Print and Go Back ESPN.com: AFC South [Print without images]

Wednesday, September 21, 2011
One area of progress for the Colts

By Paul Kuharsky
ESPN.com

Thanks to Adam Grigely of ESPN Stats and Info for pointing me to this surprising note on the Colts' rushing D: The Colts' rush defense has been suspect in recent years. But the numbers so far this season actually show improvement.

Opponents are averaging only 3.64 yards per carry in 2011, which is down from 4.35 in 2008-10. Indianapolis has been stronger up the middle, yielding up 2.7 yards per carry, down from 4.1 in 2008-11. And Steelers running back Rashard Mendenhall has been struggling rushing up the middle in 2011.

The Colts defense has allowed 64 rush yards up the middle, with five first downs and a touchdown. Mendenhall has gained 26 yards up the middle so far for a 1.7-yard average, with two first downs and a touchdown.

It's a positive sign in a sea of despair.

Of course it comes with a bad note attached. Two of the guys helping the defense in the middle, tackles Fili Moala (ankle) and Eric Foster (hamstring) were among the 11 players who sat our practice Wednesday because of injuries.