This would normally be a link, but I don’t want anyone to miss it.
FO published a study debunking the idea that long offensive drives help the same team’s defense.
Conventional wisdom holds that offenses affect the performance of their defense through their ability to extend drives, and allow the defense additional time to rest. This conventional wisdom does not seem to be supported by the data. As shown here, the number of plays an offense runs per drive has very little impact on the performance of the defense. One simple explanation for this result is that a team’s defensive players aren’t the only ones that rest while their offense drives down the field. The opposing offense gets to rest too. The net impact, as shown here, is negligible
This is relevent to Colts fans, because some have suggest that Indy improving the run game could help the defense. While a better offense has a net positive effect on a defense, longer sustained drives don’t in and of themselves have any special merit when it comes to letting a defense ‘rest’.