The Indianapolis Colts’ young defense will carry the offense in 2021
By Daniel Davis
The Indianapolis Colts defeated the Minnesota Vikings 12-10 after a lackluster performance from the offense.
Absent Carson Wentz and a few starting offensive linemen, the Indianapolis Colts‘ offense looked less than thrilling against a relatively good defense Saturday night. However, one bright spot was the depth of the defensive players who still performed well even against the first-team offense of the Minnesota Vikings.
What’s clear is the young defense will be carrying the offense in some way this upcoming season.
Kwity Paye made his debut and logged a sack against the Vikings starters, showing promise as he ran with the first-team defense. Paye plowed through the left tackle Rashod Hill and slammed Kirk Cousins to the ground as the entire Colts sideline cheered him on.
Ben Banogu also stood out and was surprisingly all over the field making plays for the few drives he was called upon. He finished with two tackles but was shedding blocks and was constantly around the ball as this defense swarmed to the ball. The former second-round pick finished with six total pressures, five hurries and one hit, potentially cementing himself as part of the roster for 2021 despite the question marks that engulfed him in 2020.
Although Matt Eberflus was away from the team due to COVID-19 protocols, the defense didn’t miss a beat. They were fast, hit hard, and followed the ball efficiently. The Colts have built a defense that is able to carry an offense that could be in need of some help since it’s unclear how effective Wentz will be after a career-worst season coupled with a banged up offensive line that could hurt the team for all of September.
Throw in the likes of Zaire Franklin (25 years old), who’s been impressive this summer, Khari Willis (25), Bobby Okereke (25), Julian Blackmon (22) and Kenny Moore (25), and you’ve got yourself a young, impactful unit that’s looking to build off a successful 2020 season. And if the pass rush manages to not miss a beat after the departures of Justin Houston and Denico Autry, then this could be one of the most dominant defenses in the entire league.
In 2021, it’s clear the Indianapolis Colts’ defense will be the focal point of success that will help support a strong rushing attack and a veteran quarterback looking to rediscover his footing.