Indianapolis, IN- No one gave the Indianapolis Colts defense much credit for the 2013 season. Most fantasy experts had the Colts defense in the bottom half of the league again. With all the new additions to that side of the ball made in the offseason, the Colts are showing they’re not going to just be vastly improved but could be among the league’s best.
Indianapolis has never had a defense. They’ve been built for offense since the Peyton Manning era as they spent all of their resources and money on offense. They thought with Manning all they needed to do was outscore people and spend all the time and money on that side.
It worked for the most part, but when it came to the playoffs where it takes a healthy balance of both offense and defense they failed. Indianapolis only won a total of one Super Bowl in what will go down as one of the most dominant eras of any sport. They broke the record for most wins in a decade but had only one ring to show for it.
In fact, the lone Super Bowl victory the team had was led by the defense in those playoffs.
Colts owner Jim Irsay and new GM Ryan Grigson wanted to have more of a balanced team as they built their offense last year and defense in the offseason this year.
It’s paying off.
After three preseason games, the Colts’ first and second team defenses have yet to relinquish a touchdown. All of the touchdowns against the Buffalo Bills in the first game came against special teams or the third stringers or beyond. Against the New York Giants they only gave up a field goal, and as the whole team combined they gave up 12 points all coming on field goals.
At home against the Cleveland Browns on Saturday night Indianapolis again kept their opponent out of the end zone for the second straight game as the Browns only mustered six points on two field goals.
For those keeping track that’s 18 total points (six field goals) in two games for the entire defense. For the guys that will get majority of the playing time during the regular season they’ve given up 12 total points (all field goals) this preseason.
The Colts defense has sacked the quarterback nine times and forced two interceptions the last two weeks with giving the Giants 247 total yards and the Browns 270.
They held both passing units to 152 and 211 yards respectively.
This team is bringing the heat with tons of pressure. It’s no longer the bend don’t break mentality. This is shaping up to be a feared defense not giving up a lot of yards or points. With the offense having such star power this could be a special season for Indianapolis.
Eric Smith is the Colts Beat Writer for Rant Sports. He’s covered the team the last four seasons and is recognized as an accredited member of the media by the Colts. Follow him on Twitter @ericsportsguru