Posted Fri Dec 11th by Monty
Breaking down each week’s Broncos‘ opponent from the Football Outsiders‘ perspective. This week: Indianapolis.
Recall that lower (negative) percentages are good on defense, bad on offense and special teams.
Pass Offense: 49.0% (4th)
Rush Offense: 4.4% (12th)
The Colts may have the lowest rushing yardage total in the league, but their rush DVOA confirms what we expected all along: this is by design, and less a statement about their ability to run the ball and more a statement about their desire to. They are a pass-first team but are efficient at running the football when they want to be (see: Joseph Addai‘s nine touchdowns). This offensive strategy has led them to the league lead in passing yards.
Pass Defense: -4.7% (8th)
Rush Defense: -2.6% (19th)
The Colts boast the league’s best pass-rushing combination at defensive end out of a 4-3 front in Dwight Freeney and Robert Mathis, who combine for 20 sacks this season. Meanwhile, the Broncos just put right tackle Ryan Harris on injured reserve. One of the clear differences in the Broncos’ performances in their eight wins against their four losses was their ability to protect the passer. Making sure Kyle Orton has enough time to execute the offense will be paramount, and the Broncos stood a better chance against Freeney and Mathis with Clady and Harris. Luckily, Mathis has yet to practice this week, being held out with a quad injury.
The Colts can be run on a bit, but they’re very fast behind the defensive front.
Special Teams: -0.3% (20th)
Coincidentally, the Colts and Broncos are tied in special teams DVOA.