Colts Have the Oldest Defense in the NFL


The Indianapolis Colts spent the offseason stocking up on veteran talent and while they won’t publicly say it, this season in Super Bowl-or-Bust. While it never hurts to get players with more experience, the Colts appeared to build a roster of the best players from 2010.

Dec 7, 2014; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Philadelphia Eagles outside linebacker

Trent Cole

(58) celebrates a tackle against the Seattle Seahawks during the first half at Lincoln Financial Field. Mandatory Credit: Jeffrey G. Pittenger-USA TODAY Sports

The moves made on the offensive side of the ball have so far overshadowed the signings on defense. To recap, the Colts signed outside linebacker Trent Cole, defensive end Kendall Langford, safety Dwight Lowery, and re-signed safety Mike Adams.

Over at ESPN, Aaron Schatz has used Football Outsiders advanced stats to analyze which teams are built to win this season. The metric used weights those players who played more snaps throughout the season.

So what did Schatz come up with? The Colts not only had the oldest defense in the NFL in 2014, but they managed to get slightly older heading into 2015. They also added veteran players, like Cole, who will take snaps away from some of the younger players, such as Bjoern Werner (but he was already doing that on his own).

"Our projections have the Colts playing only three defenders under 27 for at least 30 percent of snaps, and none for more than 50 percent: nose tackle Josh Chapman (26), pass rusher Jonathan Newsome (24) and third-round rookie cornerback D’Joun Smith (23)."

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This kind of roster building isn’t going to be sustainable for the Colts, especially after they pay Andrew Luck. Once the 2012 draft class is paid, the Colts will be forced to build through the draft, much like they did throughout the Manning-era under Bill Polian.

However, getting older in the short term isn’t a problem. Sure it will be an issue in two or three years, but the NFL is the definition of a “win now” league. A rebuild shouldn’t take more than a season (with the right players) and the Colts have proven you can go from first pick in the draft to a playoff berth in a year.

If ever the Colts were to win a championship, this is the team to do it with and the window for a lot of these players is closing quickly.