The Simple: Colts allowed just 9 points, 2-15 on third downs.
The Colts’ defense has been dominant over the past 3 weeks, and the biggest reason the team won on Thursday is that the defense allowed just 9 points against the Broncos, in a game that even went to overtime. Gus Bradley’s defensive schemes seem to fit this players like a glove, as it seems like every single component is performing nicely. The defensive line rotation looks much better than last season, as the Colts are getting production from everyone, the linebackers have been great, and the secondary basically made Broncos’ fans boo Russell Wilson. A number that blows my mind is that over the past 3 games the Colts’ defense has held opposing offenses to a 27% conversion rate on third downs. Much better than anything I have seen in the Matt Eberflus’ era, where it seemed like every opposing drive finished with either the Colts forcing a turnover or allowing points.
The Underlying: Matt Pryor allowed 9 pressures, Ngakoue/Buckner combine for 3.5 sacks, defense allows just 18 first downs, Wilson completed just 53% of his passes. kicker Chase McLoughlin makes all 4 of his kicks.
While the defense held the Broncos under double-digits, the Colts offense just managed to put up 12 points, and already ranked dead last in Offensive EPA with -0.17 entering the game. The main reason for that is the struggles in the offensive line, and none more evident than that of Matt Pryor last Thursday, who allowed a whopping 9 pressures on the night, the most by a single player this year. On the brightside, Ngakoue and Buckner combined for 3.5 sacks, as the Colts managed to get consistent pressure on Wilson both from the edge as from the inside of the line. After struggling the first two weeks, it seems like the Colts pass rushing unit has finally figured things out. The Broncos got just 18 first downs throughout the course of the game, and Wilson completed just 53% of his passes. It was nice watching an opposing quarterback not get a completion percentage over 70%. An underrated part of the win is that new kicker Chase McLoughlin was perfect on the day making all 4 of his kicks, with two from over 50 yards, the game tying FG with just 5 seconds remaining , and the eventual game-winning kick in overtime.