1. Colts’ defense looked really good
The Indianapolis defense had been the better unit for Indy through the first two weeks but even they were struggling. With Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs in town, many assumed it would be a long day for the defense. However, Indianapolis came alive defensively and looked a lot like the defense many expected it would be.
Kansas City came in averaging 35.5 points a game and the Colts limited them to just 17 points. Indy absolutely shut down the run game and found ways to frustrate Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs’ passing attack. Mahomes ultimately completed 20-of-35 passes for 262 yards, one touchdown, and one interception.
Two of the most encouraging signs for the Indianapolis defense are that there was a visible, and constant, pass rush and that Indy could get off the field on third down. Kansas City was only able to convert 3-of-10 third downs. A massive improvement for an Indianapolis defense that allowed Jacksonville to convert 6-of-15 and Houston to convert 5-of-15.
Although there was only one sack, thanks to Yannick Ngakoue, Indy’s defensive line often found themselves in the backfield and was able to pressure Mahomes and move him outside the pocket. Indy had five total quarterback hits on Sunday.
If the defense can continue to play at this level and gradually improve, the Colts have a really good chance at turning this season around. A great defense can take a team really far and it can also give a team time to improve its offense. That’s the challenge that Indianapolis is facing right now. If the offense can catch up to the defense, the Colts could be a quality team.