The Colts started out this season at 1-5 and not looking like a good team. But then things turned around. The reason? Good play in the trenches.
Good teams in the NFL have good offensive and defensive lines. Getting a push at the line of scrimmage is paramount for success. The Colts did not have that early in the season. But that all changed a couple of months ago, and now they are rolling.
Protecting Andrew Luck was the number one priority for Chris Ballard this season. He went to work in the draft to accomplish that goal. He got Quenton Nelson and Braden Smith, who are now starters. Both rookies have been great this year.
But Ballard also wanted to improve the defensive line too. He drafted Tyquan Lewis, who just had his first two NFL sacks last week. He also went and got Denico Autry in the offseason. Autry has been a man on a mission the last few weeks and has been killing it.
Ever since that 1-5 start, the trenches on both sides of the ball have really been playing outstanding football. The offensive line has opened up holes in the running game and protecting the quarterback. The defensive line has been shutting down runners and pushing the pocket.
Play in the trenches takes work. And once you start playing well in that area, it doesn’t go away very quickly. The Colts should be able to keep rolling with both lines. And if they do, they won’t be beaten because of how explosive the offense can be.
This type of improvement wasn’t expected this season. Everyone thought that the improvement would be next year. But now that they have exceeded expectations, it’s time to create new ones. And that should be to make the playoffs this season.