Indianapolis Colts

Don’t let Sunday’s Colts win over Chicago fool you

09 October 2016: Indianapolis Colts Running Back Frank Gore (23) battles with Chicago Bears Safety Chris Prosinski (31) in action during a game between the Indianapolis Colts and the Chicago Bears at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis, IN. (Photo by Robin Alam/Icon Sportswire)
(Photo by Robin Alam/Icon Sportswire)

The Indianapolis Colts came back in the fourth quarter on Sunday to defeat the Chicago Bears, 29-23, to get their second win of the season and remain in striking distance of a .500 record. The Colts piled up over 400 yards of offense.

But don’t let Sunday’s result fool you into buying into the 2016 Colts.

Yes, the Colts kept their season from plummeting to a 1-4 mark with the comeback victory over the Bears, but that doesn’t mask their clear deficiencies.

Indy’s defense still can’t stop a nosebleed. It let Brian Hoyer, a quarterback who had only thrown for over 300 yards seven times in his previous 46 games in the NFL, to finish three yards short of throwing for 400 yards. The Colts never sacked Hoyer, nor did they intercept him. In fact, Hoyer barely made any mistakes, only missing on 10 of his 43 passing attempts all game.

Then there’s the Colts’ run defense. Or lack thereof.

Chicago only ran the ball 19 times, but it gained 125 yards on those 19 carries, which is good for a 6.6 yard per carry average. Jordan Howard did most of the damage, carrying the ball 16 times for 118 yards. It was the fourth time in five games that the Colts allowed a team to run for over 100 yards.

And as it has been almost every single week thus far this season, Andrew Luck had to carry the team to victory nearly by himself.

Luck’s 322 passing yards and two touchdowns were impressive, but they’re even more impressive when you consider he was sacked five times and was constantly under duress. Running back Frank Gore had an efficient day on the ground, running for 75 yards on 14 attempts, but he once again had no help.

Even the numbers the Colts put up need to be taken with a grain of salt. The Colts’ 98 rushing yards were the most the team had run for all season. And it came against a Bears’ run defense that has now allowed an average of 118.4 rushing yards a game. So Indy’s season-high in rushing yards actually dropped Chicago’s average yards allowed per game.

The Bears couldn’t create much disruption aside from their five sacks, failing to force a single turnover from Luck or anyone else on the Colts’ offense. But that’s no surprise considering Chicago has only forced four turnovers all season.

Chicago is 1-4 for a reason. The Colts aren’t a good team, but they’re better than what the Bears are right now. Indy’s win over the Bears wasn’t over a good team; it came against one of the few teams that has played worse than they have so far.

Indianapolis managed to avoid a 1-4 start, and with division match-ups with Houston and Tennessee upcoming, getting that win was imperative. But don’t let the win fool you into thinking the Colts are better than they are. Their offensive numbers may look impressive, but they came against a soft defense. And Indy’s own defense was unable to stop a mediocre quarterback from torching them.

The Colts may not be the worst team in the NFL, but they’re hardly a good team. They’re two wins have come against two 1-4 teams, and Luck has had to carry the team through all five games. That’s not a sustainable path to success.

Don’t let the Colts’ win over Chicago fool you; Indy is still a bottom of the barrel NFL team this season.

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