INDIANAPOLIS – Normally, in the last few years, it was the Colts defense giving up historic numbers.
Now, it’s the Colts defense putting up historic numbers of its own.
In a seismic shift from what we are used to seeing from the Colts defense—or even the one we saw in the 2020 season opener—it’s the Indianapolis Colts ranking at the top of the NFL in tons of defensive categories.
2020 Colts Defensive Rankings
-Points allowed: 1st (14 points per game, fewest for the franchise since 2013)
-Total yards per game: 1st (236.3 yards per game)
-Interceptions: 1st (7 interceptions, most for the franchise since 2015)
-Third-Down Efficiency: 1st (31.3 percent of conversions allowed)
Even with the struggles in the 27-20 season-opening loss to the Jaguars, Frank Reich says he was bullish on this defense turning it around in a big way.
They certainly have done that.
“I don’t want to sound crazy, but I did see this coming,” Reich says. “I’ve been so fired up about our defense from day one. The way we looked in camp, I look at our personnel, I look at our coaches and I look at our schemes on defense, I think they fit our players. I felt good about our defense from day one. I felt like it was going to be really good.”
As the picture above tells the story, the Colts are also getting plenty of hats around the ball.
It’s one of the core principles of Matt Eberflus’ defense that really stuck out to Philip Rivers in facing that unit during camp.
“They do a heck of a job of pre-snap disguising and moving around, never letting you kind of settle in to get comfortable,” Rivers begins when asked about the Colts defense. “They just play well, good team defense together, they’re really assignment sound, and the biggest thing that stood out to me in training camp was how fast everybody is running to the football. You see some of those guys cut back and it’s, like, ‘Oh, one guy missed, oh, look there might be something, there’s another, there’s another, there’s another.’ The guys are relentless getting to the football.
“They have been unbelievable here first part of the season.”
Through the first 4 games of the 2020 season, the Colts have allowed 945 yards of total offense.
No NFL defense has allowed that small of a number after the first 4 games of a season since the 2010 Baltimore Ravens.
Has the competition that the Colts have faced been a bunch of explosive offenses?
Of course not.
But the Colts are stifling offenses right now in ways they’ve never come close to in years.
“I can say that Coach Flus, Coach Frank they brought in a culture of we’re going to play fundamentally sound defensively,” linebacker Anthony Walker says. “And I really believe in that, I really believe in what they’re doing and I think we have all the guys on the team that buys into that. That’s special and I think that’s what we have brewing over here right now. So I can speak on right now, I think we have something really special brewing on defense.”