The Indianapolis Colts are currently 0-1 after starting the season with a 31-21 loss to the Jacksonville Jaguars. Despite losing the season opener to a division rival, there were a lot of good things to take away from the game. One of the most promising things was the performance of the defensive line rushing the passer.
In the game, Jaguars quarterback Trevor Lawrence was sacked just twice: once by DeForest Buckner and once by Kwity Paye. However, the Colts also recorded four additional quarterback hits, and the defensive line looked like a unit that’s ready to elevate things to another level.
Colts defensive line looked promising against Jaguars
Indianapolis has been very open about the desire to create an elite defensive line that can get after the quarterback. That’s been evident in every draft under Chris Ballard. While the Colts aren’t officially there yet, they look like they’re well on their way. Indy just needs to keep improving each game.
In the Week 1 matchup against Jacksonville, the pass rush was led by Buckner and Paye, the two expected leaders. DeForest Buckner had himself a day, recording seven tackles, one for a loss, one sack, a forced fumble, and a scoop and score on a very alert play. Buckner let everyone know on opening day that he’s still one of the best defensive tackles in football.
Kwity Paye, who’s now in year three, looked like a defensive end that was drafted in the first round. He finished the game with four tackles, one sack, and two tackles for a loss. Paye looked fast, strong, and explosive, and he had one of the better days in the league as an edge rusher, finishing with the third-best pass rush win rate in the NFL.
The next step is staying healthy, improving, and getting the rest of the defensive linemen to come along. If Indy can build off of what it did in Week 1, the defensive line should be a factor for the Colts this season. That’ll help out the secondary, make the defense better as a whole, and give Indianapolis a chance to win more games.