The Colts entered this past weekend getting ready to face the worst defense in the NFL (in terms of yards per game allowed) in the New Orleans Saints. The Colts emerged from the weekend with the worst defense in the NFL in their own building.
If you go by yards per game allowed, the Colts are dead last in the NFL, allowing an average of 408.6 yards per game. That's not good. They rank 29th in the league in passing yards per game allowed and 22nd in rushing yards per game allowed. They have given up 24.9 points per game, which ranks 20th in the league, 21.7 first downs per game (26th in the NFL), and in the middle of the pack for third down conversions (also tied for the worst in fourth down conversions percentage, having not stopped a try yet this year). They are the most penalized defense in the NFL (71 penalties for 647 yards) and have generated the third-fewest sacks of any NFL team (with 10). The unit also has given up more plays of 20+ yards than any team in the league. In short, the defense has pretty much stunk.
|Colts defense during Chuck Pagano era|
To be fair, they have had moments of playing better. For example, they played well later on in the game against the Saints. But overall, it hasn't been good. Some of that can be contributed to injury, absolutely, but not all of it. Some of it can also be contributed to the offensive failures. Of the 174 points given up by Indy's defense this year, 64 of them have come off of a turnover (interceptions, fumbles, turnover on downs, and then one missed field goal), compared to 51 points off of punts and 59 points off of kickoffs. So the offense hasn't been doing the defense any favors, but the unit still needs to be better.
The Colts right now are not playing very good football in any of the three areas (offense, defense, and special teams), and their defense ranks last in the NFL in terms of total yardage to show for it. More surprising (and concerning) than that, however, is the fact that their offense ranks 17th in yards per game. That's not a very good combination, and it's something the Colts need to get fixed quickly if they hope to turn their season around.