As the Indianapolis Colts have struggled to find their way this season, the run defense has been setting the tone for the team.
Entering the season, the Indianapolis Colts were expected to have a dominant defense. With numerous stars at every level, many wondered if Indy could be an all-time stifling defense. Through three games, the Colts haven’t really been a shutdown defense, but they have been pretty solid.
They’re coming off their best game after limiting the Kansas City Chiefs to just 17 points and Indy will look to build off that performance. The part of the defense that needs the most improvement is the pass defense because the run defense has been absolutely elite to start the season.
Through three games, the Colts have only allowed a total of 231 rushing yards. That’s 77 rushing yards a game and 2.6 yards per attempt. The 77 yards allowed per game ranks Indy at No. 3 in the NFL, trailing only the Jacksonville Jaguars and the Buffalo Bills.
The Colts run defense is special
A big reason why Indy has been so stingy against the run is defensive tackle Grover Stewart. Stewart showed up to camp this offseason and it was evident that something had changed for him. He was in better shape and his energy and mindset were different. He made clear that he wanted to dominate this season and that has been the case as he’s been one of Indy’s most consistent players so far.
Big Grove has 12 tackles on the season with two for a loss. With him anchoring a defensive line with DeForest Buckner, Yannick Ngakoue, and Kwity Paye, opposing offenses will continue to be challenged. Additionally, the talented defensive line has made life easier for linebackers Zaire Franklin, Bobby Okereke, and EJ Speed, who have all been stellar against the run. Just wait until Shaquille Leonard returns.
The Colts will have their biggest run challenge to date Sunday against Derrick Henry and the Tennessee Titans. Henry hasn’t hit the century mark in a game this season yet and that would explain why Tennessee’s offense has been struggling. The Titans will definitely hope to get Henry rolling against their division rival but the Colts must show up like they’ve been doing all season so that doesn’t happen.