Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Scouting the Colts

The Colts counter punch better than anyone in the NFL. Try one tactic against their offense, and they seem to immediately recognize it. They’re willing and able to adjust.

Teams have tried to back up and take away the pass by putting more people in coverage. The Colts are good enough to run the ball repeatedly against that strategy. Blitz Peyton Manning? Indianapolis doesn’t mind. Manning’s stats against the blitz are staggering. From 2004 through his great game against the Broncos’ defense in Denver’s seventh game last season he had a streak of 336 attempts against the blitz with 39 touchdowns and no interceptions.

So what is a team to do? The best answer seems to be to get a pass rush with the defensive line and hope the cornerbacks can hold up in coverage. The Broncos seem capable of doing both. Stopping running back Joseph Addai seems to be the biggest problem for Denver’s struggling run defense.

Indianapolis’ defense seems improved, using last year’s startling playoff success as a springboard to this year. The Colts shut down the Saints in the season opener and are fifth in the NFL in yards allowed through three games. They are good at rushing the quarterback, especially on the turf at the RCA Dome, and are decent against the run, allowing less than 4 yards per game.

The Broncos will need a great game plan to figure out how to exploit Indianapolis’ weaknesses on offense and defense.

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