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Defensive Burning Questions after two months of the Regular Season

Posted Oct 29, 2013

Intro: With the Colts regular season now a month complete, here’s a look at some burning questions at the defensive position groups.



INDIANAPOLIS – Now it’s onto the defensive side of the football for a group that has played a variety of the league’s offenses already this season.

The defense had its starting 11 intact for the first time in over a month last Sunday against the Broncos.

Here’s a look at some burning questions at each defensive positional group…

How has the health along the defensive line benefited the Colts? Outside of Ricky Jean Francois for a few weeks, the Colts defensive line has been very healthy in 2013.

That’s a far cry from 2012 when depth was lacking.

Now guys like Fili Moala and Ricardo Mathews are providing some quality depth for a starting trio of Jean Francois, Cory Redding and Aubrayo Franklin.

The Colts defense has been very good in short-yardage situations and the defensive line controlling the line of scrimmage on those plays are a major reason why.

Are the Colts linebackers on the verge of a strong second half?
The Colts linebackers might have played their best game of the year on against the Broncos.

Inside backers Pat Angerer and Jerrell Freeman continued to make plays in the open field and outside backers Robert Mathis and Erik Walden wrecked havoc off the edge.

The Colts already have 21.0 sacks (11.5 from league leader Robert Mathis), which is well on the way to obliterate last year’s total of 32.0.

Rookie Bjoern Werner should return very soon and that will only enhance one of the league’s better pass rushes.



Can the Colts secondary build off last week’s performance against Peyton Manning and the Broncos offense?:
Led by LaRon Landry’s return and Vontae Davis’ lockdown ability, the Colts secondary flourished against Denver’s top passing attack.

The Colts fought through injuries in the second half and nickel back Darius Butler was particularly effective in shutting down Wes Welker for a majority of the game.

Having Landry back on the backend should allow for a few more big plays similar to the turnover causing hit he put on Denver running back Ronnie Hillman late in the fourth quarter last week.

The Colts had 15 takeaways in all of 2012 and are just two short of that number after seven games this season.



What’s in store for the Colts special teams moving forward?
As the oldest player in the NFL, Adam Vinatieri is having another campaign that will only add to his Hall of Fame resume.

Vinatieri has made three field goals of over 50 yards the last two weeks and is 15-of-17 on the season.

The Colts punt coverage unit has been very good over the past few weeks with Sergio Brown continuing to make plays from the gunner position.

Punt returner T.Y. Hilton has had a solid start to the season but is still looking to break one as the kick return units have shuffled returners in and out.

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