Explaining improved Colts' run and run D

What’s gotten into the Indianapolis Colts?

They're still 30th in rushing offense and 27th in run defense, but they are coming off two excellent weeks in those categories against two physical teams.

Indianapolis has run 63 times for 346 yards (a 5.5-yard average) and held Jacksonville and Oakland to a combined 42 carries for 147 yards (a 3.5-yard average).

Jim Caldwell said this about the offensive improvement during his Monday news conference: “I think the big thing is that we are not using any different plays. We are not doing anything different from a schematic standpoint, but I do think we have gotten better week in and week out just in terms of fundamentals and techniques. I think we are doing a better job just controlling the line of scrimmage.

"I think the guys up front are communicating very well. They have finally gotten to the point where you have roughly the same group that has played together for a fairly decent length of time, and so I think you are starting to see some of the benefits of that.”

It’s actually only four consecutive game with the same starting offensive line.

Here’s Caldwell in response to a question about Gary Brackett attributing the run defense’s success to better tackling and simplification: “Perhaps he is referring to the fact that one of the things in the last several weeks that we have been trying to preach is speed and simplicity. We have tried to boil it down to those things and we try to make things as simple as we possibly can in terms of our game plan so guys can use what God has given them as an attribute and that is the ability to run.

"Our team is based on speed, and so we have been trying to preach that and get that across. I think you are starting to see some benefits of it. As a result you get yourself in a better position to tackle. You do not have as many seams if you do things the right way. I think all across the board our guys are guys are doing a better job of gap control, and when you do that, you do not let anyone have any straight downhill runs at you and it improves your angles to tackle.”