Indianapolis Colts, Def, Colts
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2015 Outlook: Bust (overvalued)Last updated on Aug-20-2015 by Shawn Childs
The Colts have a favorable schedule against both the run and the pass. They have five games with weak rushing offenses – BUF, ATL, TB, and TEN (X 2). The Bills will be better with McCoy on the roster. Their toughest four games against the run will be against the Jets, Panthers, and Texans (X 2). Indy will face 10 teams with below average passing attacks while facing four top passing games – Saints, Steelers, Falcons, and Broncos.
Indianapolis was about league average in rushing yards allowed (1,814). Teams gained 4.3 yards per rush with 14 rushing TDs.
The Colts don't have one impact run stopper on the roster. Their defense line will compose of DE Kendall Langford, NT Josh Chapman, and DE Arthur Jones headed into the 2015 season. Langford has been a below average run stopper in his career with minimal value sacking the QB. Last year the Rams used him as a rotational guy off the bench over the last 12 games of the year. Chapman started 18 of 19 games played by Indy, but he was only on the field for 35.4 percent of the plays by the defense. He will only be in the field on first down and running situation. Jones battled an ankle injury early in 2014. He offers no upside in the pass rush with declining value against the run.
Last year Indianapolis had the ninth most sacks (41) in the league while allowing the 12th lowest amount of passing yards (3,669). Receivers gained 7.2 yards per catch with 27 TDs. The Colts only had 12 INTs. This 2014 defense had more value against weak opponents when Indy was able to pull away on offense.
The Colts played without their best pass rusher in 2014 after LB Robert Mathis blew out his Achilles in September. Mathis had 19.5 sacks in 2013, but Indy doesn't expect him back until midseason and he will have limited upside due to his age (34). 2013 first round draft pick LB Bjoern Werner was only able to deliver five sacks as Mathis replacement with league average value against the run. Werner should improve in his third season in the league. LB D'Qwell Jackson looks to be past his prime, but he did played better against the run over the last half of 2014. Jackson had four sacks last year. LB Jerrell Freeman was a huge liability in run support with his best value in 2014 coming in pass coverage. The linebacker with the most upside is Trent Cole. Cole has enough talent to add value to the pass rush with league average success stopping ball-carriers.
CB Vontae Davis has developed into one of the league's best cornerbacks. Last year receivers didn't catch a TD against him while catching 41 of 92 targets for 444 yards with four INTs. CB Greg Toler allowed nine TDs in 2014 with receivers catching 70 passes for 903 yards on 125 targets. S Dwight Lowery won't add value in pass coverage. S Mike Adams is coming off his best season in the league in pass coverage (30 catches for 352 yards with two TDs and five INTs on 47 targets), but he'll start the year at age 34.
Indianapolis only has one star on defense with aging talent at every level of their defense. Their best defense this year will be their offense. I don't respect this core, but they will have some value in games when they can make the opposing team's offense one-dimensional.
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