Colts defense one of league’s big surprises
The Colts were dreadful on defense last year, ranking near the bottom of every statistical category. But this year, they have exceeded expectations.
Stats don’t tell the whole story in sports. They may indicate one thing while reality indicates another. Last year though, stats didn’t lie. The Colts had a terrible defense. This year though, things are different and stats might not tell everything.
Through the first 6 weeks, the Colts are 24th in total defense. That’s the bottom fourth of the league. You might not think that’s very good. It’s not. But that stat comes with other stats that help tell the whole story of the 2018 Colts defense.
The Colts are 16th in rush yards per game, allowing about 107 yards per contest. That is better than Colts teams of the past, who have had issues stopping the run. It’s the pass defense that is now causing issues, but there are factors that can explain that.
This defense has been ravaged by injuries. They have been missing people in the secondary, and that has killed them. They also were without their best defensive player Darius Leonard, who leads the league in tackles, against the Patriots. That team has the tendency to put up a lot of yards.
The Colts are tied for third in the league with the most interceptions, and are in the top 10 in total takeaways. That tells you that the defense is giving the offense a chance to succeed. But the offense hasn’t done a good job of converting these opportunities.
Watching this team tells you that the defense isn’t the reason they have been losing games. It’s been the offense putting them in bad situations and not cashing in on their own opportunities. But the Colts might have finally found a defense they can be proud of.