INDIANAPOLIS – Here’s our latest ‘hits and misses’ piece on 1075TheFan.com highlighting the good and bad from the previous game.
The most impressive defensive run we’ve seen in some time for the Colts continued in Week Four, as Indianapolis beat Chicago, 19-11.
What was the good and bad from the Colts (3-1) winning their first road game in nearly a year?
-Defense Soundness: This was a thorough defensive beatdown by the Colts on Sunday. The Bears had to punt on 7 of their first 8 (meaningful) drives. In recent weeks, the Colts were forcing turnovers at an absurd rate. That wasn’t there as much on Sunday. Instead, the Colts defense was even stouter in forcing punt after punt after punt. It was sound tackling and disciplined play that had the Colts again in full control of field position (11-yard advantage in average drive start). To me, this defensive performance was the most impressive of the last three weeks.
-Run Defense: Creating turnovers can come and go. But dominant run stuffing can be a constant. The Colts absolutely shut down any attempt at a Bears run game on Sunday. The Bears finished Week Four with 28 rushing yards on 16 carries (1.7 yards per carry). For a new starting quarterback, the Bears couldn’t give Nick Foles any support in that area. Again, Sunday’s effort was more dominating to me, because the Colts didn’t need to rely on that playmaking to get off the field. Nope, they just stuffed the run and that had the Bears offense looking even more boring than usual.
-DeForest Buckner: This is a hat tip to a 6-7, 300-pound man who logged nearly 90 percent of the defensive snaps on Sunday. That’s a massive number. Buckner finished Sunday with three quarterback hits and a pass defensed. Buckner just sets the tone for the entire defense. His presence up front offers disruption, but it also commands attention that no recent Colts defender been able to do. Buckner’s 1.5 sacks and 2 tackles for loss won’t draw gobs of All-Pro attention, but he’s giving the Colts a huge upgrade.
-Jordan Glasgow: With how the special teams unit continues to play, we had to throw somebody from that group on this list. It’s the Michigan rookie receiving that after his punt block on the game’s opening drive and his massive hit on the electric Cordarrelle Patterson later in the game. The Glasgow block led to an 18-yard punt by the Bears, which established early field position control for the Colts, as they cashed in on that short field with a touchdown. Glasgow was drafted purely for his special teams ability. That was on display against the Bears.
-Run Game: Who would have guessed that through the first quarter of the season, the Colts would rank dead last in the NFL in rushing yards per carry (3.52). There’s no way around it, the run blocking for the Colts has been a major disappointment early in the year. This is supposed to be the strength of the Colts, especially with the offensive line again healthy. Colts running backs combined to rush for just 3.0 yards per carry against the Bears, with an ugly 9 negative runs. The offense is playing with some fire right now without a better run game.
-Red Zone: While the third-down work by the Colts on Sunday was better (8-of-19), the offense was just 1-of-4 in the red zone. That lack of finishing off drives kept the Bears within two scores the entire afternoon. What really stings with that is the Colts reached the Chicago 10-yard line on all 3 of those missed red-zone chances, setting for a field goal each time. This offense has several things to clean up, with their situational play still lacking.