The Colts Have to do Better on Third Down
The Colts were not good on third down this past season on either side of the ball. If they want to win more games, they need to improve a lot on third down.
Good teams do well on the most important down in football. That down would be third down. Most teams that progress deep into the postseason are able to convert on third down on offense and stop other teams from converting on defense.
The Colts were not in the postseason this year, and you can point to third downs as a major reason why. They were bad on both sides of the ball on that down. On offense, they only converted on 38.2% of their third down attempts. That was only good enough for 18th in the league.
While they were league average on offense on third down, they were abysmal on defense. Of all 32 teams, only the Tampa Bay Buccaneers were worse at getting off the field on third down. The Colts allowed teams to covert 44.7% of their third down attempts.
When you are slightly below average at converting on third down on offense, you can’t be that bad on defense. The Colts will need to significantly improve that stat if they want to win more games. Indy needs to get off the field on third down.
The main issue with not stopping the other team is obvious; your team doesn’t get the ball. But it’s also an issue if the team keeps converting on third down and then eventually has to punt. That’s because it gives your own offense bad field position and that hurts your chances of scoring.
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The Colts should be able to improve on the offensive side because they will have Andrew Luck back. But the defense needs to get off the field sooner if the team wants to succeed.