It may have taken the better half of the regular season, but Indianapolis Colts pass rusher Trent Cole is finally starting to show some signs of serious life with his new team.
The 11-year veteran was signed to a 2-year, $16 million dollar contract this past season to boost the team’s pass rush, but failed to record a sack until Week 12 of this year’s regular season. However, he now has 2 sacks in his past 3 games.
Nov 29, 2015; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Indianapolis Colts tight linebacker Trent Cole (58) reacts to sacking Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Jameis Winston (3) at Lucas Oil Stadium. Indianapolis defeats Tampa Bay 25-12. Mandatory Credit: Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports
According to ProFootballFocus (subscription), Cole is coming off his best game of the regular season for the Colts, as he received a +4.7 grade overall against the Jacksonville Jaguars.
His biggest play of the afternoon came on a strip-sack of Jaguars quarterback Blake Bortles. However, he also recorded 5 tackles and an additional QB hurry on the afternoon.
With the Colts in desperate need of some resemblance of a pass rush, Cole may be coming alive right in time for the team’s late season playoff push.
The Colts pass rushing hopes will likely heavily fall upon both him and another veteran Robert Mathis‘ shoulders from here on out. Here’s hoping the two veterans still have enough left in the tank to deliver.
The 33 year old Cole has now received a positive grade in 3 of his last 4 games with the Colts per ProFootballFocus. In fact, the increasingly popular advanced grade web site now has Cole as the 19th best ranked 3-4 outside linebacker in pass rush with a +5.8 pass rush grade overall. He’s one spot below the Cleveland Browns Paul Kruger and one spot ahead of the Green Bay Packers Julius Peppers for pass rushers respectively.
Simply put, the Colts desperately need Cole to continue to come alive to generate a pass rush. Heading into Week 15, the defense is tied for 28th in sacks with just 22 total sacks on the season. That has to change if the Colts are serious about making the playoffs and possibly even a deep postseason run.