Indianapolis Colts Vs Houston Texans: Five Things Learned About Colts' Defense
Yesterday, the Colts lost to the Houston Texans for only the second time in franchise history.
Sure it's just one loss, but Colts fans aren't used to losing at the beginning of the season.
In the grand scheme of things, it's probably better this way (now fans won't be disappointed when coach Caldwell pulls his starters in week 16).
Here are a few things (about the defense) to take away from yesterday's game.
One thing is for sure, you can't blame Peyton Manning and the offense for the loss.
The Run Defense Is Still Terrible
The Colts run defense is never very good.
That's because Indy builds through the draft and usually picks at the bottom of the first round (the premiere defensive tackles usually go in the top 15).
That being said, yesterday the run defense was atrocious. Guys were missing assignments and they let Arian Foster run all over them for 231 yards and three touchdowns.
Bob Sanders Is Done
If there was one thing about the defense that Colts fans were getting excited about this year it was the secondary.
That's because Indy was loaded at safety.
Colts fans have been waiting for "Bobzilla" to return to his 2007 form (the year he won Defensive Player of the Year), but he's spent most of his time on the injured reserve.
His injury history is probably not his fault (Tony Dungy was the one who decided to use undersized defensive tackles so that Sanders would have to come into the box and take on guys who are literally twice his size).
Never the less, an elbow injury in the first quarter against Houston may signal the end of his career in Indy.
Melvin Bullitt Is a Solid Starter
The Colts looked like they were going to "do what they always do" to the Texans when Bullitt intercepted a Matt Schaub pass at the end of the second half (until they let Arian Foster run all over them).
Never the less, over the past two season "starter" Bob Sanders has played a total of eight games.
And the Colts have been OK because Melvin Bullitt has played well in his absence.
With sanders out of the lineup the past two years, Bullitt has 122 tackles and four picks.
Freeney and Mathis Are Still The Best Defensive End Tandem In The League
Last year, Robert Mathis and Dwight Freeney combined for 23 sacks (9.5 for Mathis and 13.5 for Freeney).
This year both guys already have a sack under their belt.
If Indy figures out a way to stop (slow down) the run, these guys will change the outcome of some games.
Jerraud Powers Will Be a Star
Last year, Powers started 12 games as a rookie. He had 66 tackles, 10 passes defended and a pick.
Yesterday he picked up where he left off with seven tackles and one pass defended.
Combined with safeties, Melvin Bullitt and Antoine Bethea, the Colts secondary is in good condition.
If the front seven can just figure out a way to stop the run this team will be tough to pass on.