The Indianapolis Colts pulled out a victory over the Oakland Raiders 21-17 mainly behind the offensive play of Andrew Luck, but the defense contributed as well. However, the defense still has a lot of work to do before anyone can consider the Colts a legitimate Super Bowl threat.
Defensively, the Colts have always struggled. Everyone gave them a break last year as they transitioned from a 4-3 defense to a 3-4 defense and did not have the correct personnel to pull it off. Fast forward a year, and the Colts still don’t seem to have the 3-4 defense down just yet.
The Colts’ defense does include a lot of new faces especially in the starting lineup, so chemistry is likely an issue that will simply resolve itself the further along into the season. But for now, the defense is still a liability.
Against the Raiders – a team whose starting quarterback had started one previous NFL game – the Colts’ defense looked mediocre. Raiders QB Terrelle Pryor – who is more known for his running ability – hung 201 passing yards on the Colts defense to go along with his team and game-high 112 rushing yards.
The Raiders’ offense was allowed to be more efficient than normal: 7-of-13 on third down, 1-of-1 on fourth down, 20 total first downs, 32 minutes of possession time, 372 yards of total offense and Pryor was only sacked once.
Now the Colts did come up with two big interceptions, with the final one clinching the victory, but the lack of pressure on Pryor allowed him to control the game.
It wouldn’t be fair to say the Colts’ defense is awful, but it’s nowhere near what it needs to be. Luckily, the offense is a veteran squad when it comes to games decided by seven points or less, as they are 10-1 in the last two seasons.
Hopefully, the defense will begin to mesh and come alive in the coming weeks because if not, the offense is going to have to carry this team for a second season, and the weight may finally drag them down.