Phil Richards's article on Indy's defense takes a different spin: they came up when they needed to.
Andrew Luck has been praised, and rightfully so; the rookie's been singlehandedly winning the Colts games, trying to push a team devoid of a consistant run game and defense. Against Miami, the first half was classic Colts football: Luck scores, the run sputters, the defense collapses. By the time halftime started, every fourth-down punt was an invitation for another score. Miami's first three possessions: field goal, touchdown, touchdown. 17 points before the half. And the next, according to Richards:
The Dolphins went punt-punt-field goal-punt-turned over on downs during the second half. They had five possessions. They scored three points. It was reminiscent of seven days earlier at Tennessee. The Colts trailed at halftime. They gave up three points over the final 30 minutes. They won.
"That's what you want," Indianapolis Colts safety Antoine Bethea said after his team's 23-20 victory. "That's when you become a great defense. When the clock is ticking down and the game is in our hands, that's when you've got to stand up and become a great defense."
The Colts's defense hasn't been good. They still weren't flawless on Sunday ... but they were good enough, and got the stops that mattered most.
Ya, maybe the defense is actually better than you might think watching the games. Would be nice to have a big win at some point where we blow out the score and the D keeps the other side from scoring much. 17-3 over the Jags would be nice. What would be terrible is a nail-biter where we win with field goal 13-10. Not terrible, but life-shortening. Cardiac Colts indeed.
I actually agree with this. It's weird in a way how much better they've played in second halves, but the truth is the Colts don't pull out a lot of these close games if the defense doesn't get key stops when they needed too. They almost salted away the win vs. Minnesota (granted the offense stalled completely in the second half as well) but they were integral to beating GB, Cleveland, Tenn, and of course Miami. If the offense can score TDs instead of punting from the 40 or kicking (missing) FGs, the Colts can be competitive against anyone.
@Colt_Following In their three losses, Indy's D has given up 19, 14, and 17 points in the last two quarters; in their wins, the D's given up a combined 33 second half points (14, 6, 7, 3, and 3). It's weird, but the second half defense might be the reason Indy wins games.Also, Andrew Luck.