Richards: Colts Defense, With the Win

Phil Richards's article on Indy's defense takes a different spin: they came up when they needed to.

Andrew Luck has been praised, and rightfully so; the rookie's been singlehandedly winning the Colts games, trying to push a team devoid of a consistant run game and defense. Against Miami, the first half was classic Colts football: Luck scores, the run sputters, the defense collapses. By the time halftime started, every fourth-down punt was an invitation for another score. Miami's first three possessions: field goal, touchdown, touchdown. 17 points before the half. And the next, according to Richards:

The Dolphins went punt-punt-field goal-punt-turned over on downs during the second half. They had five possessions. They scored three points. It was reminiscent of seven days earlier at Tennessee. The Colts trailed at halftime. They gave up three points over the final 30 minutes. They won.

"That's what you want," Indianapolis Colts safety Antoine Bethea said after his team's 23-20 victory. "That's when you become a great defense. When the clock is ticking down and the game is in our hands, that's when you've got to stand up and become a great defense." 

The Colts's defense hasn't been good. They still weren't flawless on Sunday … but they were good enough, and got the stops that mattered most.