For about two months, the Indianapolis Colts have been looking for a win like this. Early on in the season, Indy was playing like a Super Bowl contender. You know the story. A few key wins over great teams had the Colts looking like a threat. It all went wrong, though, when Reggie Wayne was lost for the year.
To start the season, Indianapolis was able to run the ball with some success. After injuries to Ahmad Bradshaw and Vick Ballard, however, the team decided to go out and trade for Trent Richardson to attempt to pick up the slack. What was supposed to be a blockbuster deal wound up being more of a bust in his first two month’s with the team.
The Colts had a difficult time establishing leads early on, therefore any of their wins over the last couple months typically came by way of a comeback. Specifically, one of the more memorable ones that started this trend was on November 3rd against the Houston Texans where the Colts dropped immediately into a 21-3 hole. Indy came away with the win due to some phenomenal second half play, but it was definitely a scare.
Sunday, the Colts took on the Texans again. This time would prove a completely different game. Indy dominated the Texans defensively and won the game 25-3.
What did the Colts do differently that they haven’t done in recent weeks aside from a stout defensive effort? They ran the ball. They ran for 152 yards on the day and averaged 4.2 yards per carry — their highest total on the ground since week four of this season.
Indy was able to stick with the run and not abandon it throughout the game, thus giving them the edge in controlling the line of scrimmage and ultimately dominating the Texans physically. Richardson gave the Colts 64 yards, Donald Brown chipped in 38, quarterback Andrew Luck ran for 29 and the remaining guys filled in the rest on a few sporadic carries.
Indianapolis’ defense forced Case Keenum to throw two picks and brought him down four times on Sunday, leaving no room for debate when it came to their defensive effort in week 15. This is the kind of Colts team we’ve expected to see for quite some time. This is the kind of team the Colts must be; patient with their ground game and physical on defense.
If Indy can be the more physical team at the line of scrimmage like they were on Sunday, they have a shot to do something in the postseason. Unfortunately, it will get harder than the lowly Texans. But, a win like this is going to be great for the Colts’ confidence heading forward. A dominating victory over a mediocre opponent is exactly what they needed.