Colts Thinking A Lot About Defense With Free Agency Approaching

Intro: The early quiet period of the 2017 offseason is about to cease around the NFL. In the coming weeks, improving the defensive talent is an absolute must for the Colts.

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INDIANAPOLIS – The stat is why Chuck Pagano and Chris Ballard have said the things they have in the past few weeks.

Defensive improvement is an absolute must for the Colts in 2017.

Fans knows that.

But just how important is getting better on that side of the ball?

Consider this: Including the playoffs, Andrew Luck has made 25 career starts where the Colts have allowed less than 19 points in a game. The Colts have not lost any of those games. They are 25-0 in games started by Luck, when allowing less than 19 points.

The Colts were 6-0 in Luck's rookie season of 2012, when keeping the opponent under 19 points.

A Wild Card playoff appearance in 2012 was followed by a division title in 2013, as the Colts went 7-0 in such games.

The 2014 run to the AFC Championship saw the Colts go 9-0 when holding teams to less than 19 points, including playoff wins over the Bengals and Broncos.

It's no coincidence that the Colts have seen an absence of these games in missing the playoffs each of the last two seasons.

Luck's injury plagued season of 2015 saw the Colts allow more than 19 points in each of his seven starts.

Last season, the Colts had just three starts with Luck under center and the opponent's scoreboard showing fewer than 19 points.

Over the last two years, the Colts have had 22 starts with Luck. They've allowed less than 19 points just three times.

The Colts finished last season 22nd in the NFL in points per game allowed (24.5). Even giving up just a field goal less per game would improve the team's chances at getting back to being a double-digit win contender.

"We've got some work defensively that we need to do and we'll get that done," new GM Chris Ballard said earlier this month.

"We've got work to do," Chuck Pagano said at the end of the 2016 season. "Again, that falls on me. You guys know my background and everybody knows my background and we've fallen short (defensively)."

With the Combine starting next Tuesday, free agency beginning two weeks from Thursday and the draft a little more than two months away, we are going to find out soon just how much of an emphasis the Colts will give the defense this offseason.

The analysis from those producing content on Colts.com does not necessarily represent the thoughts of the Indianapolis Colts organization. Any conjecture, analysis or opinions formed by Colts.com content creators is not based on inside knowledge gained from team officials, players or staff.

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