Indianapolis, IN - The Colts made moves this off-season to shore up their secondary around Antoine Bethea and Vontae Davis by signing both LaRon Landry and Greg Toler. In Week 1, the secondary played well, and showed that they are more than capable of living up to the high expectations that people have for them. There are many play-makers on this defense, and four of them are the four starting defensive backs.
LaRon Landry was the highest profile free agent signing that the Colts have made in quite some time. He’s coming off of a season with the Jets where he was a very dominant force in a tough AFC East division. He made a very solid debut for the Colts, coming up with 15 total tackles and 10 of those being solo. Not only did he pile up 15 tackles, he also knocked away a Terrelle Pryor pass. It will certainly be interesting to see how he continues to play the remainder of the year, but this was a very encouraging first game for him.
Antoine Bethea has been one of the Colts key pieces ever since his rookie NFL season. He’s expected to have yet another big season, and it started with a bang against the Raiders with 11 tackles. Not only did he rack up 11 tackles, he also had a defensed pass and made the game winning interception with the Raiders driving towards Indy’s end zone with under a minute left. Obviously it’s just week one, but after seeing Bethea step up like that, you can expect to see yet another very big season from him.
Vontae Davis had a rough 2012-13 campaign dealing with different injury issues, but during his last two games in which he was reportedly completely healthy, he picked off three passes. The Colts acquired him before the beginning of last season, and they are expecting him to be a legitimate #1 corner for them. He didn’t show too much during the Colts’ Week 1 match-up, coming away with just two tackles. He had some very nice coverage plays though, but nothing that adds up on the stat sheet.
The fourth and final key player in the Colts secondary, Greg Toler, is another key off-season addition that Ryan Grigson made. Despite having a tough time with injuries during his Arizona tenure, he is the starting corner across from Davis. In Week 1, he showed exactly why he’s a starting NFL cornerback, picking off a pass and returning it 26 yards, along with three tackles and two defensed passes. He’s one of the best play-makers that the Colts have had at the corner position in quite some time. If he’s able to stay healthy, you can expect his interception numbers to rise very consistently.
The Indianapolis secondary is stacked with talent, and the starters are considered close to the best in the NFL. They have four guys are who are capable of making plays, and for the most part they all stepped up in Week 1 against the Raiders. It’s definitely a relief for Colts fans to have a secondary who is able to make plays and keep the pressure from being completely on the offense.