Indianapolis Colts: Defensive Preview – Can it be worse than last year?
The defense of the 2016 Indianapolis Colts was a sieve. They averaged giving up well over 300 yards per game. In fact, they were just under 400. That alone is not a good ingredient for success. Playing in the AFC South and playing offenses like the Houston Texans and Tennessee Titans, the Colts will need a solid defense. Will the 2017 Colts find said defense?
The defensive line of the Colts was a mess in 2016. They looked to upgrade that position with acquiring Johnathan Hankins. Hankins was a free agent who played with the New York Giants last season. He will look to anchor the middle of the Colts defense in 2017. Much like he did for the Giants.
The pass rush for the Indianapolis Colts will have to try to replace the 11 sacks left behind by linebacker Erik Walden. The Colts will look to free agent signing Jabaal Sheard to pick up the slack. This is an area in which the Colts defense will need to excel. Unless they can get to the QB, opposing passing games could have a big day against the 2017 Indianapolis Colts.
Several veterans make up the linebacking unit of the Colts. Sean Spence comes over from the Tennessee Titans to help man the middle with veteran John Simon. They join 7-year veteran Jabaal Shear to try to solidify and improve a Colts defense that finished ranked 30th in 2016.
The secondary of the 2017 Indianapolis Colts is right where your eyes need to be. The depth chart shows that two rookies will lead it. First round pick S Malik Hooker and second round pick CB Quincy Wilson will start in the Colts secondary. The Colts have invested in these two to patrol their backfield for many years to come. They may need to grow up fast.
The Indianapolis Colts are in a tough spot with their defense. They will need some help from their offense with extended drives. If they are on the field for long periods of time games could get ugly. They just are simply not good enough to play tired.
Editor’s Note: This article can also be seen in our upcoming NFL Preview Edition.