The biggest key to the Indianapolis Colts‘ recent success has been the resurgence of the offense. This has had a domino effect which has allowed them to win three straight games and four of the past five entering the 2014 playoffs. The new offense has opened up a ground game and an aerial attack which has allowed this team to put points up on the board early. That’s where all the success now comes from.
Prior to three weeks ago, Indianapolis had zero touchdowns in the first half since October 20. Since, they have scored five. Indianapolis has jumped out to an early lead in each of the three consecutive wins as they scored 20, 13 and 20 respectively in the first half.
Today, Indianapolis’ defense forced a fumble on the Jacksonville Jaguars‘ opening drive, which in turn set up a Colts touchdown on their first drive. That was the second time in the past three weeks that they scored a touchdown on their opening drive on offense. From there, they got another stop on defense and turned that into another touchdown.
That forced Jacksonville to change their game plan and to pass more, which put the game right in Indianapolis’ wheelhouse. The Colts play very well with a lead as we’ve seen the past three weeks. Jacksonville struggled to adapt like their past three opponents as Indianapolis jumped out to a 17-0 lead on each of their last three opponents’ first three possessions.
The early success on offense translates to an entirely different Colts team. Andrew Luck has turned the ball over once in that time frame. The ground game has rushed for 152, 135 and 80 yards respectively, and the defense has 11 sacks, five interceptions and three fumble recoveries over the three games as well.
Put all of that success on the shoulders of early scores. If Indianapolis can score early in the playoffs, then they’re certainly a Super Bowl contender.
Eric Smith is the Colts Beat Writer for Rant Sports. He’s covered the team the past four seasons and is recognized as a member of the media by the Colts. Follow him on Twitter @ericsportsguru