While most of the focus is on the Indianapolis Colts offense heading into the Sunday game against the Pittsburgh Steelers, their defense deserves a lot of credit as well for the team’s 5-2 start, as they have more than done their part so far this season.
For starters, heading into the Sunday’s game, the Colts defense has only allowed an average of 19.4 points per game and that ranks them 4th overall in that stat.
Most of the success that the Colts defense has had so far this season can be traced back to their ability to get off of the field on third downs. The unit currently leads the league in third down percentage (25.97 %) and in their last four games they’ve only allowed 4-of-41 third-down conversions (9.76%). That’s quite amazing.
In addition to taking the football away from opposing offenses 12 times so far this season, the Colts defense has also already registered 21 sacks. That’s an average of three a game.
When you look at all of the stats above, it makes it appear as though the Colts defense doesn’t have any weaknesses. However, while few, some weaknesses do exist.
For starters, they’re allowing 4.6 yards per rush entering Sunday’s game and much like the Steelers defense, they are very vulnerable to runs that go over right guard or tackle. That will be a good place for the Steelers to start Sunday afternoon so expect a heavy dose of running back Le’Veon Bell to that side early and often.
While the Colts defense has only allowed 56.28% of all passes thrown so far this season to be completed, their unit is susceptible to giving up the explosive play. They’ve already allowed 23 pass plays of 20 yards or more so far through their first seven games and 10 of those have gone for 30 yards or more.
If the Steelers offense can somehow manage to get down inside the Colts red zone Sunday, their chances of coming away with seven points are relatively good as the Colts defense currently sports a 61.90 % red zone percentage.
In addition to the obvious things such as not turning the football over and keeping quarterback Ben Roethlisberger upright, the Steelers offensive game plan Sunday should be quite simple. Run the football to the right, complete some shots deep and convert inside the red zone. If they can do those three things they might have a shot at coming away with their fifth win of the season.