The Colts defense was a huge question mark in 2019. In 2020, it still remains a big question.
One of the big questions going into the 2019 season was how the Colts defense would perform following the above-average campaign in 2018. The team ranked 7th in run defense and 16th in pass defense (overall defensive ranking of 11th).
This was largely due to the stellar play of rookie LB Darius Leonard, who totaled 163 tackles on his way to being awarded the NFL’s Defensive Rookie of the Year.
2019 fell far short of what was achieved the year prior. The run defense was the only bright spot, ranking 7th for the second year in a row behind one of the league’s best young LB trios — Leonard, Anthony Walker, and Bobby Okereke.
The front seven had major struggles getting to the QB during the second half of the season, however, and the pass defense was well below standard. The secondary finished with the 7th-most interceptions (15) but gave up the 9th-most touchdowns (29).
The 2019 rookie secondary class on the was heavily depended on. CB Rock Ya-Sin played 82 percent of defensive snaps in 15 games and allowed a 109.2 QBR against opposing QBs while giving them a 69.7 percent completion rate.
Safety Khari Willis took the starting role opposite of Malik Hooker and struggled to gain chemistry as a pair. Willis allowed an 83.8 percent completion rate and a QBR of 124. It’ll be key for the two rookie DB to improve as they maintain their large roles on defense.
Here’s a breakdown of every Colts defensive position groups and which ones will improve, stay the same, or worsen in 2020.