INDIANAPOLIS – It appears that the NFL is a high powered offense league. Rules were put in place to light up the scoreboards and as a result, never has there been more emphasis put on a franchise quarterback. If you have one, you think you’re sitting pretty, while if you don’t have one, it’s time for a rebuild. But, after the first week of the 2016 NFL regular season, one thing is clear, defenses still win championships.
You know that cliché, and it’s still true. Yes, quarterbacks are a dime a dozen and the Indianapolis Colts have to be thankful they went from Peyton Manning to Andrew Luck, but in everything they failed to do with Manning, they’re failing to do so and even more with Luck. The whole gripe with the Manning era was everyone always saying imagine what Peyton could do with a defense.
At Denver, he had one, and went to two Super Bowl’s, winning one in four seasons. At Indy, he only won just one lone Super Bowl and had two appearances in 14 years.
The biggest thing that the Colts wanted to change from that Manning era to the Luck era was surround him with better players on defense and build a defense that can help Luck win “multiple Super Bowls.” Well, as we sit in Year 5, nothing has changed.
Luck, threw for 385 yards, four touchdowns and had zero turnovers but his defense let him down in a span of 33-seconds. He had those numbers but lost. This coaching staff brought in was defensive minded and had all the defensive knowledge in the world, but in the previous four years, they ranked 26th, 20th, 11th and 26th respectively on that side of the ball.
All while this is going on, some guy named Trevor Siemian won his season opener. Another guy named Jimmy Garoppolo won his. So did Shaun Hill. Their stats?
Siemian was 18-for-26 with only 178 yards passing, one touchdown and two interceptions. Garoppolo was 24-for-33 with 266 yards and one touchdown while Hill was 18-for-33 236 yards and zero touchdown.
Siemian and Garoppolo were making their first ever NFL starts and playing against two of the top three defenses in the entire league. Despite that and those stats of two combined touchdowns, they won. Heck, Hill’s team didn’t even score and offensive touchdown and he still won.
But, Luck throws for more touchdown passes than those three combined and he loses.
That’s why the NFL is still about defenses. Luck is by far better than all three of those quarterbacks, but he lost. His defense couldn’t do what theirs did and that’s to get him stops. Denver, New England and Minnesota are who those three quarterbacks play for and their defenses did their jobs in their victories. Their coaching staff did theirs too by giving them smart game plans.
The Colts, looked lost.
So, if you want the Colts to be better in this era than last, then coaching and defense better get better or this one will end worse and uglier than the previous one.