3 things that separates the four teams playing on Championship Sunday from the Colts

The Indianapolis Colts hope to be playing on championship Sunday next season. Here are some things the team must improve for that to happen.
Indianapolis Colts v Baltimore Ravens
Indianapolis Colts v Baltimore Ravens / Rob Carr/GettyImages
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2. Ability to stop the run

Indy’s stats against the run are a bit confusing. You would think that with talents like DeForest Buckner, Grover Stewart, Zaire Franklin, and EJ Speed, the Colts would be pretty good against the run. However, that wasn’t the case in 2023. In fact, Indianapolis struggled to limit teams on the ground.

The Colts allowed 123.8 rushing yards a game and 4.1 yards a carry. 123.8 rushing yards a game put the defense at 24th in the NFL. Now, it is important to note that Grover Stewart’s suspension played a big part in these numbers. In the six games Stewart was sidelined, Indy was especially bad against the run.

The teams who are still competing for a Super Bowl, were present on the other end of the stats. Detroit only gave up 88.8 rushing yards a game, which was second fewest and the 49ers allowed just 89.7 rushing yards a game, third-least in the NFL. Baltimore gave up 109.4, 14th in the NFL, and the Chiefs allowed 113.2, which was 18th in the league.

Stopping the run is always important but especially late in games and late in the season. The four teams playing Sunday have all been significantly better at that than Indy this season. If the Colts want to be contenders next year, this is an area where they have to step it up.