The real determining factor of Colts games shows the team can still turn things around
The Indianapolis Colts have one huge problem that decides the outcome of their games but they also have the power to change it.
Entering Week 9, the Indianapolis Colts are 3-4-1. The defense has been playing well and the young weapons have been emerging on offense but still, Indy has four losses and a tie after eight games. A big reason why is the offensive line struggles but that isn’t the biggest factor for Indy’s underwhelming record. The biggest determining factor for Colts’ games is turnovers. So far this season, the turnover ratio has decided the outcome of Indy’s games.
In games where Indianapolis has more turnovers than its opponent, Indy is 0-4-1. However, when the Colts commit fewer turnovers than the opposing team, they are 3-0 this season. This is similar to last season’s record for whenever Jonathan Taylor rushed over 100 yards the team was 9-1 versus 0-7 whenever he was under the century mark.
If there’s a silver lining to this critical statistic, it’s that turnovers, for the most part, are something well in Indianapolis’ control. That means if they can get a handle on protecting the ball, they’ll probably be able to turn the season around.
Colts can turn the season around by protecting the football
Consistently turning the ball over isn’t like other inadequacies. It’s not like simply not having the talent or frequently being out-coached because it is something in the team’s power that they can control. They can emphasize ball security and really protect the football throughout games. It has to be a habit that is drilled into the mind of every offensive player on the team. Being careless with the football has to be an inexcusable action for the Colts.
If Indianapolis can employ this philosophy, games would look much better for Indy and the season could actually be turned around. However, as Parris Campbell highlighted, the team is already approaching Week 9, and it’s possible that it’s too late in the season for players to learn a lesson that they already should’ve known. The Colts may just be a team that’s careless with the football.
Something else that could help Indianapolis out is the return of Shaquille Leonard. Last season, behind Leonard’s trademark punch-out ability, Indy had the league’s best turnover differential, with an amazing 33 forced turnovers. If the offense can’t stop giving the ball away, maybe the defense can help them out by taking the ball away even more.
Through eight games, the Colts only have eight takeaways but Leonard also hasn’t been on the field as he’s dealt with injury. After returning in Sunday’s game, it was clear that Shaq is still the same ball magnet as he came away with an interception even while playing limited snaps. As he works his way back to his full form, maybe he can energize the defense to start forcing turnovers again.