Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Implications of Bob Sanders's Injury

As if the Colts early struggles were not enough to warrant worry, concerns about being a serious Super Bowl contender multiplied when hearing that 2007 Defensive POY Bob Sanders will be out for up to six weeks. Even with Sanders in two games this season, the Colts defensive statistics were nothing to write home about. With a healthy Sanders who played in all but one game last season, the Colts boasted a top five defense while playing in a division that had three teams make the playoffs. In 2006, the 5 foot 8, 206 pound Sanders only featured in four regular season matchups, allowing for everyone with two legs to rack up 100+ yards and at least one touchdown on the ground.

2008 Defensive Ranks for Indianapolis
Total Defense: 16th
Rushing: 28th
Passing: 4th

2007 Defensive Ranks for Indianapolis
Total Defense: 3rd
Rushing: 15th
Passing: 2nd

2006 Defensive Ranks for Indianapolis
Total Defense: 21st
Rushing: 32nd
Passing: 2nd

Looking forward to the next six weeks, Sanders will likely be replaced by backup strong safety Matt Giordano, who started four games last season and played admirably in three years of spot duty. Though he is not the dynamic safety that Sanders is, Giordano will be very serviceable in defending the pass. Yet, the major void left by Sanders’s absence may be felt immediately in stopping the run when Jacksonville, an equally hurting team, visits Indianapolis with the desire to resurrect the physical nature that has made them a regular fixture in the AFC Playoffs. Knowing this, the Colts must also rectify their inability to make holes for Joseph Addai and Dominic Rhodes in order to reduce the number of throws that Peyton Manning must make in order to win games. A team that cannot win either battle on the line will be a team that will be watching the playoffs at home.

Colts’ Opponents During the Next 6 Weeks
Week 3: v. Jacksonville
Week 4: v. BYE
Week 5: @ Houston
Week 6: v. Baltimore
Week 7: @ Green Bay
Week 8: @ Tennessee

1 comment:

JagsFan said...

Nice blog.

Naoele will shore up the line and Taylor/Jones-Drew will put up 200 yards on the ground on Sunday!