Colts: Russell Wilson dominating despite being under pressure is bad news for secondary
By Jerry Trotta
Looking at their early-season schedule, the Indianapolis Colts desperately needed to start off the year with a win over Seattle at home.
Outside of the Colts’ convincing opening drive, which stalled out and resulted in a field goal, the Seahawks thoroughly dominated.
When the dust settled, Russell Wilson and Co. hung 28 points up on the Colts’ highly-hyped defense. To be fair, the pass rush came to play, as they sacked Wilson three times and really generated consistent pressure.
Indy’s secondary, however, was an entirely different story.
Per Next Gen Stats, the Colts pressured Wilson on 46.2% of his dropbacks. When faced with pressure, Wilson finished an absurd 5-of-9 for 68 yards and three touchdowns.
The graphic is truly mind-boggling.
Russell Wilson dominating under pressure in Week 1 is a bad sign for the Colts’ secondary.
That’s not what fans were hoping for. With or without Xavier Rhodes, the secondary needs to perform better. The front seven undoubtedly won the battle in the trenches by registering nine pressures, but you need a complete performance by all levels of the defense when facing a QB of Wilson’s prestige.
After all, Wilson oftentimes looked more comfortable when faced with pressure. The seven-time Pro Bowler is at his most dangerous when he eludes a rusher or two and escapes the pocket to throw on the run.
You know what’s especially concerning for the Colts? Wilson was literally unstoppable when targeting the middle third of the field! He wasn’t even scrambling and making magic happen. Per Next Gen Stats, he went 6-for-6 for 134 yards and all threw four of his touchdowns in those situations.
Was Indy too fixated on winning along the boundaries without Rhodes? Or did the Seahawks gameplan to attack what might be a newfound weakness in the Colts’ defensive scheme? Maybe it’s a little bit of both. What we do know, though, is that this isn’t sustainable, regardless of who’s on the field.
We hate to pile on here, but Matt Eberflus doesn’t have much time to find a solution. Against a lesser offense, maybe, but the Rams are coming to town this week after they trounced the Bears 34-14 in primetime on Sunday night.
The last time we checked, Chicago has an elite defense, and Stafford threw for 320 yards and three touchdowns against them without even breaking a sweat.
Forget about Aaron Donald (it’s just a figure of speech!); if the Colts’ secondary can’t get off the field even when the front seven is handling its business in the trenches, Indy’s season could be over before the end of October.