The Colts fell in their season opener yesterday 34-23. In that loss, the defense gave up 17 points in the second half and couldn’t hold the lead. Here are the grades for each defensive unit.
Defense has always been an issue in Indianapolis. The Colts have always relied on getting a lead early and then being able to rush the passer. They had that early lead on Sunday, but they blew it yet again. The defense is largely to blame for that. Here is how each unit did.
The defensive line did have some good moments. Margus Hunt had two sacks and looked dominant doing so against his former team. They pushed the pocket around and made Andy Dalton move a little bit. On his first pass they pushed the center into him and forced a pick. But they didn’t get enough sacks to make a difference and got pushed around in the run game. They didn’t consistently win the line of scrimmage.
Darius Leonard was all over the field and even recovered a fumble. But other than his bright spots, this unit was a complete mess. The Bengals consistently ran through the Colts linebackers on the ground. In coverage, the backers looked lost. This is a unit that was a big question mark coming into the season and it will continue to be moving forward.
The secondary looked good early. Kenny Moore got an early interception, and Matthias Farley forced an A.J Green fumble. If the game ended after the first half, they would have gotten an A grade. But then the second half happened. The consistently broke coverage and allowed receivers to get open in key spots. They allowed Dalton to bring the Bengals back into the game and ultimately take the lead.
The is going to be an issue all year long. That was known coming into the season. But they have to be a little bit better to give the offense a chance to win the game.