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Following the NY Jets Week Two win over the New England Patriots, NFL Sirius radio personality Pat Kirwan was raving about how "tough" the NY Jets defense was and how much he loved Rex Ryan blitzing the hell out of people. When a caller phoned in to talk about the Colts defense, Kirwan pointed out that teams (like the Jaguars) are not "afraid" of the Colts, suggesting Indy was not "tough" enough to handle teams that liked to run the ball.
Well, after watching the Miami Dolphins torch the Jets for 30 points last night, carving them up on the ground with the Wild Cat and through the air with Chad Henne, I wonder if Kirwan will admit that he was... well, WRONG! Seriously, when you blitz a QB, you better get him because if you don't, he'll hit Ted Ginn Jr. on a long TD that will make your supposedly tough defense look like swiss friggin cheese.
Oh, and the Jets allowed 151 rushing yards and a last second fourth quarter TD to Ronnie Brown, winning the game for the Dolphins. Not knocking the Jets or anything. This is more a knock on Kirwan, who is kind of a tool. He seems to love blitzing defenses and hates "prevent defense," aka the Tampa 2.
After five weeks, the Colts defense is ranked 7th in total defense, which is a silly statistic because it only considers average yards per game, and yards are about as meaningless a stat as time of possession is. The key defensive stats are:
- The Colts are the #2 scoring defense in football (14.2 points per game)
- The Colts have the #7 pass defense in football
- The Colts are #2 in average passing completion yards per game (5.5)
- The Colts are #6 in opposing QB rating (71.1)
- The Colts are #8 in sacks (13 total), with most of them coming from the defensive line (10)
- The Colts have only allowed 7 pass plays over 20 yards and have not allowed any over 40
- The Colts have moved from ranking near the bottom in run defense to #14 in the league. Throw out the Dolphins game, which seems to be a fluke because other supposedly "tough" defense can't figure out how to stop it, and the yards against is nearly cut in half (277 yards). That means (minus the Dolphins game) the Colts have allowed 277 rushing yards on 38 attempts for an average of 3.7 a carry.
This is a dramatic improvement over last year's defense, and much of the credit should go to Jim Caldwell and Larry Coyer. Remember, the Colts are doing this without Bob Sanders and Kelvin Hayden as both have missed several games due to injury.
Look for shake n bake's DVOA rankings and mgrex03's more advanced stats later in the week.