Welcome to PatsFans.com

Observations about Colts defense

Discussion in 'PatsFans.com - Patriots Fan Forum' started by AndyJohnson, Oct 1, 2007.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. AndyJohnson

    AndyJohnson PatsFans.com Veteran PatsFans.com Supporter

    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2004
    Messages:
    23,085
    Likes Received:
    192
    Ratings:
    +763 / 21 / -26

    After watching the Colts over the past few years, and sometimes struggling to understand how their defense can be physically overmatched, yet still seem to perform decently, I think Ive figured out the connundrum.

    This is my opinion. The Colts live by overcommitting. There run D issues are well-documented, and clearly understandable because they are undersized, and their DL is asked to rush the QB, and find the ball carrier on the way if it happens to be a run. They twist, stunt, spin, and often take themesleves out of postion on running plays. HOWEVER, at the same time, those pass rush moves create negative plays. It is VERY OFTEN that you see a minus run against the Colt D, when if that defender who got in the backfield didnt make the tackle, there was loads of running room. In other words you cannot expect to run against this defense as you would traditionally against a typical D. You risk more bad plays, for the result of more big plays. (Contrary to typical running game strategy).
    More importantly Ive seen the 'weak Colt run D' stop a ton of 3rd and shorts. Essentially everyone shoots a gap, and they are banking on one of them making a tackle for loss. If you block it, there is a big gain for you.

    Additionally, if the Colts focus on stopping the run, their cover2 allows the corners and safety to get into the play.
    In pass D, the coverage is not great, but they try to keep everything in front of them, and hope to execute a pass rush.

    My conclusion is that the Colt defense is GOOD if you are playing on their terms, and awful, if you have them playing on yours.
    In obvious run or pass situations, their scheme puts players in position to make the play. In not obvious run or pass situaiton, their scheme allows you to attack weaknesses. Those weaknesses are created by BOTH their overcommitting, AND the fact that to play this style you put players on the field who have weaknesses (i.e very small DL and LBs, corners who play cover2 well play good run support, but struggle to cover if the pass rush isn't helping them).

    I think in last years playoffs, the Ravens and Chiefs played into the Colts hands. They came out to run the ball, and allowed the Colts to overcommit to one thing. Doing that they ended up in long 3rd downs that could be overcommitted to the pass rush.
    Many fans questioned us not running the ball more agaisnt the Colts in the 2nd half last year, but I saw this happenning then. They were overcommitted to the run, and would have stopped our running game. We would have been gambling on breaking a big run, like Dillon did early in the game. Throwing, and throwing short, would have been the best way to stay on the field.

    I am finally convinced that our WRs played a big part in that loss. Not because the D shouldn't have played better, but because with good WRs (I'd call what we had last year in the playoffs 'capable' not good) the Colts would not have been able to do that, or if they did, we would have torched them with the passing game, eliminating at least one or 2 times their offense got on the field.

    If you stay in nuetral run/pass down and distances, and break trends to run whne they overcommit to the pass, and pass when they overcommit to the run, the Colts D will have a hard time stopping anyone. The problem is most teams look at:
    1) an undersized front 7 that cannot stop the run toe to toe
    2) an all out pass rush that you want to avoid (especially since they are very good at the strip sack)
    and decide to try to run it down their throats. You will gain some yardage, but you are playing right into their hands.
  2. AndyJohnson

    AndyJohnson PatsFans.com Veteran PatsFans.com Supporter

    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2004
    Messages:
    23,085
    Likes Received:
    192
    Ratings:
    +763 / 21 / -26

    Nah. The class of the league plays tonight, so yesterday I checked out the B team.
  3. FreeTedWilliams

    FreeTedWilliams pfadmins PatsFans.com Supporter

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2005
    Messages:
    5,474
    Likes Received:
    96
    Ratings:
    +272 / 38 / -4

    #75 Jersey

    The Colt's defense is, rightly so, designed to play with a lead. Fast quick ends for rushing the QB. fast small LB corps.

    And when the Colts KNOW that you are going to run, (early in games, or if they are losing), that is when they sell out 100% to stop the run.
  4. spacecrime

    spacecrime Rookie

    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2004
    Messages:
    8,329
    Likes Received:
    17
    Ratings:
    +17 / 0 / -0

    In fairness to him, he is not the only teen-ager so obsessed with us that he cannot stay away for our forum. Pigskin envy is the technical term for them.
  5. BelichickFan

    BelichickFan B.O. = Fugazi PatsFans.com Supporter

    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2004
    Messages:
    31,625
    Likes Received:
    215
    Ratings:
    +508 / 13 / -11

    #24 Jersey

    18>12 - how about not hijacking the thread PLEASE.

    I may be proven wrong but I am completely convinced that the Colts played good defense in the playoffs because they didn't face a single team with a really good passing game. Baltimore. KC. NE. Chicago. I really think it will be as simple as spreading them out in our standard 3 WR, 1 TE set and forcing the Safeties to have to help in pass coverage which will open up everything else. Reche Caldwell, bless his heart, simply couldn't do this. Randy Moss can. Not only will Moss make plays downfield but he'll pull Sanders back with him to open up the run - and if he doesn't then Moss will have a career day.
  6. BradyManny

    BradyManny Rookie

    Joined:
    Mar 13, 2006
    Messages:
    9,780
    Likes Received:
    32
    Ratings:
    +91 / 4 / -0

    :D

    Great points on the Colts D. I think it's all spot on and to me, helps explain some of the things I've been seeing in the Colts that I haven't quite been able to explain or put my finger on.
  7. xmarkd400x

    xmarkd400x Rookie

    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2007
    Messages:
    1,746
    Likes Received:
    6
    Ratings:
    +6 / 0 / -0

    To the OP, very good post. It is nice to read an objective, well prepared opinion on a football topic.

    Huh? Last I checked, the Colts ARE a threat. Your post implies that the Colts are not a threat.

    His post is about the Colts D. It sure as heck wasn't Dwight Freeney hitting Dallas Clark up the middle every down.

    The Pats had the Colts in a position that favored the Pats and still lost. That's why you play the game. For a fan of a super bowl champion, you sure sound bitter.
  8. FlyingElvis75

    FlyingElvis75 Rookie

    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2007
    Messages:
    402
    Likes Received:
    1
    Ratings:
    +1 / 0 / -0

    Personally I just think that's good coaching - the idea that a defense is playing beyond what you would expect from the physical abilities of its individuals.

    Straight-up gap attack vs. the run as opposed to the more "traditional" reactive gap assignment (if that's what the Colts do - haven't watched them that closely this year) sounds like higher risk, higher return, but it seems perfectly viable for them, so far. Imo the mark of a good coach is that he implements the best strategy for the players he has on hand, not vice versa.

    On paper you have to "guess right" three times in a row to force a punt, but if you can guess right once and incur a decent loss, it often makes it easier to guess right the next two times. In my opinion, of course.
  9. AndyJohnson

    AndyJohnson PatsFans.com Veteran PatsFans.com Supporter

    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2004
    Messages:
    23,085
    Likes Received:
    192
    Ratings:
    +763 / 21 / -26

    How is it funny that the Colts are a contender? The Steelers are too. Since we have had more battles with the Colts, we tend to dissect them a little more closely.

    Last year, the AFCC game was what an AFCC is supposed to be. Unlike the last 2 times these teams met in the playoffs, and we dominated you, it was a game that was very close and came down a few clutch plays. Your guys made them. (I wont use the excuse that half our defense wasn't on the field due to injury or illness because thats part of the game. If oyu want ot win, overcome it) In the context of this post, perhaps we 'had you right where we wanted you' but we did not execute. I think that had a lot to do with being unable to capitalize on the passing game. With Moss, Stallorth, and Welker, we would have made it much more difficult for your D to overcommit to the run. We WANTED TO run in the second half. Your defensive strategy dictated that you were taking it away, and we had to throw. Now, we scored a ton of points on offense, the problem was when it came time for us to control the ball, the Colts overcommitted that we couldn't do it by running. Our WRs failed us, and made that a great strategy for the Colts.

    I'm not sure what your whining is about.

    Unlike Colt fans who continually tried to explain away their big game failures and make excuses, we do not do that around here. We showed up, we played the best game we could, it wasn't enough. I am fine with that since it has been enough 12 times in 14 playoff games, and enough for 3 SB Championships.
    We did not win the SB last year. That means we werent good enough to, just like 30 other teams. However, we have been good enough to 3 of the last 6 years, and I expect to make it 4 of 7.
    You seem to think I need to have a response to why the Patriots lost. I do not. There is none. They lost. But they have 3 SB Championships. Maybe you can respond to why your Colts only have 1.
  10. Pat the Pats Fan

    Pat the Pats Fan Rookie

    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2005
    Messages:
    2,860
    Likes Received:
    2
    Ratings:
    +3 / 0 / -0

    #50 Jersey


    Thank you for trying to keep the thread on topic, and I agree with your analysis.
  11. Ice Cold Bruschi

    Ice Cold Bruschi Rookie

    Joined:
    Feb 15, 2005
    Messages:
    901
    Likes Received:
    0
    Ratings:
    +0 / 0 / -0

    you have him misunderstood, the terms have nothing to do with whose winning (well they do but not in the way you think) the colts terms he is refering to is predictablity that is dictated by the down, distance, score, and time. He is saying the colts over commit to the most likely play archetype (ie. short run on short distance, intermediate pass on 3rd and 10, running the ball in the 4th quarter etc.) and hope to stop it but also risk a big play, but all they need to do is keep a team from outscoring their offense so the big play for the offense doesn't hurt as much as to them as a big play for the defense hurts their opponent. get it?
  12. BelichickFan

    BelichickFan B.O. = Fugazi PatsFans.com Supporter

    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2004
    Messages:
    31,625
    Likes Received:
    215
    Ratings:
    +508 / 13 / -11

    #24 Jersey

    And then there's Welker and Watson.

    I'm not a big fan of "how can they cover all our guys" type points because few teams are playing man to man everywhere. But it stands to reason that if the defense is being stretched and threatened by higher quality athletes than it's just more difficult to take care of the entire field and that's the difference between our offense from last year to this year.
  13. Ice Cold Bruschi

    Ice Cold Bruschi Rookie

    Joined:
    Feb 15, 2005
    Messages:
    901
    Likes Received:
    0
    Ratings:
    +0 / 0 / -0

    P.S. Bethea is most definately not a stud. Sanders isn't even a stud for that matter (you can't be a stud if you're made out of glass)
    Last edited: Oct 1, 2007
  14. chris_in_sunnyvale

    chris_in_sunnyvale Rookie

    Joined:
    Aug 23, 2005
    Messages:
    2,091
    Likes Received:
    8
    Ratings:
    +8 / 0 / -0

    Keep shooting the gaps and Dungy will sound like Admiral Ackbar...

    "It's a trap!"*

    Regards,
    Chris

    * trap block, that is...a great way to run on those who shoot the gaps
  15. Nunchucks

    Nunchucks Rookie

    Joined:
    Sep 10, 2007
    Messages:
    3,169
    Likes Received:
    92
    Ratings:
    +197 / 13 / -8

    The Colts run defense has a name and it is Bob Sanders, the guy is simply phenominal at reading and reacting to the offense during run plays. He almost single handidly improved the Colts run defense.

    Go back and look at the game last year when Sanders played that one game against the Pats on MNF, what do you see? Bob Sanders stopping the run, heck look at the number of points he scores in fantasy football, the guy is a run stopping machine.

    Put a hat on Bob Sanders and the vaunted colts run defense falls apart, or better yet, make him sit back in coverage and maybe some running room will appear.
  16. TheBaronPatriot

    TheBaronPatriot Rookie

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2007
    Messages:
    457
    Likes Received:
    14
    Ratings:
    +24 / 0 / -0

    #91 Jersey

    12 + 3 rings > 18 + 1 ring
    that should be my username on the colts forum
  17. xmarkd400x

    xmarkd400x Rookie

    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2007
    Messages:
    1,746
    Likes Received:
    6
    Ratings:
    +6 / 0 / -0

    Almost all fans here believe that the Colts are a very good team. Almost all fans here think that the Patriots will beat the Colts in November in an extremely competitive game.

    I don't read any disrespect, all I read is respect for the Colts and confidence in the Pats. Is it the hometown sentiment any different on a Colts board? Probably not.
  18. JoeSixPat

    JoeSixPat Rookie

    Joined:
    Nov 8, 2004
    Messages:
    9,894
    Likes Received:
    46
    Ratings:
    +93 / 2 / -3

    Wow... you're that insecure that you're surprised we look at the Colts as the 2nd best team in football behind us? Well give your team a pat on the back and take a bow.

    Your team is actually pretty good and there's a lot of people who think so.

    Though to the point of the thread, the Colts defense is often the weak link but not always. They've actually played well on occasion and the Offense has actually let the team down and caused a loss.

    It's not a strong suit but a bend but don't break D is as legitimate as one that , say plays great in terms of yards but has an awful Red Zone record. Both obviously have areas they need to work on.

    For my part I can count on the colts Defense to usually play well enough to have their team in a position to win... however they do it, they certainly do that.
  19. AndyJohnson

    AndyJohnson PatsFans.com Veteran PatsFans.com Supporter

    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2004
    Messages:
    23,085
    Likes Received:
    192
    Ratings:
    +763 / 21 / -26

    Its not really a matter of blocking him, few plays are designed to block the safety that cheats up and comes across the formation to the ball carrier.
    Its a matter of having balance to preven thim from doing that. I've seen Snaders come across the formation to make tackles for short gains. If you are balanced there is no way he can do that, because you will have a cover2 corner on an island in play action. The Colts are not designed to play man coverage. But if its a running play, it didn't hurt you to be in man coverage.
    That is why I say team that think the plan is to run it down their throat are playing into their hands. I hope Sanders is making a ton of plays against us up near the line of scrimmage, because we will be making a ton of plays 30 yards donwfield on playaction where he cannot get back to his deep zone.
  20. Seacoast Fan

    Seacoast Fan Rookie

    Joined:
    Sep 18, 2007
    Messages:
    661
    Likes Received:
    5
    Ratings:
    +26 / 1 / -0

    #75 Jersey

    Ha! Way too funny, especially since it is true.
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.

Share This Page

unset ($sidebar_block_show); ?>