The Indianapolis Colts will have to clean up some things as they prepare for a playoff run.
With a win over the Jacksonville Jaguars this coming Sunday, the Indianapolis Colts will clinch a playoff spot. If successful it will be Indy’s second-consecutive trip to the postseason and the third appearance in Frank Reich’s four years as coach.
Making the playoffs would be an incredible turnaround from starting the season 1-4, but Indianapolis’ goals are far bigger than just squeezing into the postseason.
Over the second half of the NFL season, Indy has been one of the best teams in the league. Boasting one of the best offenses behind running back Jonathan Taylor and one of the most aggressive defenses, Indianapolis has been able to pick up several big wins.
Despite the success, there have been struggles along the way. Indy is far from a perfect team and it has some obvious vulnerabilities. To be successful in the playoffs, Indianapolis will either have to improve on these things or do a great job of covering them up. Here are the Colts’ 3 biggest weaknesses ahead of the postseason.
Colts struggle in the red zone on offense and defense
Throughout the season, Indianapolis has been underwhelming in the red zone on both sides of the ball. For the offense, that means they frequently settle for field goals instead of finding a way to score a touchdown. For the defense, that means that they struggle to force teams to settle for field goals.
Through 16 games, Indy’s offense has 61 trips to the red zone, only scoring touchdowns on 35 of them. That 57.4% puts the Colts at 20th in the NFL.
Settling for three points when a team is so close to seven makes a huge difference. The four-point difference is monumental in the way games unfold, which was evident in the loss to the Raiders on Sunday.
Meanwhile, Indy’s defense has allowed opposing teams to reach the red zone 48 times and opponents have converted 32 of those trips into touchdowns. That’s a 66.7% that puts the Colts defense at 29th in the NFL.
To be successful in the playoffs, Indianapolis must find ways to score touchdowns instead of field goals and the defense has to stand tall whenever they find their backs against the goal line.