Colts: DeForest Buckner and Justin Houston setting tone for monster defense

Colts pass rushing duo DeForest Buckner and Justin Houston are setting the tone for the team’s dominant defense.

There’s simply no hiding from the fact that the Indianapolis Colts boast one of the NFL’s most dominant defenses through the first four weeks of the season. The group has made massive strides following their horror show against Jacksonville to open the season, allowing a combined 29 points during that span, which is just two more points than the unit conceded in that game.

We won’t go as far as to say that Indy’s defense is the best in the league just yet because it hasn’t exactly squared up against offensive juggernauts. However, their performance over the last three games has been nothing short of spectacular and proves they deserve to be in that conversation.

Though numerous members of the unit deserve credit for its dominance, it goes without saying that defensive lineman duo DeForest Buckner and Justin Houston are setting the tone. Through four games, the former has tallied 18 tackles (10 solo), eight quarterback hits and 1.5 sacks.

The latter, meanwhile has logged nine tackles (seven solo), five QB hits and 3.5 sacks, which is tied for third in the entire NFL.

Those numbers are ridiculous and they (somehow) look more impressive when you take the Colts’ alarmingly low blitz rate into consideration. According to Pro Football Reference, Indy ranks 31st in the league with an 8.0% blitz percentage on defensive snaps.

The numbers certainly don’t add up, but the Colts D ranks eighth in the league in terms of QB hurries per drop back and 13th in knockdowns per pass attempt. That just speaks to the havoc that Buckner and Houston have been wreaking up front through the first month of the season, and there’s been no evidence to suggest that they’ll slow down anytime soon.

Their disruptiveness has only lessened the pressure on the Colts’ linebacking corps and secondary, the latter of which is dominating despite not being close to full strength.

Don’t get it twisted, folks: Indianapolis’ winning formula is exhausting opposing defenses by running the football and playing stifling defense. Objectively speaking, the only flaw we see on this team right now is the offense’s inability to score touchdowns once it enters the red zone.