisingly, special teams gunner and defensive back, Loucheiz Purifoy, leads the team in forced fumbles at 2, although neither one were recovered and thus, ultimately not considered turnovers.

“The team is averaging 2.0 forced turnovers a game, effectively placing them at 5th (tied) in the NFL.”

It’s unclear whether the defense can continue to rack up the turnovers, especially in their upcoming schedule, which isn’t as “AFC South Quarterback Friendly” as the Jaguars, Texans, and Titans feature largely unproven signal callers.

In the next 4 weeks, the Colts play the Bengals (A. Dalton), Steelers (B. Roethlisberger), Giants (E. Manning), and Patriots (T. Brady) in order; a veteran group of polished quarterbacks that generally aren’t as careless with the football. Nevertheless, through the first 6 weeks of the regular season, the Colts have taken care of turnovers.