Pass Rush Still Absent For 2017 Colts
Tim Warner | Getty Images
INDIANAPOLIS – In years past, it was seemingly always the biggest area of necessary improvement for the Colts.
Well, this season is no different. It’s just that other issues are masking the glaring weakness that the Colts have still not corrected.
The team continues to lack a consistent pass rush.
Through 12 games, the Colts have just 20 sacks this season, on pace for their fewest in a decade.
“We’ve got to be better,” Chuck Pagano says of the Colts having just 2 sacks in their last 3 weeks. “Guys know it, we know it and we’ve got to coach better, put them in position to make plays. Then, we’ve got to execute better.”
A revamped front seven is pitching historically impressive numbers in the run defense department as of late (see below), but the pressure from the pass rush is still absent.
The Colts head into the final quarter of the season ranking 30th in sacks per pass attempt. It’s a significant drop from being 20th in that category last year, and 22nd the year prior.
Off the edge, veteran Jabaal Sheard (4.5 sacks) has had quarterback hurries, but has zero sacks in his last 148 snaps.
Fellow off-season addition John Simon (3.0 sacks) did not look like the same player since returning from a neck injury two weeks ago. Simon was put on injured reserve late Tuesday afternoon.
Rookie Tarell Basham has just 2.0 sacks this season.
Any pocket pressure from the interior part of the defensive front hasn’t been there either lately.
“Overall, as a defense we haven’t affected the quarterback,” defensive tackle Johnathan Hankins says. “We’ve been doing a decent job of stopping the run, but you have to stop the run to get to the quarterback and we haven’t been really doing that. When you don’t affect the quarterback and he can sit back there and pick us apart, that’s what happens.”
As the Colts embark on the final month of the season, they have had 31 fewer sacks than their opponents this year.
-Andrew Luck injury talk.
-Chuck Pagano’s fate.
-A broken offensive line.
-Another non-winning season.
The storylines are abundant in 2017, and the pass rushing narrative is still glaring in Indianapolis.
When will it be fixed?
How impressive has the #Colts run defense been the last 5 games?— Kevin Bowen (@KBowen1070) December 5, 2017
First time since 1971-72 they’ve gone 5 straight games without allowing 100 total yards rushing in a game.