Colts: Run defense is key
When the Colts play Denver this weekend, they will face running back C.J. Anderson, one of the most impressive players in the NFL over the last two months. Anderson started the season as the Bronco’s third-string RB, however he took on significant snaps in Week 10 and has led all rushers since with a +14.9 run grade. So finding a way to limit Anderson will be key to the Colts chances.
The Colts’ run defense has been middling this year, however they have players who have made a positive impact against the run. Outside linebackers Bjoern Werner and Jonathan Newsome both rank in the Top 10 at the position as run stoppers, with Run Stop Percentages (RSP) of 7.6 and 7.4, respectively. Nose tackle Josh Chapman had a +4.2 grade against the run, and was strongest in the second-half of the season. Similarly inside linebacker D’Qwell Jackson found his best form later in the year, with a +7.2 run defense grade in the last ten games of the season, sixth-best at the position in that period. Fellow ILB Jerrell Freeman has struggled this season, but seems to have found form at the right moment. He led all inside linebackers in the Wild Card round with seven tackles and four stops against the run, giving him an impressive 23.5 RSP for the week.