A lot of people are hitting a bit of a panic button on the Indianapolis Colts defense even after they beat they beat the Oakland Raiders 21-17 Sunday in Lucas Oil Stadium. Fans were a bit worried that Raiders quarterback Terrell Pryor rushed for 112 yards on 13 attempts Sunday afternoon in his second ever NFL start.
With the Miami Dolphins coming to town Sunday, it’s okay to lift the finger off the panic button. The defense will be okay this week. In fact, they weren’t as bad as they seemed last week.
The defense got a lot of pressure on Pryor. He is a very agile and athletic quarterback to get away from the defenders. Think about, Indianapolis got into the backfield 13 times, which forced him to run. Oakland didn’t call plays for their quarterback to keep the ball. Those were all passing situations where he was forced to scramble.
Miami quarterback Ryan Tannehill isn’t a scrambler and won’t be able to get away from a Colts rush. He only rushed five times in their first game of the 2013 season on the road against the Cleveland Browns and had a total of three yards. Last year when the Colts hosted the Dolphins in Week 9, Tannehill had -1 yards rushing on one attempt.
So, that says don’t be scared of Tannehill taking off and running for 20 or 30 yard gains keeping drivers alive with his legs. That won’t happen. He’s more comparable to a pocket quarterback than a Pryor, Andrew Luck or Robert Griffin III.
Then, factor in the lack of an all-around running game by the Dolphins and how good the Colts did on stopping Oakland’s ground game. Darren McFadden who is the Raiders’ starting back only had 48 yards on 17 attempts. His backup Rashad Jennings only contributed two yards on two rushes while the only other guy outside of McFadden, Jennings and Pryor to rush was receiver Rod Streeter who had nine yards on one attempt.
So taking Pryor’s 112 yards away the Raiders only rushed for 59 yards on 20 attempts.
Miami didn’t do much better in the matchup last year against the Colts and did worse against Cleveland Sunday.
The Dolphins were led by Daniel Thomas with 14 yards and a touchdown Sunday on eight attempts. Lamar Miller and Tannehill had three yards each to give the Dolphins a grand total of 20 rushing yards on 23 attempts.
Last year against Indianapolis, the Dolphins’ leading rusher was Reggie Bush who only had 41 yards on 10 attempts. Thomas had 37 yards, Miller had seven and Tannehill -1. That’s 84 yards on 18 attempts. Also, Bush is gone as he was lost in free agency.
So with how great the Colts did against the rush on Sunday against the Raiders and last year against the Dolphins mixed in with how terrible Miami’s rushing attack was in Week 1, look for the Colts’ defense to fare much better this week.
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