The Indianapolis Colts gave up 522 total yards to the Chicago Bears on Sunday, which was the most they’ve given up in a winning effort since moving to Indianapolis.
So far this year, they’re among the absolute worst defenses in the league (and maybe even the worst). They rank 30th in yards per game allowed (with 410.6), tied for 31st in points per game allowed (29.6), and dead last in defensive penalties (47). When it comes to DVOA, they are 31st in total defense, 30th in pass defense, and 31st in run defense. In short, they’re terrible.
But don’t tell that to Chuck Pagano.
“We have a good defense,” Pagano said when asked if it’s hard not having the talent as a defensive-mined coach. “We need to play. We will make no excuses ever, you know that. There are guys in that defensive room that are all capable and all good players. Some guys in the lineup, out of the lineup, this, that and the other, whatever you want to call it, we have to play and execute better and we have to do it on a consistent basis. Regardless of the numbers, if you are bean counter you can look at this, this and this. We don’t go down that road. We have enough. It’s our job and my job, my responsibility to make sure that we play more consistent, and we will. We have plenty, we have enough.”
If you looked at the first two paragraphs of this article and then Pagano’s quote, you could never guess he was talking about the same unit. Because apparantly he thinks the Colts have a good defense.
Now, granted, we shouldn’t expect Chuck Pagano to just come out and criticize his players. That’s not always the wisest option for a head coach, and it most certainly isn’t Pagano’s nature. But that doesn’t always mean he has to just keep talking about how great the team is when the issues are obvious. Even just saying that he has confidence in his guys to improve is a standard, acceptable answer, but instead Pagano said that he thinks they have a good defense and they just have to play well consistently. Got it.
So no, the Colts aren’t a good defense. And no, I don’t have much confidence in them improving enough to become a good defense as long as they have this group of players. But again, don’t tell that to Chuck Pagano.