Colts Battle of the Trenches: Defense

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Sep 24, 2017; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Indianapolis Colts tackle Henry Anderson (96) tries to break through the offensive line of the Cleveland Browns at Lucas Oil Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Thomas J. Russo-USA TODAY Sports
Sep 24, 2017; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Indianapolis Colts tackle Henry Anderson (96) tries to break through the offensive line of the Cleveland Browns at Lucas Oil Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Thomas J. Russo-USA TODAY Sports

Battle of The Trenches: Defensive Front

Colts 31 – Browns 28

Starters

Linebackers: Jon Bostic, Jeremiah George, John Simon, Jabaal Sheard

Three man rush: Johnathan Hankins, Al Woods, Henry Andersen

Key Stats:

Kizer: 22-47, 242 YDS (5.1 YPA), Two touchdowns, 3 interceptions

Cleveland Rushing Attack: 21 carries, 111 YDS (5.3 YPC), two touchdowns

one sack, three tackles for loss, nine QB hits

Best Performance: John Simon

Worst Performance: Al Woods

John Simon: six tackles, one sack, two tackles for loss, four QB Hits

Simon once again proved to be the best Colt on the defensive side of the ball as he continues to amaze after signing a 13.5 Million deal on three years this past offseason. Simon is looking like one of the best free fgent signing and is playing at a Pro-Bowl level caliber. Simon appears to make an impact on every down and most important in clutch situations. Simon has emerged as a leader for this remodeled defense and it appears the Colts found a stud linebacker for the first time since Robert Mathis. Simon is also loved by all the Colts fanbase, as his gritty/passionate style of play represent Indy perfectly.

Al Woods: no stats

Woods did not even register a tackle or an assist on Sundays game. He had been playing solid football but clearly took a step back against the Browns, and it showed, as Cleveland rushed for over a hundred yards and two touchdowns, facing little resistance from Indy’s rush defense. Woods needs to learn from his mistakes and move on in order for the defense to keep improving.

Recap: Overall the Front 7 had another game of solid, but not spectacular football. Kizer was constantly pressured which is great to see but the rush defense was never on point and could not contain the Browns running game throughout the game.

If the Colts had not jumped to an early lead then Cleveland would have had the opportunity to pound the ball on the ground and it could have gotten ugly. Crowell and Duke Johnson both had solid days and the rush defense seemed to fail for the first time, after shutting down the opponents running game in the seasons first two games.

The pass rush was above average, generating pressure all throughout the game, leading Kizer to throw three interceptions and post a below 50% completion rate. This game showed that in order to shut down a passing game, not only a good secondary is required, but also pass rushers are essential in order to force the quarterback into uncomfortable throws and bad reads.

The battle of the trenches was definitely lost against the rush, but against the pass it was a whole different story, as the Colts beat the Browns all game to put pressure on their rookie quarterback. This ended up being the difference maker in the game, as the three turnovers forced by the Colts defense were surely decisive.

This defense is finding production from all players, like Jeremiah George, who continued to play his heart out on every down, or Margus Hunt, who registered three QB Hits and is showing flashes of the potential he displayed in college. Jon Bostic was the leading tackler with 10 stops and is finally looking like the player that was advertised during training camp.

For any further Colts discussion feel free to tweet me at @matecaliz.

Go Colts!

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